Famous Canadian Film & Theater Personalities

The film and theater industry in Canada reflects a rich diversity of regional and cultural identities. Theater began developing in Canada in the 17th century with the Annapolis Basin in Nova Scotia serving as the cradle for both French and English language theatre in the country. Canadian theater saw rapid growth in the late 19th and early 20th century when Martha Allan spearheaded the Canadian Little Theatre Movement. During the same time, cinema also emerged in Canada, and former newspaper reporter James Freer went on to become a Canadian film-making pioneer. During the later part of the 20th century, Canada producer several significant theater and film personalities such as James Cameron who is not just a film maker, but also an inventor, engineer, philanthropist, and deep-sea explorer. Famous theater personalities of the late 20th century include Bill Glassco who is credited with introducing the English-speaking world to the plays of Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay. In the contemporary era, Colleen Murphy is a prominent, multiple award winning screenwriter, film director and playwright. Hannah Moscovitch is also a well-know name, often hailed as “Canada’s Hottest Young Playwright”. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Canadian film & theater personalities.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves
31
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, Lebanese

The star of John Wick, Speed and The Matrix films, Keanu Reeves has displayed his wide range as an actor, time and again. The humble Canadian actor has also famously given away his money to recognise the work of crew and to enable the production team to hire good actors.

 2 Sunny Leone

Sunny Leone
76
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian, Indian, American

In 2010, Sunny Leone was named among 12 top porn stars by Maxim magazine. After a flourishing career in the porn industry, Sunny Leone settled in India where she is currently popular as a film actress. Her journey from a porn actress to a successful Bollywood personality is viewed as an inspirational story by many young women across the world. 

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 3 Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian
The charismatic Canadian-American actor and film producer, Ryan Reynolds is best known for his work in Deadpool, Green Lantern and The Proposal. The talented star, who was once named by People magazine as the Sexiest Man Alive, has also featured in a music video, acted in a web series, lent his voice to animation films and successfully ventured into business.

 4 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian, American

Canadian American actor, Jim Carrey worked as a janitor and a stand-up comedian at club and on stage before entering films and television. His big Hollywood break came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which catapulted him to comedy star status. His later films like The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty proved his versatility and won him critical and commercial success.

 5 Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling
0
Birthdate: November 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

Ryan Gosling began his career as a child actor and gained recognition as an adult after starring in the commercially successful film, The Notebook, in 2004. Half Nelson, The Ides of March, The Big Short, La La Land and Blade Runner are some of his other popular films. He is also a musician and his band is called Dead Man's Bones.

 6 Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams
5
Birthdate: November 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

Best known for her comedic and romantic film roles, Canadian actress Rachel McAdams is a very popular figure in Hollywood. Rising to fame in the 2000s, she has worked in many critically acclaimed movies. A socially responsible person, she believes in leading a lifestyle that is eco-friendly and sustainable. She is actively involved with several charities.

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 7 John Candy

John Candy
0
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian
Died: March 4, 1994

John Candy was an important Canadian comedian and actor. In 2006, he was honored by Canada Post as he was featured on a postage stamp. Also a sports enthusiast, Candy was the co-owner of Toronto Argonauts, a football team that participates in the Canadian Football League. Under his ownership, the team won the 1991 Grey Cup.

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 8 Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard
6
Famous As: Actor, Musician
Birthdate: December 23, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian

Best known as Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things, SAG Award-winner Finn Wolfhard has also appeared in It and its sequel. He was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Calpurnia and formed the indie-pop duo The Aubreys. Named to Forbes 30 under 30, he has also directed a short film.

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 9 William Shatner

William Shatner
2
Famous As: Actor, Producer
Birthdate: March 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian actor, William Shatner, is best known for his roles in the television series Boston Legal, a legal drama for which he won two Emmy Awards and Star Trek, a science fiction adventure. He has also worked in many other sitcoms and films and has authored a number of science fiction novels. He is a singer and a spoken-word artist too.

 10 Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland
0
Famous As: Actor, Director, Producer, Voice Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian, British

The son of famous Canadian actors, Shirley Douglas and Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland followed in his parents' footsteps to become a famous actor. Apart from being a respected and decorated actor, Kiefer is also one of the controversy's favorite children, having been on the wrong side of the law several times.

 11 Cobie Smulders

Cobie Smulders
5
Famous As: Actress, Model
Birthdate: April 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

Cobie Smulders is one of the most recognized celebrities across the world, thanks to her role as Robin Scherbatsky in one of the most popular TV series of all time - How I Met Your Mother. She also serves as an inspiration to people suffering from cancer as she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 25 years old.

 12 August Ames

August Ames
30
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 23, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian
Died: December 5, 2017
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 13 Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 19, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian actor, Hayden Christensen, is best known for his role of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. However, many critics panned his acting in both the films. Shattered Glass, Awake, Jumper, Outcast, First Kill and The Last Man are some of his other notable films.

 14 Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen
0
Famous As: Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Producer, Director
Birthdate: April 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian, American

Canadian actor Seth Rogen established himself as a bankable and popular comic actor when he starred in Hollywood films Knocked Up in 2007 and Funny People in 2009. His other notable films are Steve Jobs, The Interview, Like Father, Long Shot and An American Pickle. He is active in raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease and is an open marijuana user.

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 15 Catherine O'Hara

Catherine O'Hara
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 4, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Canadian, American

 16 Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian, American

Brendan Fraser is the quintessential comical action hero of Hollywood. As a result of the stunts performed by him in movies, he has had to undergo many surgeries, including a laminectomy and partial knee replacement. He is also a successful amateur photographer and serves on the board of directors for a non-profit humanitarian organization called FilmAid International.

 17 Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Canadian

A Canadian-American actress of Asian descent, Sandra Oh became the first Asian actress to win two Golden Globe awards and the first Asian woman to host the award ceremony. She is also the third actress of Asian origin to host the TV show, Saturday Night Live. In 2019, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 18 Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian
Died: July 13, 2013

A talented young man whose life was snatched away too soon, Cory Monteith was a Canadian actor, singer, and musician who rose to fame after playing a role in the TV show ‘Glee.’ Despite being a great actor, he had a troubled life involving substance abuse and alcoholism that eventually caused his death at the age of 31.

 19 Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Canadian

Donald Sutherland is arguably the greatest Canadian actor of all time. In an illustrious career, that spans over more than five decades, Sutherland has played an influential role in both Canadian and American entertainment industries. He won an Academy Honorary Award in 2017 for his immense contribution to cinema. He is the father of actors Kiefer, Rossif, and Angus Sutherland.

 20 Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman
0
Famous As: Actor, Voice Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: September 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian, American
Died: May 28, 1998

Phil Hartman was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He is credited with helping Paul Reubens develop his famous character, Pee-wee Herman, as part of his contribution to the popular comedy group The Groundlings. After he was murdered in 1998, Hartman was honored with several awards. In 2015, Rolling Stone named him one of the greatest Saturday Night Live cast members.

 21 Mike Myers

Mike Myers
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian
Canadian actor Mike Myers is best known for his American Comedy Award-winning performance as Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember in the Austin Powers franchise. Mike, an Officer of the Order of Canada, is also known as the voice of Shrek and has directed an award-winning documentary.  

 22 Dan Levy

Dan Levy
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

 23 Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis
5
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter & Musician
Birthdate: April 18, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

Rick Moranis is one of the most popular Canadian artists to make it big in the American film industry. Best known for playing father characters in children's films like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Rick proved to be a great father off-screen as he took a long break from his career to take care of his children, after the death of his wife.

 24 Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, Indian

 25 Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay
5
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: October 5, 2006
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Canadian

Jacob Tremblay has gained considerable fame as a child actor for his award-winning performance as Jack Newsome in the Academy Award-nominated film Room. He has also appeared in in Before I Wake, Wonder, and Good Boys. He voiced Flounder in The Little Mermaid and Blue Winslow in The Smurfs 2.

