Mary Walsh Biography

Mary Walsh photo

Born: May 13, 1952


Date of Birth: May 13, 1952

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Mary Walsh was given to her aunt and uncle, who lived next door to her parents, to raise when it was discovered that she had pneumonia at eight months of age. Her parents' home was deemed to be too damp for her to live there. Walsh's first job in show business was working as a summer replacement radio announcer for the CBC. Through that position, she was offered a part in a local play and then joined the Newfoundland Travelling Theatre Company (NTTC), where she worked with Andy Jones, Cathy Jones, Tommy Sexton, Greg Malone, Robert Joy and Dylan Olsen.

Afterwards, she moved to Toronto to take acting at Ryerson, then joined her former NTTC collaborators in a play called Cod on a Stick at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille. The play was such a hit that CBC brought them back to St. John's to record it for radio in 1974. They then named their company Codco (for Cod Company) and toured the play around Newfoundland and Labrador.

Walsh made her TV debut in 1979 starring the CBC mini-series Up at Ours, set in a St. John's boarding house. In 1986, Walsh and the rest of the members of Codco starred in the independent film The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood, written and directed by Andy Jones and Michael Jones. From 1988 to 1993, the Codco members wrote, produced and starred in their own self-titled series on CBC.

During her time on the series, Walsh was also very involved in plays, both writing and appearing in them, as well as making the occasional fim appearance, including Mike Jones' Secret Nation, for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the 1992 Atlantic Film Festival.

When Codco broke up, Walsh created a new show called This Hour Has 22 Minutes for CBC. A satirical take on current affairs, it was a big hit within Canada. Since its 1992 debut, it has not been off the air, winning numerous Gemini and Canadian Comedy awards. Walsh has also won two Gemini awards (one for writing, one for performance) for her new series, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, which debuted in 2005.

Having appeared in feature films such as New Waterford Girl (1999, for which she received a Genie nomination), Violet (2000), Mambo italiano (2003) and Geraldine's Fortune (2004), Walsh decided to step behind the camera with a script she'd co-written-the dark comedy Young Triffie (2007). Walsh also appears in the film as Millie Bishop.

Walsh's most recent onscreen roles are in the comedy How to Be Deadly (2014), the dramedy series Sensitive Skin, and the independent drama Closet Monster (2016).

Walsh has honorary degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Trent University. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000.

Filmography (actor):

Closet Monster (2016)
How to Be Deadly (2014)
The Grand Seduction (2013)
The Love Child (2010)
Crackie (2009)
Young Triffie (2007)
Geraldine's Fortune (2004)
Mambo italiano (2003)
Behind the Red Door (2003)
Violet (2000)
New Waterford Girl (1999)
The Divine Ryans (1999)
Extraordinary Visitor (1998)
The Boys of St. Vincent: 15 Years Later (1993)
Buried on Sunday (1992)
Secret Nation (1992)
The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood (1986)

Filmography (director):

Young Triffie (2007)
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