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.

Vote for Your Favourite Canadian Film & Theater Personalities

 1 

Ryan Reynolds
30
Birthdate: October 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
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.

 2 

Rachel McAdams
16
Birthdate: November 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, Canada

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.

 3 
Ryan Gosling
(Famous for His Roles in the Movies 'Notebook', 'La La Land' and The Big Short')

Ryan Gosling
12
Birthdate: November 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, Canada

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.

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 4 
Nina Dobrev
(Actress)

Nina Dobrev
17
Birthdate: November 12, 1980, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sofia, Bulgaria

Nina Dobrev is one of the most popular Canadian actresses. Apart from her acting career, she is also known for her activism and charity work. She uses her fame to support several charitable causes, such as Puma’s Project Pink. Also an enthusiastic volunteer, Dobrev takes part in social movements like WE movement, Me to We, and We Day.

 5 
Elliot Page
(Actress)

Elliot Page
14
Birthdate: February 21, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada

Despite not being from a family of actors, Ellen Page was exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age. Beginning her acting career at the age of ten, she quickly became a popular performer and went on to appear in many critically acclaimed films and TV shows. A feminist, she also identifies as an atheist. She is a vegan.

 6 
Keanu Reeves
(Television actor, Film actor, Actor, Film producer, Film director, Singer, Voice actor, Musician)

Keanu Reeves
79
Birthdate: September 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

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.

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 7 
John Candy
(Actor, Comedian)

John Candy
8
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
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 
Cobie Smulders
(Best Known for Her Role as 'Robin Scherbatsky' in 'How I Met Your Mother' )

Cobie Smulders
13
Birthdate: April 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

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.

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 9 

Hayden Christensen
10
Birthdate: April 19, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

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.

 10 
William Shatner
(Famous for His Portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the 'Star Trek' Franchise)

William Shatner
10
Birthdate: March 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

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.

 11 
Seth Rogen
(Actor, Comedian and Filmmaker)

Seth Rogen
18
Birthdate: April 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

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.

 12 
Dan Levy
(Actor)

Dan Levy
7
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Best known as David Rose from Schitt's Creek, Dan Levy, the son of actor Eugene Levy, is an Emmy-winning Canadian actor, who has also been a writer, producer, and director. He came out as gay at 18 but only made it known to the media in a 2020 interview.

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 13 

Catherine O'Hara
20
Birthdate: March 4, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Primetime Emmy-winning Canadian-American actor and comedian Catherine O'Hara soared to fame with the sketch-comedy show SCTV. She is known for her frequent appearances in the films of Tim Burton and Christopher Guest. She is the sister of singer Mary Margaret O'Hara and is herself a fairly decent singer.

 14 
Eugene Levy
(Actor, Comedian)

Eugene Levy
21
Birthdate: December 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada

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.

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 15 
Sandra Oh
(Actress)

Sandra Oh
15
Birthdate: July 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada

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.

 16 

Brendan Fraser
8
Birthdate: December 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

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 

Will Arnett
8
Birthdate: May 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

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.

 18 

Cory Monteith
7
Birthdate: May 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada
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 

Evangeline Lilly
6
Birthdate: August 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Saskatchewan, Canada

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.

 20 
Matthew Perry
(Portrayed Chandler Bing on the TV Sitcom 'Friends')

Matthew Perry
12
Birthdate: August 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States

Matthew Perry gained worldwide popularity for playing the character of Chandler Bing on the television sitcom Friends. The sitcom ran from 1994 to 2004 and remains one of the most popular ones till date. He also starred in other television series and a number of films. He has had issued with vicodin, methadone, amphetamines and alcohol addiction.

 21 
Shay Mitchell
(Actress)

Shay Mitchell
6
Birthdate: April 10, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mississauga, Canada

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.

 22 
Norm MacDonald
(Stand-up comedian)

Norm MacDonald
6
Birthdate: October 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada
Died: September 14, 2021
Norm Macdonald began by writing for Roseanne. He then soared to fame as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and became famous for his deadpan style of comedy. His other ventures include the podcast Norm Macdonald Live and the shows The Norm Show and Norm Macdonald Has a Show.

 23 

Elisha Cuthbert
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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.

 24 
Kiefer Sutherland
(Played Lead Role in TV Series '24')

Kiefer Sutherland
7
Birthdate: December 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 25 
Phil Hartman
(Former Member of the Comedy Group 'The Groundlings' and 'Saturday Night Live', Co-writer of 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure')

Phil Hartman
6
Birthdate: September 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
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.

