Graham Greene | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Graham Greene

Graham Greene, CM, actor (born 22 June 1952 in Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, ON). Graham Greene is one of the most-respected Indigenous actors of his generation.

Early Life

Graham Greene is Oneida of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and grew up in Hamilton, ON. Early in his life, Greene worked his way through a series of manual jobs, including as an audio technician for rock bands. He became involved with theatre in the late 1970s in England and Canada.

Television and Film

Graham Greene’s television debut was in The Great Detective in 1979. He followed his television debut with a movie debut in 1983 with Donald Shebib’s Running Brave. He continued with small parts in independent Canadian and American films. He rose to global fame with his Academy Award-nominated performance as Kicking Bird in Dances with Wolves. This movie is one of the most popular and acclaimed films of 1990.

Throughout his career, Green has regularly played diverse and interesting roles. He played a New York cop in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), the beleaguered family man in Bad Money (1999) and the philosophical groundskeeper in Léa Pool’s Lost and Delirious (2000). He played comedic roles, such as his roles in The Red Green Show and Dudley the Dragon. His portrayal of Mr. Crabby Tree in Dudley the Dragon won him the 1994 Gemini Award for best performance in a children's program. That year, he was also nominated for a Gemini Award for his appearance in North of 60. In 1997, he was yet again nominated for his featured supporting role in The Outer Limits..

Greene appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows since 1979. Some of his other major credits include: The Last of His Tribe (1992), Thunderheart (1992), Lonesome Dove: The Series (1994), Maverick (1994), The Education of Little Tree (1997), Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science (host, 1997-2001), The Green Mile (1998), Grey Owl (1999), Wolf Lake (2001), Skins (2002), Transamerica (2005), Luna: Spirit of the Whale (2007) and The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009).

Graham Greene also portrays the famous Lakota leader Sitting Bull in a Heritage Minute.


Graham Greene also has a successful career in theatrical acting. He received the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his part in Tomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. He appeared on the Stratford Festival stage in 2007 in Of Mice and Men. That same year, he played the central role of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

Honours and Awards: