|Born||Faith Susan Alberta Watson
March 6, 1955
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Early life 
She was born in Toronto, Ontario, christened Faith Susan Alberta Watson. She grew up in Toronto with her mother Grace, a factory worker, and her brother. She began performing with a local Toronto theater group, T.H.O.G. (Theater House of God), of the Bathurst Street United Church at age 15. She took a workshop for the Hair musical. While doing this workshop she did Hamlet, which was directed by René Bonnière who later directed her in La Femme Nikita.
Acting career 
Watson got her first role at age 19 in a CBC movie called Honor Thy Father. Early in her career she portrayed the role of Mitzi in George Kaczender's In Praise of Older Women (1978), for which she received a Genie nomination. A year later she received the Best Actress award at the Yorkton Film Festival for "Exposure". She then moved Los Angeles, California and later to New York City.
Watson lived in New Jersey for eight years with her husband until they divorced. She then returned to Toronto and focused on finding roles in independent films. She worked with director Colleen Murphy on the film Shoemaker (1996), for which she received a second Genie nomination for Best Actress.
Among her well-known film roles are the bed-ridden mother Susan Aibelli in the 1994 American independent film Spanking the Monkey, Lauren Murphy (the mother of Jonny Lee Miller's character Dade, aka "Crash Override"/"Zero Cool") in the 1995 cult film Hackers, and Risa in the 1997 Academy Award nominated Canadian film The Sweet Hereafter, directed by Atom Egoyan.
In Spanking the Monkey, Watson plays her favorite character, a mother who has an incestuous relationship with her son. The role was turned down by several actresses such as Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and others. Watson has said:
|“||I took it because it was a heck of a challenge. And I'm not a name with an image to protect. The subject was incest. It didn't scare me at all. I seized the character and made her something. She was a deeply disturbed woman with a roller coaster of emotions. Her son visits for the summer and she's laid up in a cast with a broken leg and things get out of hand.||”|
Watson played the major role of Madeline in the TV series La Femme Nikita for four seasons from 1997–2001 (with guest appearances in the short fifth season). During the show's second season (in 1998), Watson was diagnosed with lymphoma, for which she had to undergo chemotherapy treatment which caused her to lose her hair. Producers at La Femme Nikita worked around her treatment and limited her appearances. Watson wore wigs in the show when she lost her hair. When her hair started to grow, she sported the short haircut in her role as Madeline in the show's third season.
Alberta Watson's first name inspired the character Alberta Green in the first season of 24. In 2005, Watson joined the cast of 24, playing CTU Director Erin Driscoll for 12 episodes of the show's fourth season.
During 2007 and 2008, Watson played a supporting role in the Canadian television series The Border as the Minister of Public Safety.
In 2010, Alberta Watson guest-starred in Heartland, a series on CBC Television, and she won a 2011 Gemini Award for her portrayal of Sarah Craven.
In the first season of Nikita, the 2010 CW series based on the Luc Besson film rather than 1997 series, she played the role of the Senator, one of the many public figures to privately fund the secret anti-terrorist organization known as Division. During Season 2, she guest-stars playing this character, whose name is Madeline Pierce (a nod from the Nikita producers to her iconic character "Madeline" in the 1997 series).
Feature and television films 
- In Praise of Older Women (1978) ... as Mitzi
- The Soldier (1982) ... as Susan Goodman
- The Keep (1983) ... as Eva Cuza
- Red Earth, White Earth (1987)
- Spanking the Monkey (1994) ... as Susan Aibelli
- Hackers (1995) ... as Lauren Murphy
- Giant Mine (1996) ... as Peggy Witte
- Sweet Angel Mine (1996) ... as Megan
- Gotti (1996) ... as Victoria Gotti
- The Sweet Hereafter (1997) ... as Risa
- Deeply (2000) ... as Fiona McKay
- Tart (2001) ... as Lily Storm
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) ... as Hansel's Mom/Hedwig Schmitt
- Irish Eyes (2002) ... as Anne Phelan
- The Wild Dogs (2002) ... as Natalie
- The Prince and Me (2004) ... as Amy Morgan
- Puppets Who Kill ("Bill Sue's") (2004) ... as Judge
- A Lobster Tale (2006) ... as Martha Brewer
- Away from her (2006)... as Dr. Fischer
- The Border (2007) ... as Suzanne Fleischer
- Growing Op (2008)... as Marilla
- Helen (2008)... as Dr.Sherman
- The Spine (2009)...as Mary Rutherford
Television series 
- King of Kensington ("War and Peace") (1980) ... as Mitzi
- Hill Street Blues ("Fuched Again") (1984) ... as Prostitute
- The Hitchhiker ("Remembering Melody") (1984) ... as Jill Friedlander
- The Equalizer ("The Distant Fire") (1985) ... as Carla Holden
- Buck James .... as Rebecca Meyer
- Street Legal ("Tango Bellarosa") (1987) ... as Mercedes Puentes, ("Partners and Other Strangers") (1989) ... as Maria Lopez
- Law & Order ("His Hour Upon the Stage") (1991) ... as Hanley, ("Skin Deep") (1992) ... as Angela Brandt
- The Outer Limits (1995) ... as Lynda Tillman
- La Femme Nikita (1997–2001) ... as Madeline
- 1-800-Missing (2003) (pilot) ... Mrs. Mastriani
- The Newsroom (2004) ... as Susan
- 24 (2005) ... as Erin Driscoll
- Heartland (2010)...as Sarah Craven
- Nikita (2011)... as Madeline Pierce
- Heyn, Christopher. "A Conversation with Alberta Watson." Inside Section One: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita. Introduction by Peta Wilson. Los Angeles: Persistence of Vision Press, 2006. 88-93. ISBN 0-9787625-0-9. In-depth conversation with Alberta Watson about her role as Madeline on La Femme Nikita, as well as her more recent acting experiences.
- Alberta Watson Biography (1955-)
- Toronto Star, Alberta's Feeling At Home On Deranged by Rita Zekas, August 5, 1994.
- Elm Street Magazine, In Praise of Alberta Watson By Neil Morton, May 1998.
- Alberta Watson at the Internet Movie Database
- Toronto Star, Young Actress Is Behind Bars -- For A Movie By Bruce Blackadar, August 7, 1980.
- René Bonnière
- Toronto Star, Nikita's Iciest Femme Fatale by Jim Bawden, July 18, 1999.
- Toronto Sun, Happy In Her Work By Liz Braun, December 29, 1995.
- George Kaczender
- Toronto Star, Three Hours On A Plane Is All She Can Stand: Great Escapes - Alberta Watson, Interview with Fulton King, February 19, 2000.
- San Francisco Examiner, She Wasn't Afraid of 'Spanking' By Barbara Shulgasser, August 23, 1994.
- TVGuide/Yahoo Chat January 7, 1999.
- TheLittleReview.com, Alberta Watson: The Toughest Woman on Television by Michelle Erica Green.
- Alberta Watson at the Internet Movie Database
- An Alberta Watson interview
- Alberta's fan site
- Alberta Watson YouTube Channel