 26 

Christopher Plummer
8
Birthdate: December 13, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
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.

 27 

Nathan Fillion
7
Birthdate: March 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

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.

 28 
Anna Paquin
(Actress)

Anna Paquin
8
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada

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.

 29 
James Cameron
(Filmmaker)

James Cameron
6
Birthdate: August 16, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kapuskasing, Canada

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.

 30 
Emily VanCamp
(Actress)

Emily VanCamp
6
Birthdate: May 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Port Perry, Canada

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.

 31 

Michael Cera
6
Birthdate: June 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brampton, Canada

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.

 32 

Katheryn Winnick
9
Birthdate: December 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada

Canadian actor Katheryn Winnick is best known for her multiple award-nominated performance as Lagertha in Vikings. Fans also loved her as Hannah Burley in Bones and as Christine "C.G." Gavin in Wu Assassins. She has guest-starred in numerous projects and has also appeared in many short films.

 33 

Finn Wolfhard
19
Birthdate: December 23, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

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.

 34 

Donald Sutherland
8
Birthdate: July 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint John, Canada

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.

 35 
Rick Moranis
(Actor, Comedian)

Rick Moranis
10
Birthdate: April 18, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

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.

 36 
Neve Campbell
(Actress)

Neve Campbell
10
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guelph, Canada

Neve Campbell impressed fans with her performance as Sidney in the Scream franchise. She is also known for her roles in the series Party of Five and House of Cards and the film Wild Things. A trained ballerina, Neve is mostly seen in films of the thriller or horror genre.

 37 
Kim Cattrall
(Actress)

Kim Cattrall
6
Birthdate: August 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

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.

 38 

Stephen Amell
8
Birthdate: May 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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.

 39 

Tommy Chong
7
Birthdate: May 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
Tommy Chong is best known for his marijuana-themed comedy albums and films of the Cheech & Chong series, in collaboration with Cheech Marin. He was seen as Leo on That '70s Show. He supports legalization of cannabis and is a NORML board member. He has faced many legal issues, too.

 40 
Kristin Kreuk
(Actress)

Kristin Kreuk
10
Birthdate: December 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

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.

 41 

Carrie-Anne Moss
4
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burnaby

 42 
Mike Myers
(Actor)

Mike Myers
6
Birthdate: May 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Scarborough, Toronto, Canada
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.  

 43 

Taylor Kitsch
5
Birthdate: April 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kelowna

Taylor Kitsch is a Canadian model and actor. Having played important roles in popular films like Battleship and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Taylor Kitsch serves as an inspiration to many aspiring actors as he managed to establish himself despite suffering from childhood problems, such as the separation of his parents at the age of one.

 44 
Sarah Chalke
(Actress)

Sarah Chalke
6
Birthdate: August 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada
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.

 45 

Leslie Nielsen
5
Birthdate: February 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Regina, Canada
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.

 46 

Jennifer Tilly
5
Birthdate: September 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Jennifer Tilly is an American actress whose performance as Tiffany Valentine in the popular horror slasher film series, Child's Play, established her as an icon within the horror film community. Also a popular poker player, Jennifer Tilly became the first celebrity to triumph in a World Series when she won the World Series of Poker bracelet.

 47 
Dan Aykroyd
(Actor & Comedian)

Dan Aykroyd
6
Birthdate: July 1, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Dan Aykroyd is a Canadian comedian, actor, musician, and filmmaker. He is credited with co-founding the popular blues and soul revivalist band The Blues Brothers along with legendary comedian John Belushi. The Blues Brothers was conceived as a musical sketch for Saturday Night Live; its popularity turned it into an actual band and was later made into a film.

 48 
Jacob Tremblay
(Child Actor)

Jacob Tremblay
18
Birthdate: October 5, 2006
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia

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.

 49 
Stana Katic
(Actress)

Stana Katic
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada

Stana Katic is a Canadian-American actress known for playing Kate Beckett on the crime-comedy-drama TV series Castle. Apart from acting in films and TV series, Katic also works toward protecting the environment; in 2010, she established the Alternative Travel Project, which encourages people to abandon personal vehicles for a day to reduce the impact of personal vehicles on the environment.

 50 
Missy Peregrym
(Actress, Model)

Missy Peregrym
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Canadian actor and former model Melissa Peregrym is best known as Andrea "Andy" McNally from Rookie Blue and as Haley Graham from the film Stick It. Fans also loved her in her Streamy Award-winning role in the web series Cybergeddon. She collaborated with TOMS to provide shoes to the underprivileged.