Deborah Kara Unger, actress (born in BC). Deborah Kara Unger moved to Australia to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, where she was cast in her first professional acting roles including Bangkok Hilton (1989), Blood Oath (1990) and Breakaway (1990). In 1992, she returned to North America and appeared in wildly varied features, from the psychosexual thriller Whispers in the Dark (1992) to a surreal miniseries about the existentially tormented guests of one particularly creepy suite in HBO's Hotel Room (1993) and the third feature in the spiritless Highlander series (1994).
It was Deborah Kara Unger's Canadian feature debut that made her a sought-after dramatic actress both at home and abroad. David Cronenberg's Crash (1996) featured Unger as Catherine Ballard, the disturbingly compliant wife of a sexually confused film director; together they discover a Toronto subculture of people aroused by car crashes. Unger's sad performance as the mannequin-like Ballard resulted in many high-profile parts in features including that of a small town socialite in the neo-noir Keys to Tulsa (1996), an extraordinarily fallacious mercenary in the undervalued Hollywood thriller The Game (1997), and as real-life Canadian crusader Lisa Peters in the prison drama The Hurricane (1999).
Unger was nominated for her first Genie Award for best supporting actress for her role in Sunshine (2000), a Hungarian/Canadian co-production about the experiences of 3 generations of a Jewish family in 20th-century Hungary. She received her second Genie nomination 2 years later for her leading role as a world-class cellist desperate to find her long-absent father in Between Strangers (2002).
Unger appeared in the box office smash Silent Hill (2006) and one of its sequels, and had a recurring role in the ABC medical drama Combat Hospital (2011) as a military psychiatrist. She played memorable characters in small roles in films such as the crime thriller The Samaritan (2012) and a coming-of-age-in-a-third-world-prison melodrama 186 Dollars to Freedom (2012).
Deborah Kara Unger received the Action on Film International Film Festival's Half-Life Award in 2010 in recognition of the popular and critical success her career had enjoyed so far.