 26 Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

Evangeline Lilly is a Canadian actress who has played prominent roles in films like Ant-Man and the Wasp. Also a well-known humanitarian, Lilly has made numerous trips to Rwanda, where she has touched the lives of many, as part of her charity work. She has also worked with nonprofit organizations like GO Campaign and supports Task Brasil and Sierra Club.

 27 Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian, British

Popular as Samantha Jones from the hit series Sex and the City, Golden Globe-winning actor Kim Cattrall found it difficult to recreate the same magic on screen, barring her performance in the 2014 comedy Sensitive Skin. Her comeback with the Fox series Filthy Rich in 2020 was commendable.

 28 Emily VanCamp

Emily VanCamp
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

Emily VanCamp is a Canadian actress best known for playing Sharon Carter / Agent 13 in superhero films like Captain America. Trained in tap dance, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, VanCamp believes that she would have continued dancing had she not gone into acting. She also credits her training in dance with helping her through her action sequences in films.

 29 Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian, New Zealander

Anna Paquin is a New Zealand-Canadian actress. She started her career as a child actress and became the second-youngest winner in the history of the Academy Awards when she won an Oscar at the age of 11 under the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance as Flora McGrath in Jane Campion's 1993 period drama film The Piano.

 30 Shay Mitchell

Shay Mitchell
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian

Shay Mitchell is a Canadian actress, entrepreneur, model, and author. She came into prominence after portraying Emily Fields in the teen drama TV series Pretty Little Liars. Also a philanthropist, Mitchell was an ardent supporter of the Somaly Mam Foundation until the non-profit organization ended its operations in 2014. She also works closely with organizations, such as The Trevor Project.

 31 James Cameron

James Cameron
0
Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: August 16, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian film director, producer, and screenwriter James Cameron is best known for making science fiction and epic films. He is the co-founder of the production companies Lightstorm Entertainment and Digital Domain. Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012. He is also an environmentalist.

 32 Elisha Cuthbert

Elisha Cuthbert
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian
Elisha Cuthbert is best known as Kim Bauer from 24, Darcie Goldberg from Old School, and Danielle from The Girl Next Door. She was a foot model at 9. Her other notable projects include the remake of House of Wax, The Ranch on Netflix, and Happy Endings on ABC.

 33 Steve-O

Steve-O
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 13, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian, British, American

British-born American comedian and TV personality, Steve-O, gained international fame with his performance stunts in the TV series Jackass. Following a nomadic childhood, he graduated from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and began his career as a clown. He eventually started appearing on TV shows and became popular.

 34 Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian
Died: February 5, 2021

Arguably the best Canadian actor of all time, Christopher Plummer is the only Canadian and one of the few actors to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting (winning Emmy, Tony, and Academy Award). He won the Academy Award at the age of 82, becoming the oldest person to do so. Not surprisingly, he is the most respected actor in Canada.

 35 Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen
0
Birthdate: February 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian, American
Died: November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen was a Canadian actor who played more than 220 characters, appearing in over 150 television programs and 100 films in a career that spanned 60 years. In the latter part of his career, he gained recognition as a comedian and went on to become one of the most popular Canadian comedians of his generation.

 36 Tara Strong

Tara Strong
0
Famous As: Voice Actor
Birthdate: February 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian, American
Tara Strong has voiced countless animated characters, such as Dil Pickles in Rugrats, Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, and Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony. She has also voiced for video games such as Mortal Kombat X. She now runs VoiceStarz, a company that helps people build careers in voice-acting.

 37 Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian

Kristin Kreuk is one of the most popular actresses from Canada. After establishing herself as a successful actress in both American and Canadian entertainment industries, Kristin Kreuk was made the spokesmodel for Neutrogena's new worldwide advertising campaign.

