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Tantoo Cardinal
  • Biography

Tantoo Cardinal

Tantoo Cardinal, one of North America's most widely honored and recognized Native actresses, has appeared in numerous plays, television programs and films. After a starring role in her first feature film, Marie-Anne, the Canadian-born actress began to accumulate more than a dozen roles in features including Mustard Bath, Places Not Our Own, Loyalties (for which she won Best Actress at four film festivals), Candy Mountain, Black Robe, Where the River Flows North (earning Best Actress at the American Indian Film Festival) and Sam Shepherd's Silent Tongue, in which she played the title role opposite River Phoenix, Alan Bates and Richard Harris.

Her first supporting role in a major U.S. film came as Blackshawl, the headstrong wife of Kicking Bird (Graham Greene) in the Academy Award-winning Dances With Wolves and alongside Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt in TnStar's Legends of the Fall. Her recent projects include The Education of Little Tree, Postmark Paradise and the Turner Broadcasting film Lakota Woman.

Cardinal began her professional acting career in the CBC dramatized documentary Father Lacombe, a project that lured her into the world of acting. Subsequent television roles confirmed her gift for the craft, accumulating impressive credits in the Canadian TV series North of 60, the Turner Broadcasting telefilm Tecumseh, the PBS documentary Nobody's Girl and in a recurring role on the CBS series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, among numerous other television roles. Cardinal has also hosted documentaries on the struggle of Canadian Indians, including the public television series Native Indians: Images of Reality and As Long As the Rivers Flow.

The stage has also provided a venue for Cardinal's talents, appearing in such Canadian theatrical productions as Uptown Circles Going Home Jessica All My Relations and the U.S. production of Widows at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Tantoo Cardinal Facts

Birth Name Rose Marie Cardinal
BirthdayJuly 20, 1950 (72)
BirthplaceFort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Selected Filmography

Not available.