Irene Bedard

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Irene Bedard
Irene Bedard (24442058032).jpg
Bedard at the Magic City Comic Con in 2016
Born (1967-07-22) July 22, 1967 (age 54)
OccupationActress
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)
Deni Wilson
(m. 1993; div. 2012)
Children1

Irene Bedard (born July 22, 1967) is an American actress, who has played mostly lead Native American roles in a variety of films. She is perhaps best known for the role of Suzy Song in the 1998 film Smoke Signals, an adaptation from a Sherman Alexie collection of short stories, as well as for providing the speaking voice for the titular character in the 1995 animated film Pocahontas.

Early life and career[edit]

Bedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska and is of Iñupiat and French Canadian/Cree (Métis) heritage and an enrolled member of the Native Village of Koyuk in Alaska.[1][2] Bedard graduated from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska in 1985. Bedard attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied musical theater. Her first role was as Mary Crow Dog in the 1994 television production, Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, which depicted the 1970s standoff between the US government and citizens of several Native nations, including many of the Pine Ridge Reservation, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. For this role, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.[3] She is probably best known as the voice of the eponymous heroine in the 1995 Disney animated film Pocahontas, the direct-to-video 1998 sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and in the 2018 film Ralph Breaks the Internet. She appeared in a different take of the story in Terence Malick's 2005 film The New World, as Pocahontas's mother, Nonoma Winanuske Matatiske.

In 2001, Irene Bedard hosted the Ninth Annual First Americans in the Arts (FAITA) Awards from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.[4] In 2002, at the Tenth Annual FAITA Awards, Bedard won Outstanding Guest Performance by an Actress in a TV Drama Series for The Agency.[5]

In 2005, she was cast in the television mini-series Into the West as Margaret "Light Shines" Wheeler.[6] Bedard has been very active in environmental groups to protect sacred lands.[7] In 1997, she co-hosted with Floyd Westerman a benefit for the Dine' People of Big Mountain at The Loft Theatre, in Pasadena. In 2017 Bedard announced an agreement with the Catawba Nation of South Carolina to join in a production agreement.[8]

In 1993, Bedard married musician Deni Wilson. Between her films, the pair toured for several years with other musicians in a band called "ID," which came from the initials of their first names, Irene and Deni. In 2012, the couple divorced, following allegations by Bedard of being a victim of spousal abuse. In November 2020, Bedard was arrested twice in three days for: alleged domestic violence, assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal damaging and the second was for alleged disorderly conduct.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Squanto: A Warrior's Tale Nakooma
1995 Pocahontas Pocahontas (voice)
1996 Navajo Blues Audrey Wyako
1997 Song of Hiawatha Minnehaha
Det store flip Oglala AKA, Wild Flowers
1998 6/29 Laura Cooper
Naturally Native Tanya Lewis
Smoke Signals Suzy Song
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World Pocahontas (voice) Direct-to-video
12 Bucks Babe
1999 Wildflowers Ruby
2000 Pussykat
2001 Your Guardian Katherine 'Kat' Damon
2003 Paris Sandy
Greasewood Flat Abbey
Edge of America Annie Shorty TV movie
2005 Planting Melvin Billie Lawrence
Miracle at Sage Creek Sunny
Love's Long Journey Miriam Red Hawk McClain TV movie
The New World Pocahontas's Mother (Nonoma)
2007 Cosmic Radio K.C.
Tortilla Heaven Liberata
The Red Chalk Eve
2008 Turok: Son of Stone Catori (voice) Direct-to-video
2011 The Tree of Life Messenger
Timberwolf Eleni Pre-Production
2013 Vertical Lucy Mills
2014 Ron and Laura Take Back America Mrs. Alma
2015 Songs My Brothers Taught Me Lisa Winters
2017 Spreading Darkness Marci Gippolin
2018 Family Feud Co-president of the United States Music video
Ralph Breaks the Internet Pocahontas (voice)
2019 The Bygone Mrs. Call
2022 The Harbinger Floating Hawk post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee Mary Crow Dog TV movie
1995 The Marshal Melissa Carey Episode: "Twoslip"
1996 Grand Avenue Reyna TV movies
Crazy Horse Black Buffalo Woman
Adventures from the Book of Virtues Morning Light and Sharp Eyes / Chief's Daughter (voice) Episodes: "Honesty" and "Perseverance"
The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Alice Starseer (voice) Episodes: "Return of the Anasazi"; "Trouble on the Colorado"
1997 Profiler Maddy Duvall Episode: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
True Women Tobe TV movie
1998 Two for Texas Sana TV movie
1999 Blood Money Naomi Lister TV movie
1999–2001 Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles General Miriam Redwing (voice) 4 episodes
2000 The Lost Child Grace TV movie
2001 The Outer Limits Callie Whitehorse Landau Episode: "In the Blood"
The Agency Diah Siagian Episode: "The Year of Living Dangerously"
House of Mouse Pocahontas (voice) Episode: "Thanks to Minnie"
2004 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Cody Long (voice) Episode: "New Mexico, Old Monster"
2005 Higglytown Heroes Forest Ranger Hero (voice) Episode: "Fran Takes a Hike/Mystery at Kip's House"
Into the West Margaret Light Shines Episodes: "Hell on Wheels"; "Casualties of War"; "Ghost Dance"
2008–2009 The Spectacular Spider-Man Jean DeWolff (voice) 4 episodes
2012 Young Justice: Invasion Shelly Longshadow (voice) 1 episode
2012-2015 Longmire May Stillwater 3 episodes
2017 The Mist Kimi Lucero 9 episodes
2018 Westworld Wichapi Episode: "Kiksuya"
2020 FBI: Most Wanted Mary Lou Skye 8 episodes
2020 The Stand Ray Brentner Television miniseries

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role
2017 "Family Feud Jay Z featuring Beyoncé Irene

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Animated Storybook: Pocahontas Pocahontas

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
1995 Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee Nominated
1999 Western Heritage Awards Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film Two for Texas Won
2004 First Americans in the Arts Awards Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film Greasewood Flat Won
2002 First Americans in the Arts Awards Outstanding Guest Performance by an Actress in a TV Drama Series The Agency Won
2006 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Dramatic Performance Into the West Won
Western Heritage Awards Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irene Bedard, Iñupiaq-Cree Actress". 18 February 2017.
  2. ^ Aleiss, Angela (August 5, 2021). "From The Squaw Man to Rutherford Falls: The Rise of Hollywood's Contemporary Native American Woman". Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  3. ^ "Winners & Nominees 1995".
  4. ^ http://www.studioclub.com/Native%20American/FAITA.htm
  5. ^ http://www.studioclub.com/Native%20American/faita2002.htm
  6. ^ Alvin H. Marill. Movies Made for Television one child.
  7. ^ "Bedard sinks native roots into creative projects". 5 September 2003.
  8. ^ https://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/article75986347.html
  9. ^ "'Pocahontas' Voice Actor Irene Bedard-Wilson Arrested Twice Earlier This Week". Newsweek.com. December 3, 2020.

External links[edit]