Canadian actress Alberta Watson was born on March 6, 1956 in Toronto, Ontario. When she was 15 years old, she joined a local theater group, FOG, which was affiliated with a local church. Apart from playing in their productions, she performed in a production of Hamlet. She trained in acting at the then-called Ryerson Polytechnic University and eventually pursued an acting career at age 17.
Watson’s first screen role came when she was just 19, when she got a role in the television movie Honor Thy Father. Her performance in the film In Praise of Older Women earned her a nomination for a Genie Award. She later pursued an acting career in the United States, where she appeared in films such as Spanking the Monkey, Hackers and The Sweet Hereafter. She returned to Canada and played a role in the film Shoemaker, which earned her a second Genie Award nomination.
Watson gained wider recognition amongst audiences when she joined the cast of the action series La Femme Nikita. There she played the role of Madeline, the cold and efficient executive strategist for Section One. She is also in constant conflict with the title character (Peta Wilson) because, although she admires her independent demeanor, she views her as a threat to her control in the organization. During production of the show, she was diagnosed with lymphoma, and as she underwent chemotherapy, the producers adapted to her condition.
In 2004, she joined the cast of the action series 24, where she played the role of Erin Driscoll, the temporary director of the CTU unit in Los Angeles, who fires and rehires Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in its fourth season. Her next regular television role was in the short-lived drama Angela’s Eyes, where she played the mother of the lead (Abigail Spencer), a notorious American spy. Her most recent television role is in the Canadian series The Border, where she plays a recurring role as Minister Suzanne Fleischer.
Growing Op (2008)
The Border (2007) ... as Suzanne Fleischer
A Lobster Tale (2006) ... as Martha Brewer
24 (2005) ... as Erin Driscoll
The Prince and Me (2004) ... as Amy Morgan
Puppets Who Kill ("Bill Sue's") (2004) ... as Judge
The Newsroom (2004) ... as Susan
1-800-Missing (2003) (pilot) ... Mrs. Mastriani
Irish Eyes (2002) ... as Anne Phelan
Tart (2001) ... as Lily Storm
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) ... as Hansel's Mom/Hedwig Schmitt
La Femme Nikita (1997–2001) ... as Madeline
Deeply (2000) ... as Fiona McKay
The Sweet Hereafter (1997) ... as Risa
Giant Mine (1996) ... as Peggy Witte
Sweet Angel Mine (1996) ... as Megan
"I have mixed feelings about a star system in Canada. I don't think I'd ever want to be a star. I like being a working actor. I live a nice life, I don't live in a huge house but my life is comfortable. I don't need to have a lot. What I would like to see in place of a star system is simply more production. I just want to see actors getting more opportunities."