Lally Cadeau | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Lally Cadeau

In 1974 Cadeau's professional acting career began at Vancouver's THE ARTS CLUB THEATRE, where she played Helene in a translation of Tremblay's En pieces detachees (Broken Pieces).

Lally Cadeau

 Lally (born Alice Mary) Cadeau, actor (born at Hamilton, Ont 10 Jan 1948). Lally Cadeau attended Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill School for girls in Greenfield, Massachusetts; Edenhall Convent of Sacred Heart in Philadelphia; and Havergal College in Toronto. As mother and farm wife Janet King she made her mark in the heartwarming series Road to Avonlea (1990-96), which had an international television audience. But Cadeau at age 10 had already played the young Elizabeth Rex for the Hamilton Players Guild, and at 13 she appeared in Terrence Rattigan's Five Finger Exercise. She studied theatre arts at Toronto's New Play Society under Dora Mavor MOORE and honed her acting skills playing some of Michel TREMBLAY's finest leading women, touring the Kootenays with friends presenting Allen Van Meer's translations of Tremblay's plays.

In 1974 Cadeau's professional acting career began at Vancouver's THE ARTS CLUB THEATRE, where she played Helene in a translation of Tremblay's En pieces detachees (Broken Pieces). Other memorable early performances include precocious ex-showgirl Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, and Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Cadeau appeared in regional theatres across Canada, with a brief foray to NYC for Tamara at the Park Avenue Armoury.

In 1987, at Toronto's CANADIAN STAGE, Lally Cadeau played Rosa Priore, the eruptive mother in Saturday, Sunday, Monday - Edwardo De Filippo's play about an Italian family that fights, feasts and grows together. At Le Theatre du Petit Bonheur she performed the title role in French in Tremblay's À toi pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou. She played the mother in David FRENCH's Of the Fields, Lately.


 In 1997, Richard MONETTE invited Cadeau to perform at the STRATFORD FESTIVAL. She played the title role in De Filippo's Filumena, the story of a former prostitute who, desperate to find a home for her 3 children, tricks a shopkeeper into marrying her. Cadeau remained at Stratford for 9 seasons, playing roles including the lead in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Juno Boyle in Juno and The Paycock, the Woman in Cocteau's The Human Voice, the one-woman Ruth Draper on Tour and the overbearing Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She also played Maxine in Night of the Iguana and Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.


After leaving Stratford, Cadeau accepted Bob BAKER's invitation to play Dotty in Noises Off at Edmonton's CITADEL THEATRE. As both performer and faculty she was involved in the first Banff/Citadel drama program for young actors; a Baker/Frankish production of Pride and Prejudice was produced at the Citadel at the end of the program, and Cadeau played Mrs Bennett. She embodied the 80-year-old Rose for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company in Toronto and, returning to the Citadel, she portrayed Sister Aloysius in Doubt: A Parable (2009) and was nominated for a best lead actress STERLING AWARD.

Lally Cadeau has graced stages across Canada, and in motion pictures has appeared in Threshold, Videodrome and Separate Vacations (GENIE AWARD nomination). Television work includes various roles in the sketch comedy Bizarre; Kate Brown in Hangin' In (1982-87; two GEMINI AWARD nominations); Janet King in the TV movie Happy Christmas, Miss King; Lucy Maud Montgomery in the TV movie Booky Makes Her Mark; and Lady Minerva in the episode "Blood and Circuses" in the Toronto-set series Murdoch Mysteries. She was also active in the voice-over and commercial field for 20 years.


In 1981 Cadeau won ACTRA's Du Maurier Award for best newcomer to Canadian TV for her performance in Harvest, and the Bijou Award (an early incarnation of the Gemini) and an Actra Award of Excellence for best actress for You've Come A Long Way, Katie. She received several Gemini Award nominations for her work in Road to Avonlea, winning in 1995. That year her performance in Saturday, Sunday, Monday at Canadian Stage won a DORA AWARD; in 2008 she won the Dora for Rose.