Tantoo Cardinal Biography

(Actress and Founding Member of the ‘Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company’)

Birthday: July 20, 1950 (Cancer)

Born In: Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Rose Marie Cardinal, popularly known as Tantoo Cardinal, is a Canadian actress, who has worked in film, television and theatre. She is known for her roles in movies such as ‘Dances With Wolves’, ‘Black Robe’ and ‘Smoke Signals’. She has also won several honors throughout her career, including a Gemini Award, a Canadian Screen Award for Lifetime Achievement and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award. She is also a member of the order of Canada. She was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018. Other than acting, she is also known for her environmental activism.

Quick Facts

Canadian Celebrities Born In July

Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Fred Martin (m. 1968 – div. 1976), John Lawlor (m. 1988 – div. 2000)

children: Cheyenne Martin, Clifford Cardinal, Riel Cardinal

Born Country: Canada

Actresses Canadian Women

Tantoo Cardinal’s career began with an important role in the Canadian drama film ‘Marie-Anne’, which released in 1978. It was a biopic about Marie-Ann Lagimodiere, the first European woman to settle in Western Canada. Her next important work was in the Canadian-British film ‘Loyalties’, which was directed by Anne Wheeler. Cardinal’s role of Rosanne Ladouceur won her the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
She made her television debut in 1984, with a significant role in the TV series ‘Spirit Bay’. She next appeared in a few television films as well. They include ‘Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge’ (1987), ‘Lightning Field’ (1991) and ‘Spirit Rider’ (1993). In 1990, she had a supporting role in the epic Western film ‘Dances with Wolves’, which was directed and produced by Kevin Costner. The film was also a big hit.
In 1991, she played an important role in the film ‘Black Robe’, which was directed by Bruce Beresford. She appeared in several important films throughout the 90s, such as ‘Silent Tongue’ (1993), ‘Mustard Bath’ (1993), ‘Legends of the Fall’ (1994), ‘The Education of Little Tree’ (1997) and ‘Smoke Signals’ (1998). She also had recurring roles in the TV shows ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’, and ‘North of 60’.
Between 2003 and 2006, she had a main role in the Canadian drama series ‘Moccasin Flats’. It aired for three seasons, and Cardinal appeared in all three seasons. She was also seen in the 2004 series ‘Windy Acres’. In 2002, she had a supporting role in the drama film ‘Edge of Madness’. Directed by Anne Wheeler, it was based on a short story titled ‘A Wilderness Station’, which was written by Alice Munro. In 2006, she was seen in the Canadian film ‘Unnatural & Accidental’. She also continued to appear in several television films such as ‘A Thief of Time’, (2004), ‘Luna: Spirit of the Whale’ (2007), and ‘Dear Prudence’ (2009).
Between 2012 and 2015, she was seen in a recurring role in the TV series ‘Blackstone’. In 2017, she had a supporting role in the Netflix original series ‘Godless’. Some of her recent works on the big screen include ‘Wind River’ (2017), ‘Falls Around Her’ (2018), ‘Hold the Dark’ (2018) and ‘Red Snow’ (2019).
Family & Personal Life
Tantoo Cardinal was born on 20th July 1950, in Anzac, Alberta, Canada. She was the youngest of the three children. Her father left the family when she was less than two months old. Her mother Julia Cardinal also passed away after some time. She was therefore raised by her grandmother.
Tantoo Cardinal has been married twice. From 1968 till 1976, she was married to Fred Martin. They had one son, Cheyenne. Later in 1988, she got married a to John Lawlor. The couple divorced in 2000. The couple had one child, a daughter named Riel.
She also had a relationship with actor Beaver Richards. They have one son named Clifford.

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