Alex Rice

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Alexandrea Kawisenhawe Rice
Born (1972-11-28) 28 November 1972 (age 46)
Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, US; Montreal, Quebec
EducationOur Lady of Perpetual Help High School
Alma materDawson College; Concordia University
Years active2001 to present
Spouse(s)Matthew Deer

Alexandrea Kawisenhawe Rice[1] (born November 28, 1972) is an Aboriginal Canadian actress. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York where her father was an ironworker.

Early life[edit]

Rice was born into a Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) family on the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec, and she is proud of her First Nations heritage.[2] Through her father she is a member of the Rice family of Kahnawake, having descended from Edmund Rice, an early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony.[3] Two Rice boys were taken captive as children in 1704 from Massachusetts, and taken to Kahnawake, Quebec where they were adopted by Mohawk families and became assimilated. Alex is descended from Edmund Rice's great grandson, Silas, who took the name of Tookanowras, but he was also baptized as Catholic and known as Jacques Thanhohorens.[4]

Born on the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve in Quebec, Canada, Rice spent the majority of her childhood with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was among a community of Mohawk ironworkers, who settled in what is now Boerum Hill. The men worked on skyscrapers and bridges, and the women made community. The Mohawk called their neighborhood "Little Caughnawaga", after their homeland.[5]

There Rice attended local schools and trained to become a professional dancer at local dance studios; she developed a passion for acting when she landed a part in an educational video produced at her grammar school.[2] She attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help High School in Brooklyn.[1] In 1990, after her father died and she graduated from high school, Alex and her mother Melody Rice moved back to Kanawake.[1] She attended Dawson College and Concordia University in Montreal, where she earned a degree in library science.[1]


Rice first traveled to California in 1996 to attend a modeling convention and landed her first entertainment job working behind the scenes at the Judge Judy show.[1] Her first feature film was the independent The Doe Boy (2001), which garnered several international film festival awards.[6] She is perhaps best known for her recurring role as Janet Pete in the films Skinwalkers (2002), Dreamkeeper (2003), Coyote Waits (2003), and A Thief of Time (2004), based on the Tony Hillerman novels by the same names. She has appeared in other films including Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, On The Corner, A Thousand Roads, the IMAX release of Sacagawea, Johnny Tootall and The New World. She has also acted in various television series, including Spin City, CSI, Strong Medicine and The Sopranos.[7]

Rice played Sue Clearwater in the third installment of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse released in 2010, and the fourth and fifth installments The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 released in 2011, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 released in 2012.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Alex is married to Matthew Deer, also of Kahnawake. Together they have two children, Bella and Julian. They reside in the family home on the reserve.


  • 2003, Best Actress in the Motion Pictures Awards presented by the American Indian Film Institute, for her reprisal of Janet Pete in Coyote Waits.[7]
  • 2005, the First American Award for her work in A Thief In Time, presented by the First Americans in the Arts Committee.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Alex Rice's Career Blooms in a Welsh Musical by Dan Rosenburg". Eastern Door Vol. 8 No. 8 (19 March 1999). Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Biography at Alex Rice website". Retrieved 23 Sep 2011.
  3. ^ Parkman, Ebenezer. 1906. The Story of the Rice Boys: Captured by the Indians August 8, 1704. Westborough Historical Society, Westborough, MA. 7pp. Download PDF
  4. ^ McAleer, Beth and Robert V. Rice. (2005). "Y-DNA Secures Identity of Rice Mohawk Native American with Edmund Rice Haplotype," New England Ancestors 6(4):48-50.
  5. ^ Reaghan Tarbell, To Brooklyn and Back: A Mohawk Journey, 2009, PBS
  6. ^ "Alex Rice". Native Networks. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Alex Rice on IMDb

External links[edit]