February 18, 2017

Irene Bedard, Iñupiaq-Cree Actress


Irene Bedard (born July 22, 1967) is a Native American actress who has played many Native American characters in a variety of films. She is perhaps best known for her voice role as the title character in the 1995 animated film Pocahontas.

Irene BedardBedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and is the daughter of an Inupiat Eskimo and a French Canadian/Cree (Metis). Only 5 feet tall, her family nickname is Peanut. Her Inupiat name is Goodiarook, which means “someone who dropped.”

Her first role was as Mary Crow Dog in the television production, Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, which depicted the 1970s standoff between police and Native Americans, many of the Pine Ridge Reservation, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

She then starred in Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale (1994) before landing the voice job as Pocahontas.

Irene Bedard has played voice over roles in cartoons, TV, movies, video games and more. She is probably best known as the voice of the heroine in the Disney animated film Pocahontas and its direct-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. Bedard was also the physical model for the character.

She appeared in a different take of the story in Terence Malick’s 2005 film The New World, as Pocahontas’s mother, Nonoma Winanuske Matatiske.

Bedard attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied Musical Theatre.

In 2005, she was cast in the television mini-series Into the West, portraying the half-Lakota, half-white adult Margaret “Light Shines” Wheeler.

Irene Bedard is known for bringing a powerful emotional presence to her characters. She was chosen in 1995 as one of People magazine’s ’50 Most Beautiful People.’

Irene was married to singer Deni Wilson in 1993. They had a son, Quinn Wilson who was born in 2003.

In November 2010, it was revealed that Bedard was being sexually and physically abused by Wilson throughout their marriage, taking her earnings and forbidding her to work in her career field, unless he specifically approved the project, as said by her niece Alia Davis. The couple eventually divorced in 2012.

Irene Bedard’s Native American production company, Sleeping Lady Films, announced it has secured the rights to the novel, “Two Old Women,” by Velma Wallis, (Gwich’in Athabascan). It will be filmed in both English and Gwich’in.

Two Old Women; an Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival” is based on an Athabascan legend from the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska. The story is a shocking, suspenseful and ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by the Tribe during a brutal winter famine.

Published in 1993, the book has sold over two million copies worldwide, received numerous awards and is taught in schools in Alaska, Montana and the Northwest Territories. The movie is expected to debut in April 2017.


The Heart Stays (filming)
Aunt Celia

2017 Spreading Darkness
Marci Gippolin
2017 The Mist (TV Series)
Kimi Lucero

– Pequod … Kimi Lucero

2012-2015 Longmire (TV Series)
May Stillwater

– The Calling Back (2015) … May Stillwater
– Miss Cheyenne (2014) … May Stillwater
– Pilot (2012) … May Stillwater

2015 Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Lisa Winters
2014 A Thousand Voices (Documentary)
Narrator (voice)
2014 Ron and Laura Take Back America
Mrs. Alma
2013-2014 From the Mouths of Babes (TV Series documentary)

– Voice Actors on Self (2014) … Herself
– Voice Actors on Life (2014) … Herself
– Voice Actors on Love (2013) … Herself
2013 Bridgewalkers (Documentary) (voice)

2013 Vertical
Lucy Mills
2012 Young Justice (TV Series)
Shelly Longshadow

– Beneath (2012) … Shelly Longshadow (voice)

2012 Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Video Game)
2012 The Beloved Woman
2011 The Tree of Life
2010 American Indian Actors (Documentary short)
2008-2009 The Spectacular Spider-Man (TV Series)
Jean DeWolff

– Probable Cause (2009) … Jean DeWolff (voice)
– Group Therapy (2008) … Jean DeWolff (voice)
– The Invisible Hand (2008) … Jean DeWolff (voice)
– Survival of the Fittest (2008) … Jean DeWolff (voice)
2009 Spider-Man: Re-Animated (Video documentary short)

2008 Turok: Son of Stone (Video)
Catori (voice)
2007 Cosmic Radio
2007 The Red Chalk (Short)
2007 Tortilla Heaven
2007 The Tyra Banks Show (TV Series)
Herself – Guest

