St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Claim to Fame
In Praise of Older Women
Actor/Actress, Director, Producer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Helen Shaver (born February 24, 1951) is a Canadian actress and film and television director. Shaver was born and raised in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, a small city located near London, Ontario, with five sisters. As a child she suffered from chronic rheumatic fever and between the ages of five and twelve was forced to spend six months of each year in bed or in hosptials, which she has said fostered her introspective side. She later attended the Banff School of Fine Arts (as a teenager) and studied acting at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. After roles in such Canadian features as Outrageous! (1977), Starship Invasions (1977), Who Has Seen the Wind (1977) and High Ballin’ (1978), Shaver won a Canadian Film Award as Best Lead Actress opposite Tom Berenger (for her performance as "Ann MacDonald") in In Praise of Older Women (1978). She has since worked with such directors as Sam Peckinpah, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma.
In 1985, Shaver appeared in the film Desert Hearts as a 1950s university professor who falls in love with another woman. Her performance, as well as realistic love scenes with co-star Patricia Charbonneau, drew critical praise and Shaver won the Bronze Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival. Another prominent film performance during that time came in 1986 as the love interest of Paul Newman in his Oscar-winning portrayal of "Fast Eddie Felson" in The Color of Money, directed by Scorsese (a sequel to 1961`s The Hustler). In 1980, Shaver starred with Beau Bridges in the short-lived Fox TV series "United States" developed by Larry Gelbart. The series broke sitcom molds by looking at edgy issues and not necessarily resolving conflicts. In 1990 she guest-starred as the murderer in Columbo: Rest In Peace, Mrs. Columbo, and has since appeared on such television shows as Hill Street Blues, T. J. Hooker and as the title character of the short-lived series Jessica Novak. From 1996-1999, Shaver co-starred on the TV series Poltergeist: The Legacy, playing Dr. Rachel Corrigan, a widowed psychiatrist with an 8-year-old daughter who is helped by the Legacy in the pilot episode. In 2000, she won a Genie Award for her portrayal of a drug-addicted prostitute in the independent feature We All Fall Down
Shaver has also turned to directing, making her feature-length directorial debut in 1999 with Summer`s End. The film went on to win an Emmy. Shaver has also directed a number of television shows and cable movies, including The Outer Limits, Judging Amy, Joan of Arcadia, Medium, The OC, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The L Word, Jericho, Journeyman, Private Practice, and Crusoe. In 2003, she won a Gemini award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series for the Just Cause television series. In 2004, Helen Shaver was inducted into Canada`s Walk of Fame. Shaver dated screenwriter Stephen C. Peters, and is currently married to Steve Smith, the kep grip she met during the filming of Desert Hearts. They have a son, Mackenzie.
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Helen Shaver (born February 24, 1951) is a Canadian actress and film and television director. She has received Emmy- and Saturn Award nominations, among other honours.
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