Irene Bedard

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Irene Bedard
Irene Bedard.jpg
Bedard at a pow wow in Livingston, Texas, June 2007.
Born (1967-07-22) July 22, 1967 (age 49)
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Notable work Speaking voice of Princess Pocahontas in Disney's Pocahontas (1995),
Suzy Song in Smoke Signals,
Margaret in Into the West
Spouse(s) Deni Wilson (1993–2012; divorced)
Children Quinn Wilson

Irene Bedard (born July 22, 1967) is a Native American actress who has played many Native American characters in a variety of films. She is perhaps best known for her voice role as the title character in the 1995 animated film Pocahontas.

In 2012, she started "Sleeping Lady Films" and "Waking Giants Productions" with Canadian businessman Thom Denomme. The production companies, based out of Anchorage and Santa Fe, New Mexico, are dedicated to bringing stories that are both positive and inspirational from Indian Country to the world.[citation needed]

Early life and career[edit]

Bedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and is of Inupiat, Yupik, Inuit, Cree and Métis ancestry. Her first role was as Mary Crow Dog in the television production, Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, which depicted the 1970s standoff between police and Native Americans, many of the Pine Ridge Reservation, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. She is probably best known as the voice of the eponymous heroine in the Disney animated film Pocahontas and its direct-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. Bedard was also the physical model for the character. 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. Bedard attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied Musical Theatre. In 2005, she was cast in the television mini-series Into the West, portraying the half-Lakota, half-white adult Margaret "Light Shines" Wheeler.[citation needed]

Irene Bedard is known for bringing a powerful emotional presence to her characters. She was chosen in 1995 as one of People magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People'.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Bedard was married to singer Deni Wilson in 1993. They had a son, Quinn Wilson. In November 2010, it was revealed that Bedard was being sexually and physically abused by Wilson throughout their marriage, taking her earnings and forbidding her to work in her career field, unless he specifically approved the project, as said by her niece Alia Davis. The couple eventually divorced in 2012.[2]

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
Western Heritage Awards Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film Won
1999 Two for Texas Won
2004 American Indian LA Film and TV Awards Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film Greasewood Flat Won
2006 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Dramatic Performance Into The West Won
Western Heritage Awards Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film Won


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee Mary Crow Dog TV movie
Squanto: A Warrior's Tale Nakooma
1995 The Marshal Melissa Carey 1 episode: "Twoslip"
Pocahontas Pocahontas (voice)
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); 2 episodes: "Honesty" and "Perseverance"
The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Alice Starseer 2 episodes: "Return of the Anasazi"; "Trouble on the Colorado"
Navajo Blues Audrey Wyako
1997 Song of Hiawatha Minnehaha
Profiler Maddy Duvall 1 episode: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Det store flip Oglala AKA, Wild Flowers
True Women Tobe TV movie
1998 6/29 Laura Cooper
Naturally Native Tanya Lewis
Smoke Signals Suzy Song
Two for Texas Sana TV movie
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World Pocahontas Direct-to-video; (voice)
12 Bucks Babe
1999 Blood Money Naomi Lister TV movie
Wildflowers Ruby
Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles General Miriam Redwing (voice); 4 episodes (1999–2001)
2000 Pussykat
The Lost Child Grace TV movie
2001 Your Guardian Katherine 'Kat' Damon
The Outer Limits Callie Whitehorse Landau 1 episode: "In the Blood"
The Agency Diah Siagian 1 episode: "The Year of Living Dangerously"
2003 Paris Sandy
Greasewood Flat Abbey
Edge of America Annie Shorty TV movie
2004 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Cody Long (voice); 1 episode: "New Mexico, Old Monster"
2005 Planting Melvin Billie Lawrence
Higglytown Heroes Forest Ranger Hero (voice); 1 episode: "Fran Takes a Hike/Mystery at Kip's House"
Into the West Margaret Light Shines 3 episodes: "Hell on Wheels"; "Casualties of War"; "Ghost Dance"
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
The Spectacular Spider-Man Jean DeWolff (voice); 4 episodes (2008–2009)
2011 Timberwolf Eleni Pre-Production
2012 Young Justice: Invasion Shelly Longshadow (voice); 1 episode
2012-2015 Longmire May Stillwater 3 episodes


  1. ^ Irene Bedard profile,; accessed May 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "Irene Bedard Abused". Newspaper Rock. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 

External links[edit]