– Focus on Race: Are Celebrities Immune? (2007) … Herself – Guest

2005 The New World
Pocahontas’ Mother
2005 Love’s Long Journey (TV Movie)
Miriam Red Hawk McClain
2005 Miracle at Sage Creek
2005 The Making of ‘Miracle at Sage Creek’ (Video)

2005 Remembered Earth: New Mexico’s High Desert (TV Movie documentary)

2005 Into the West (TV Mini-Series)
Margaret Light Shines Wheeler

– Ghost Dance (2005) … Margaret Light Shines Wheeler
– Casualties of War (2005) … Margaret Light Shines Wheeler
– Hell on Wheels (2005) … Margaret Light Shines Wheeler
– Dreams and Schemes (2005) … Margaret Light Shines Wheeler

2005 Higglytown Heroes (TV Series)
Forest Ranger Hero

– Fran Takes a Hike/Mystery at Kip’s House (2005) … Forest Ranger Hero (voice)

2005 Planting Melvin
Billie Lawrence
2004 What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (TV Series)
Cody Long

– New Mexico, Old Monster (2004) … Cody Long (voice)

2003 Edge of America (TV Movie)
Annie Shorty
2003 Greasewood Flat
2003 Paris
2001 The Agency (TV Series)
Diah Siagian

– The Year of Living Dangerously (2001) … Diah Siagian

2001 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Callie Whitehorse Landau

– In the Blood (2001) … Callie Whitehorse Landau

2001 House of Mouse (TV Series)

– Thanks to Minnie (2001) … Pocahontas (voice, uncredited)

2001 Your Guardian
Katherine ‘Kat’ Damon
2000 Pussykat
2000 The Lost Child (TV Movie)
2000 Blood Money (TV Movie)
Naomi Lister
2000 Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles (TV Series)
Gen. Miriam Redwing

– Requiem (2000) … Gen. Miriam Redwing (voice)
– The Court-Martial of Lt. Razak (Clip Show #4) (2000) … Gen. Miriam Redwing (voice)
– Metamorphosis (2000) … Gen. Miriam Redwing (voice)
– Marooned (2000) … Gen. Miriam Redwing (voice)

1999 Pepper Ann (TV Series)

– Dances with Ignorance/Girl Power (1999) … Carol (voice)

1999 Wildflowers
1998 Politically Incorrect (TV Series)

– Episode dated 25 November 1999 (1999) … Herself

1998 6/29 (Short)
Laura Cooper
1998 12 Bucks
1998 Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World (Video)
Pocahontas (voice)
1998 Two for Texas (TV Movie)
1998 Smoke Signals
Suzy Song
1998 Naturally Native
Tanya Lewis
1997 Song of Hiawatha
1997 True Women (TV Movie)
1996-1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues (TV Series)
The Chief’s Daughter / Morning Light / Sharp Eyes

– Perseverance (1997) … The Chief’s Daughter (voice)
– Honesty (1996) … Morning Light / Sharp Eyes (voice)

1997 Wild Flowers
1997 Profiler (TV Series)
Maddy Duvall

– The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1997) … Maddy Duvall

1997 Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (TV Movie documentary)
1996 Navajo Blues
Audrey Wyako
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (TV Series)
Alice Starseer / Old Indian Woman / Young Girl

– Trouble on the Colorado (1996) … Old Indian Woman / Alice Starseer (voice)
– Return of the Anasazi (1996) … Alice Starseer / Young Girl (voice)

1996 Crazy Horse (TV Movie)
Black Buffalo Woman
1996 Grand Avenue (TV Movie)
1996 Pocahontas (Video Game)
Pocahontas (voice)
1995 Pocahontas
Pocahontas (voice)
1995 The Marshal (TV Series)
Melissa Carey

– Twoslip (1995) … Melissa Carey

1995 Disney’s Animated Storybook: Pocahontas (Video Game)
Pocahontas (voice)
1995 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (TV Series)

– Episode #3.370 (1995) … Herself
– Episode #3.362 (1995) … Herself
1995 The Making of ‘Pocahontas’: A Legend Comes to Life (TV Movie documentary)
1994 Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale

1994 Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (TV Movie)
Mary Crow Dog
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