Denis Bernard, actor and director (b at Lac-Etchemin, Québec 6 Dec 1957- ). First appearing on stage in Québec City in the 1980s, Denis Bernard then made a name for himself in Montréal theatre circles and on television, where he appears regularly. With his production of La Fin de la civilisation at the Théâtre de Quat'Sous in 1999, he regenerated the same passion as early on in his career. This show, which attracted much attention, was followed by others including Pierre-Michel Tremblay's Coma Unplugged (Théâtre de la Manufacture, 2007) that won both a Masque and a Prix de la critique for Best Montréal production. The jury praised among other things, the directing's audacity.
After helping found the Théâtre Repère (1980), the young graduate of the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Québec (1978-80) became the artistic director of the Théâtre Blanc (1983 to 1987) and directed several of its productions. In addition, he appeared in all Québec City theatres peforming Marie Laberge as well as Goldoni. In 1984, he joined the Compagnie Jean-Duceppe in Eugene O'Neill's Désir sous les ormes, and remained loyal to this institution which offered him attractive roles, especially by Arthur Miller: (Ils étaient tous mes fils, 1991; Après la chute, 1994; la Mort d'un commis voyageur/Death of a Salesman, 1999. He embodied some of his major roles on the stage at the THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE in Gorki's Les Bas-fonds (TNM, 1994, dir. Yves Desgagnés); Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1996, dir. Lorraine Pintal); Bernard-Marie Koltès' Combat de nègre et de chiens (1997, dir. Brigitte Haentjens); and Shakespeare's La Tempête/The Tempest (2005). His energetic character role of Prospero, the magician, won a Masque nomination. With the Théâtre de l'Opsis he performed works by Anton Tchekhov, and under Serge Denoncourt's direction delivered rich interpretations in Comédie russe (1993) and Je suis une mouette (non ce n'est pas ça) (1999), a show that successfully toured Québec and Europe. He shone in the role of Vanian in (Oncle) Vania, in 2001.
Denis Bernard has maintained an uninterrupted presence on the small screen since the 1980s. Robert et compagnie, in which he held the title role, comes to mind. More recently, he was in the cast of Diva, Mon meilleur ennemi, Virginie, Les Aventures tumultueuses de Jack Carter and 7e Round. The latter two broadcasts won Gémeaux nominations. No doubt due to his imposing presence, he was entrusted with several roles as lawyers, including in the eponymous television series about the Lavigueur family, the Loto-Québec winners who received excessive media coverage (2007).
For several years, films benefitted from this solid actor's maturity. For his role as the actor Philippe Chevalier in Luc Picard's l'Audition (2005) he won the Génie for best supporting actor (2006). Furthermore, he was a high-powered presence in Ma vie en cinémascope by Denise FILIATRAULT (2003), where he portrayed the seductive Italian orchestra conductor, Lucio Agostini.