Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor

The Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor was awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television from 1980 to 1983, for the best performance by non-Canadian actor in a Canadian film.[1]

The award and its Foreign Actress companion were frequently criticized both by actors and film critics — Canadian actor Christopher Plummer criticized the distinction in his Best Actor acceptance speech at the very first Genies ceremony, and Jay Scott called them "loathsome", dubbing them "the Colonial Category", in a 1982 article in The Globe and Mail.[2]

The awards were discontinued after the 4th Genie Awards.[3] Initially, non-Canadian actors were simply barred from being nominated in acting categories at all,[3] but beginning with the 7th Genie Awards non-Canadian actors instead became eligible for the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and/or the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.[3]

Winners and nominees

Year Nominee Film
1st Genie Awards
George C. Scott The Changeling
Michael Douglas Running
Bill Murray Meatballs
Will Sampson Fish Hawk
Rod Steiger Jack London's Klondike Fever
2nd Genie Awards
Jack Lemmon Tribute
Bruce Dern Middle Age Crazy
Burt Lancaster Atlantic City, U.S.A.
Brett Marx The Lucky Star
Rod Steiger The Lucky Star
3rd Genie Awards
Alan Arkin Improper Channels
Guy Boyd Ticket to Heaven
Robert Carradine Heartaches
Rémi Laurent The Plouffe Family (Les Plouffe)
John Savage The Amateur
Tom Skerritt Silence of the North
4th Genie Awards
Richard Farnsworth The Grey Fox
Grand Bush Hard Feelings
Bruce Dern Harry Tracy, Desperado
Jeff Goldblum Threshold
Ron Perlman Quest for Fire
Jean Yanne A Day in a Taxi (Une journée en taxi)


  1. Maria Topalovich, And the Genie Goes To...: Celebrating 50 Years of the Canadian Film Awards. Stoddart Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7737-3238-1.
  2. Jay Scott, "Canadian films do Jekyll and Hyde act". The Globe and Mail, February 27, 1982.
  3. "Genie rules changed to include Americans". Toronto Star, October 9, 1985.
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