 38 Corey Haim

Corey Haim
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Canadian
Died: March 10, 2010

Corey Haim was one half of the popular duo The Two Coreys. He became an icon during the 1980s, thanks to his success as an actor. Despite achieving success early in his life, he was troubled by financial issues and drug addiction problems throughout his career. He eventually died of pneumonia at the age of 38.

 39 Will Arnett

Will Arnett
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian, American

Will Arnett is widely regarded as one of the most handsome and best-looking comedians of all time; he has been named in lists like Top 15 Sexiest Nerd Boys and The 20 Hottest New Faces in Comedy. Famous for his smooth baritone voice, Will is also a popular voice actor. In 2019, he became a Canada Walk of Fame inductee.

 40 Eugene Levy

Eugene Levy
11
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Producer, Director
Birthdate: December 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Canadian

Mainly known for his comic roles, Canadian actor Eugene Levy has had a career spanning over six decades, with Splash, Father of the Bride, Waiting for Guffman, American Pie and American Pie 2 being some of his memorable films. He has also acted in television and found success with the hit series, Schitt's Creek. He is also a writer and director.

 41 Mena Massoud

Mena Massoud
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 17, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, Egyptian

 42 Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian, American
Sarah Chalke is best known for her roles of Stella Zinman in How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Elliot Reid in Scrubs, and Becky in Roseanne. She voiced Beth Smith in Rick and Morty. After losing her grandmother and aunt to breast cancer, she started spreading awareness about the disease.

 43 Nora Fatehi

Nora Fatehi
5
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: February 6, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian

Nora Fatehi is a popular figure in the Indian film industry. Although born and raised in Canada. Nora has worked in Malayalam, Telugu, and Hindi language films. She was part of one of the highest-grossing Indian films ever - Baahubali: The Beginning. Apart from appearing in films, she has also made a mark in the TV industry.

 44 Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke
0
Famous As: Actor, Songwriter, Composer, Television presenter, Voice actor, Comedian
Birthdate: March 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Canadian
Died: December 13, 2016

 45 Emily Hampshire

Emily Hampshire
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 29, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian

Emily Hampshire is one of the most popular actresses from Canada. During Telefilm Canada's maiden Tribute To Canadian Talent event in 2012, Emily was honored with the first Birks Canadian Diamond award. Identifying herself as pansexual, Emily Hampshire got engaged to transwoman Teddy Geiger, only to end their engagement after seven months. In 2014, she became a naturalized US citizen.

 46 Stephen Amell

Stephen Amell
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

Stephen Amell is a Canadian actor who contributed to the commencement of the popular American media franchise The Arrowverse by portraying Oliver Queen / Green Arrow on the superhero television series Arrow. Also a well-known philanthropist, Stephen Amell has hosted several fundraising campaigns to benefit charity organizations, such as Fuck Cancer, Stand For The Silent, and Paws and Stripes.

 47 Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian, American

Nathan Fillion is a Canadian-American actor who came into prominence after playing Malcolm Reynolds in the TV series Firefly. His popularity and style prompted public artist, Martin Firrell, to choose Fillion as his subject for two works of public art. Fillion is also credited with co-founding a non-profit organization, Kids Need to Read, along with author PJ Haarsma.

 48 Michael Cera

Michael Cera
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian

Michael Cera is best known for his award-winning roles in Arrested Development, Superbad, and Juno. He has played voice roles, too. His work in theater earned him a Tony nomination. He has also toured as a bassist with an indie rock group and has released an album, True That.

 49 Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

 50 Robbie Amell

Robbie Amell
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Canadian

Robbie Amell is a Canadian-American actor who became a US citizen, along with his wife Italia Ricci, after moving to Los Angeles. Also a producer, Robbie has played an important role in many Canadian film productions. An ice hockey enthusiast, Robbie is currently a fan of the Los Angeles Kings, although he supported the Toronto Maple Leafs while growing up.