Monique Mercure

Marie Lise Monique Émond CC GOQ (14 November 1930 – 16 May 2020), better known as Monique Mercure ([mɔ.nik mɛʁ.kyʁ]), was a Canadian stage and screen actress.[1][2] She was one of the country's great actors of the classical and modern repertory. In 1977, Mercure won a Cannes Film Festival Award and a Canadian Film Award for her performance in the drama film J.A. Martin Photographer.

Monique Mercure

Marie Lise Monique Émond

(1930-11-14)14 November 1930
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died16 May 2020(2020-05-16) (aged 89)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
EducationCégep de Saint-Laurent
Years active1947–2020
(m. 1949; div. 1958)

Early life and educationEdit

Mercure was born Marie Lise Monique Émond in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Eugene and Yvonne (née Williams) Emond. Her parents enrolled her as a young child in diction, tap dancing, musical theory and cello classes. She married composer Pierre Mercure in 1949. The couple had three children;[3] their daughter Michèle also worked as an actress, most notably in the films Kid Sentiment and A Scream from Silence (Mourir à tue-tête).[4]

Mercure studied music and dance before studying theater at St. Lawrence College, Ontario. In 1960 she held her first major role in replacing an actress in The Threepenny Opera.[5]


At the 1977 Cannes Film Festival Mercure won the award for Best Actress for the film J.A. Martin Photographer.[6] She won the Canadian Film Award for Best Actress at the 28th Canadian Film Awards for the same film that same year.[7]

In 1978, she received a Canadian Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 29th Canadian Film Awards for The Third Walker.[8]

Mercure was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1977. She was subsequently promoted to Companion seventeen years later in 1994.[9]

At the 4th Genie Awards in 1983, Mercure was a Best Actress nominee for Beyond Forty (La Quarantaine). She won a Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 for her role as Fadela in Naked Lunch. In 1999, she won another Best Supporting Actress Genie for her role as Grace Gallagher in Conquest.[10]

Mercure received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement,[11] the Prix Denise Pelletier,[9] and the Prix Gascon Roux du Théâtre du Nouveau Monde.[12] The University of Toronto conferred an honorary doctorate on her in 1998.[9] In 2006, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.[13]


Mercure died on 16 May 2020, at a palliative-care centre in Outremont, Montreal. She was 89, and had been suffering from throat cancer.[9] News of her death was first announced by her daughter Michèle,[14] who was at her bedside.[5] Messages of condolence were conveyed by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec premier François Legault, and Montreal mayor Valérie Plante. Trudeau praised Mercure for how she "helped promote Quebec cinema beyond our borders", adding that "her legacy will live on through her work".[9][15]


  1. ^ "Monique Mercure". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Monique Mercure". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed 27 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Michèle Mercure". British Film Institute. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b Donahue, Yannick (17 May 2020). "L'actrice Monique Mercure s'est éteinte". Radio Canada International. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 May 2020. (in French)
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: J.A. Martin Photographer". Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Tributes pour in for award-winning Quebec actress Monique Mercure". Powell River Peak. The Canadian Press. 17 May 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Four films nominated for Etrogs". The Globe and Mail, 24 August 1978.
  9. ^ a b c d e Schwartz, Susan (17 May 2020). "Montreal's Monique Mercure dies at 89 after 60-year acting career". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  10. ^ Biography Archived 29 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 27 August 2015.(in French)
  11. ^ "Monique Mercure biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Le prix Gascon-Thomas à Monique Mercure". Radio Canada International. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2020. (in French)
  13. ^ "2006 New Fellow Citations" (PDF). Royal Society of Canada. 9 January 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  14. ^ Morin, Stéphanie; Boulanger, Luc (17 May 2020). "La comédienne Monique Mercure s'éteint à 89 ans". La Presse. Montreal. Retrieved 17 May 2020. (in French)
  15. ^ Vlessing, Etan. "Monique Mercure, 1977 Palme d'Or Winner, Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter.

External linksEdit