A force of nature known as Monique Mercure died on the weekend.
Even though she would have turned 90 this November, it’s difficult to fathom.
For if anyone appeared indestructible, it was Monique Mercure.
Likely speaking for everyone who ever knew her, Canada Council for the Arts director Simon Brault spoke to Radio-Canada about Mercure on Sunday.
“No one resisted Monique Mercure. There was no door that did not open. There was no heart that did not open. Because Monique had an incredible presence and determination. It could be sharp at times. It could be hurtful at times. But she was extremely generous, extremely professional. I think it’s a huge loss.”
Mercure died peacefully on Saturday at Maison St-Raphaël, a palliative-care centre in Outremont, of throat cancer, her daughter, Michèle, at her side.
She could do it all--theatre, film, television, in French and English, and–most important–deliver whatever a director desired.
“What I’m going to take from Monique is this ability to go both to the darkest areas of human nature and the funniest, most sarcastic,” Brault told Radio-Canada.
Of the more than 100 roles she performed, Mercure is best known for playing Marcel Sabourin’s strong-willed wife in Jean Beaudin’s J.A. Martin Photographe.
Her performance earned her best actress awards at both the 1977 Cannes Film Festival and The Canadian Film Awards.
Much to her many friends’ chagrin, she never really followed up her success at Cannes by pursuing an international career.
Instead, she stayed in Canada, working in theatre, film and television.
And laughing a whole lot.
For if there is one thing Monique loved to do as much as act, it was to laugh.
I was lucky enough to be in her presence more than a few times when she shared it.
It was open and genuine–like the lady herself.
With files from CBC News, Radio-Canada, The Canadian Press