Amulette Garneau, born Huguette Laurendeau, actor (b at Montréal 11 Aug 1928, d there 7 Nov 2008). A discreet and humble personality, this wonderful actor nevertheless had a brilliant career on Québec screens and stages for nearly 50 years. Introduced to the public through her comic performances alongside Olivier Guimond on Télé-Métropole's television show Cré Basile, she was also one of Michel Tremblay's favourite performers. Audiences and the artistic community offered well-deserved admiration, confirmed by the numerous expressions of sympathy on her death.
Convinced since childhood of her destiny as an actor, Amulette Garneau initially studied for 3 years at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, prior to training in acting at the École du Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and private lessons with Georges Groulx. She also attended Utah Hogan's course in dramatic art in New York for 2 years. Amulette Garneau first appeared on stage around 1950 in Henri Deyglun's Le Roman d'une servante, then went on to roles at the Montreal Repertory Theatre, the Centre Théâtre and the Théâtre de Quat'Sous.
At the same time, she took up a career on television, performing in the series 14, rue de Galais; Cap-aux-sorciers; Les Plouffe; La Pension Velder; and L'Île au trésor. In 1965, Amulette Garneau joined Olivier Guimond and Denis Drouin in the brilliant and celebrated comedy show Cré Basile, and from then on became an outstanding star of the small screen. She took part in this classic sitcom for 5 years.
Her long and fruitful collaboration with the duo of writer Michel Tremblay and director André Brassard began in 1971 with the revival of Les Belles-Sœurs at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert. The same year, she played in Tremblay's adaptation of Et mademoiselle Roberge boit un peu by Paul Zindel. Major works followed: the musical comedy Demain matin, Montréal m'attend in 1972, Bonjour, là, bonjour in 1974 (revived at the TNM in 1980), Sainte Carmen de la Main with the Compagnie Jean Duceppe in 1976 (and with TNM in 1978), where she created the role of Bec-de-Lièvre (Harelip), Carmen's dresser and confidante with the deformed face. This role, which she repeated on television for Radio-Canada in 1979, really touched the imagination. In Albertine, en cinq temps, a co-production with the National Arts Centre and the Rideau Vert in 1984, Amulette Garneau portrayed Albertine at age 50 with strength, delight and character. She was also in the 1992 cast of Marcel poursuivi par les chiens.
Devoted to Québecois dramatic art, Amulette Garneau participated in plays by Jean Daigle (Le Jugement dernier, 1979), Jovette Marchessault (La Saga des poules mouillées, 1981), Francine Noël (Chandeleur, 1986) and Carole Fréchette (Baby blues, 1991). Her collaboration with Tremblay and Brassard extended to cinema with the films Françoise Durocher, waitress (1971) and Il était une fois dans l'est (1973). Amulette Garneau gave outstanding film performances in Le Temps d'une chasse (dir. Mankiewicz), Kamouraska (dir. Jutra), Les Ordres (Brault), Les Vautours (Labrecque), Les Plouffe and Maria Chapdelaine (Carle) and Lauzon's Un Zoo la nuit, among others.
Her given name originated with her first husband, poet Sylvain Garneau, who affectionately nicknamed her "ma mulette" after "À Mulette," a poem he had dedicated to her; she adopted the name "Amulette" after the young man's suicide at 23 a few months after their marriage in 1953. She remarried Jacques Zouvi, with whom she had one son, actor Alain Zouvi, born in 1959. She was the sister of journalist Marc Laurendeau.