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The snow finally let up, and you know the sun is out when the sidewalks of Montréal are invaded by… well… holiday elves and raindeer (you know, just the usual same old, same old…) 🙂 (and no… the pic is not of Marina Orsini, unless you think I look like her… which I don’t! lol 🙂 )
This post is about one of those actresses who has filled some of the best known roles in Montréwood television drama series.
Marina Orsini is currently a radio host of one of Montréal’s more popular easy-listening radio stations, Rouge FM. But she’s better known for her roles in some of the hottest, and highest rated TV drama series of the past 20 years.
One such series was Lance et compte, about a fictitious hockey team and the lives of those associated with the team. The series was aired over the course of two eras… an initial block of seasons on TQS (now Télé-Québec) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then as a come-back series on the TVA network from 2006 to 2012. Its TV viewership rarely dipped below 1,000,000 viewers, and on occasion it would surpass 3,000,000 viewers.
Marina Orsini was also one of the main stars in the TV drama Les filles de caleb which aired on Radio-Canada in the early 1990s (as well as in France). It was about a fictional family’s rural hardships in early 20th century Québec. This program is said to have attracted one of the highest television viewer audiences of all time in Québec, surpassing 3,600,000 viewers (with only La Petite Vie, and Star Académie having garnered more viewers). In France, an average of more than 4,000,000 people followed the series.
I personally was a big fan of her other series; the Radio-Canada drama series Urgence which ran from 1995 to 1997. These were my first couple of years in university and there was a small group of us who would occasionally get together in our university dorm to watch the weekly episodes back in Edmonton. It was set in a Montréal hospital, and featured the dramatic lives of hospital staff.
Orsini also starred in many other television series of varying degrees of success.
In the “Qui êtes-vous?” family history program, she traced her family roots to Italy, the US, Ontario and Scotland. This was one of the episodes of the program which, again, debunked the false belief that Québécois and France geneology are synonymous with each other. You can’t get much more Québécois than Marina Orsini, despite her having no French roots. The episode of the program featuring Orsini was particularly touching – her mother was suffering from cancer, and just before her mother passed away, both Orsini and her mother made the on-camera trip to Italy to find their roots – one of the last major mother-daughter moments they spent together.
When Orsini was speaking to Scottish genealogists in the episode, I was surprised to notice that she didn’t have a French accent when she spoke English (she spoke with a Standard English Canadian accent). Only later did I find out that she attended high school in English in Montréal – I found that quite interesting. I’m always impressed when I see people who can effortlessly transcend the linguistic divide in this manner.