Pierre Curzi

A prolific film and television actor for decades, Pierre Curzi's commanding presence onscreen also helped him launch a successful career as a politician in his native Canada. Pierre Curzi was born on Feb. 11, 1946 in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He attended Montréal's Phillippe Aubert de Gaspé Catholic School and St. Lawrence College, before graduating from National Theatre School in 1969. Curzi appeared on numerous television programs, including "Duplessis" (Radio-Canada, 1977) and "Frédéric" (Télé Canada, 1980). He also appeared in Canadian films like "Maria Chapdelaine" (1983) and had one of the lead roles in Denys Arcand's critically acclaimed "The Decline of the American Empire" (1986). Throughout his career, Curzi appeared in more than 50 television serials and films, and received several Genie Awards nominations. He continued to deliver memorable appearances on the small screen, including the historical miniseries "Marguerite Volant" (Radio-Canada, 1996), while maintaining a strong presence on the big screen in films like the highly-anticipated sequel "The Barbarian Invasions" (2003), "Roméo et Juliette" (2005), and "The Age of Ignorance" (2007), which was his last film project before he began a new career in politics. Elected into the National Assembly in 2007 under the Parti Québecois, Curzi became the subject of much scrutiny for his comments on sovereignty, and for endorsing a petition in 2008 against having Beatle Paul McCartney perform as part of Québec City's 400th anniversary celebrations.