Linda Griffiths

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Linda Griffiths
Linda Pauline Griffiths[1]

(1953-10-07)7 October 1953
Died21 September 2014(2014-09-21) (aged 60)
Alma materDawson College
National Theatre School
McGill University
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1980–2014

Linda Pauline Griffiths (7 October 1953 – 21 September 2014) was a Canadian actress and playwright best known for writing and starring in the one woman play Maggie and Pierre, in which she portrayed both Pierre Trudeau and his then-estranged wife, Margaret.[1] Among her cinematic work, she is best known for her acclaimed, starring role in Lianna.[2]

Early life[edit]

Griffiths was born in Montreal, Quebec. Following her studies at St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, she attended Dawson College, the National Theatre School for one year, and McGill University.[1][3] She is best known for her 1980 one-woman play Maggie and Pierre,[4] cowritten with Paul Thompson, in which she played both Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau as well as a fictional journalist named Henry.[1] The play toured across Canada, including at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, and also had an off-Broadway run in New York City.[1]


Best known as a stage actor, she also did television and film work, including episodes of the TV series Empire, Inc., Friday the 13th: The Series, Street Legal, Katts and Dog, Beyond Reality, Due South, Traders and Twice in a Lifetime. She had the starring role in John Sayles' 1983 film Lianna, and also appeared in the films Samuel Lount, Reno and the Doc and Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

In 1997, she formed her own company Duchess Productions, which produced a tour of Alien Creature, as well as developing and associate-producing The Duchess, Alien Creature, Chronic, and her last play, Age of Arousal.[1]

As co-author of The Book of Jessica (written with native author and activist Maria Campbell), Griffiths and Campbell created a new hybrid of theatre book, one which included the play Jessica, as well as the personal and political process of its creation. Griffiths has also created collective work (Paper Wheat, Les Maudits Anglais) and published short stories (The Speed Christmas, Spiral Woman).

Sheer Nerve, a collection of seven of her plays, was published in 1999.[1]


Griffiths died on the morning of 21 September 2014 at Toronto's Bridgepoint Health centre.[5] She had breast cancer.[4]

While public records gave her birth year as 1956, CBC quoted her friend and caretaker, Layne Coleman, as saying her actual birthdate was 7 October 1953.[4]


Griffiths garnered five Dora Mavor Moore Awards through her career, winning Outstanding New Play four times for Maggie and Pierre (1980), O.D. on Paradise (1983), Jessica (1986) and Alien Creature (2000), and Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for Maggie and Pierre (1980).[1] She was also a two-time winner of the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award for Jessica and Alien Creature,[1] and a two-time nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language drama for The Darling Family (1991) and Alien Creature.[1]

She was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Actress in 1985 for Reno and the Doc.[6]


  • Maggie & Pierre (1980; with Paul Thompson)
  • O.D. on Paradise (1982)
  • Jessica (1986; with Maria Campbell)
  • The Darling Family (1991)
  • A Game of Inches (1991)
  • Brother André's Heart (1992)
  • Spiral Women and the Dirty Theatre (1993)
  • The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson (1997)
  • Alien Creature: A Visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen (1999)
  • Chronic (2003)
  • Baby Finger (2005)
  • Age of Arousal (2007)
  • The Last Dog of War (2010)
  • Heaven Above, Heaven Below (2013)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Linda Griffiths at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ "Movie Review - - 'LIANNA,' FACULTY WIFE WITH MARITAL WOES -". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  3. ^ Donnelly, Pat (21 March 2009). "Linda Griffiths pays a visit to her hometown". The Gazette. Montreal. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Linda Griffiths, actor and playwright, dead after battle with cancer". CBC News, 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ Nestruck, J. Kelly (21 September 2014). "Playwright and actor Linda Griffiths dies from cancer". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  6. ^ Bailey, Bruce (15 February 1985). "Quebec sweeps nominations for best-picture Genie awards". The Gazette. Montreal. p. B4. Retrieved 21 September 2014.

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