JULY 22, 1967


Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Bedard, whose Inuit name means “Someone Who Dropped,” is also of Cree ancestry.  After high school, she attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and studied Musical Theatre.  Irene achieved notice playing “Suzy Song” in the 1993 film Smoke Signals.  On TV, in 1994, Bedard played “Mary Crow Dog” in Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee.  She is best known as the voice of (and physical model for) “Pocahontas” in Disney’s 1995 animated film and 1998 sequel.  She was also chosen in 1995 as one of People magazine’s ’50 Most Beautiful People.’  In 2005, she played Pocahontas’ mother in the film The New World and was also in the TV mini-series Into the West.  In 2012, Bedard co-founded “Sleeping Lady Films” & “Waking Giants Productions”-production companies focused on positive & inspirational stories from Indian Country.  In the 2017 music video for Family Feud (a Jay-Z song), she plays a Co-President of the U.S. in the future.

Source:  “Irene Bedard: Inupiaq-Cree Actress,” AAANativeArts.com.  Retrieved 5/30/2020, https://www.aaanativearts.com/irene-bedard-inupiaq-cree-actress
Photo:  fossilmike, 6/2/2007.  Permissive Use.

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