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Rebecca Jenkins

(b. January 1, 1959 Innisfail, Alberta)

This radiant leading lady took audiences and critics by storm with her charismatic acting and singing performance in Anne Wheeler’s Bye Bye Blues (1989), for which she received a Genie Award for Best Lead Actress. Since then, she has worked extensively in television and film and become one of Canada’s most recognizable actresses.

Born north of Calgary in the town of Innisfail, Jenkins lived in Halifax from age eight to ten and also spent a year in New York City. She grew up performing as an actor and a singer and, after graduating from North Toronto Collegiate, briefly attended Dalhousie University before transferring to the University of Waterloo, where she graduated with a B.A. in dance and theatre. She briefly attended acting school at the Vancouver Playhouse in the mid-eighties and made her big-screen debut as a stuntwoman hanging from a building in the Judge Reinhold feature Head Office (1985), but it was music that would prove to be her entrée into the film business. A habitué of Toronto’s Queen Street music scene of the eighties, she toured across Canada and Europe in 1987 as a back-up singer with the Parachute Club and across North America with Jane Siberry from 1986 to 1989.

Jenkins earned a Gemini nomination for her first acting job in the CBC-TV movie Family Reunion (1987), and that same year acted in Anne Wheeler’s Cowboys Don’t Cry (1988). She used her new-found relationship with Wheeler to campaign relentlessly for the role of Daisy Cooper in Bye Bye Blues; her lack of experience and name recognition worked against her, but she finally secured the part after five auditions. Following that film’s success, film and television work came readily; she appeared in television series such as “Street Legal” and “Road to Avonlea,” in the television movie Darrow (1991), opposite Kevin Spacey and Chris Cooper, and in features such as South of Wawa (1991), Clearcut (1991) and opposite Tim Robbins in Bob Roberts (1992).

After several failed series and numerous TV movies, Jenkins was cast as the lead in the CBC-TV series “Black Harbour,” about a woman returning to her native Nova Scotia with her California family in tow. The show ran from 1996 to 1999 and earned Jenkins a Gemini nomination for Best Lead Actress. After another slate of TV movies, she co-starred in Wiebke von Carolsfeld’s acclaimed Marion Bridge (2002), adapted from a play by Daniel MacIvor. Jenkins would prove to be something of a muse for MacIvor, appearing in his next two directorial efforts, Past Perfect (2002) and Wilby Wonderful (2004).

Jenkins continues to occasionally perform as a singer and recently contributed a song to a Joni Mitchell tribute album. In 2003, she appeared in the CBC-TV mini-series The Atwood Stories, based on short stories by Margaret Atwood, as well as Deepa Mehta’s The Republic of Love. In July 2004, she married her second husband Joel Bakan, the economist whose book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power was the basis for the acclaimed documentary The Corporation (2003).

Film and video work includes

Head Office, 1985 (stunts)
Cowboys Don't Cry, 1988 (actor)
Family Reunion, 1988 (actor)
Jane Siberry: I Muse Aloud, 1988 (appears as herself)
Katts and Dog series, 1988 (actor; TV, one episode)
Street Legal series, 1989 (actor; TV, one episode)
The Famine Within, 1990 (narrator)
Road to Avonlea series, 1990 (actor; TV, one episode)
Darrow, 1991 (actor; TV)
South of Wawa, 1991 (actor)
Beyond Reality series, 1992 (actor; TV, one episode)
Bob Roberts, 1992 (actor)
Mountain Gorilla, 1992 (narrator)
Split Images, 1992 (actor; TV)
Till Death Do Us Part, a.k.a. Married for Murder, 1992 (actor; TV)
Destiny Ridge series, 1993 - 1995 (actor; TV)
Jane Siberry: Boy Collect One, 1993 (appears as herself)
X-Men series, 1993 (voice; TV, one episode)
Harvest for the Heart, a.k.a. Jacob's Harvest, 1994 (actor; TV)
Jane Siberry: A Collection 1984-1989, 1994 (appears as herself)
Black Harbour series, 1996 (actor; TV)
The Legend of the Ruby Silver, 1996 (actor; TV)
Traders series, 1997 (actor; TV, one episode)
Stranger in Town, 1998 (actor; TV)
And Never Let Her Go, 2000 (actor; TV)
Angels in the Infield, 2000 (actor; TV)
Catch a Falling Star, 2000 (actor; TV)
Nuremberg series, 2000 (actor; TV)
The Outer Limits series, 2000 (actor; TV, one episode)
Sex, Lies & Obsession, 2001 (actor; TV)
The Associates series, 2002 (actor; TV, two episodes)
Guilty Hearts series, 2002 (actor; TV)
Interstate 60, a.k.a. Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road, 2002 (actor; TV)
A Nero Wolfe Mystery series, 2002 (actor; TV, one episode)
Past Perfect, 2002 (actor)
The Republic of Love, 2003 (actor)
The Sunrise, The Atwood Stories series, 2003 (actor; TV)
The Twilight Zone series, 2003 (actor; TV, one episode)
10.5 series, a.k.a. Earthquake 10.5, 2004 (actor; TV)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, 2004 (actor; TV)
Wilby Wonderful, 2004 (actor)
Godiva's series, 2005 (voice; TV, three episodes)
Supervolcano, 2005 (actor; TV)