Born in Montreal, Quebec, back in 1969, Yannick Bisson landed his first significant television role at the age of 15 when he played the part of Spear Kozak in Hockey Night. Since then, the Canadian actor has gone on to establish himself as a pivotal figure in the country’s entertainment sector. So, let’s take a look at Bisson’s career.
Murdoch Mysteries and his move into directing
Having found his feet on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s television network in 1984, the now 50-year-old actor went on to have an active role in several Canadian productions. Although he has featured in a wide array of different shows, Bisson is most well-known for being the main protagonist in the award-winning series, Murdoch Mysteries.
Premiering back in 2008, the drama has been running for 13 seasons, but reports suggest that the much-loved Canadian series is set to return to screens for another season in the future. Crucially, the show’s longevity has, at the time of writing, provided Bisson with his longest-active role throughout his career in television. Playing Detective William Murdoch, the Canadian recently reached 200 episodes in a production that has, by the actor’s own admission, become part of modern-day Canadian culture. It’s a testament to Bisson’s leading role in the now 12-year-old series that he claimed the Canadian Screen Awards Fan’s Choice Award in 2016, while the show itself received the Golden Screen Award for the most-watched drama in both 2017 and 2018.
Although the Murdoch Mysteries star is widely recognized for his on-screen contributions to the show, the series’ success gave him the foundation to broaden his horizons within the industry. During the fourth season, Bisson used his abilities on the other side of the camera to direct six episodes so far. Furthermore, his contributions to Canadian television, including his roles in Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy, Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye, and The Adventures of Napkin Man!, as well as Murdoch Mysteries, resulted in him being given the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists’ Toronto Award of Excellence in 2017 for his continued dedication to the industry.
The Canadian’s growing role within the film industry
During the early years of his career, Bisson only sporadically played roles in films. However, shortly before the turn of the new millennium, the award-winning actor landed a role in Velocity Trap, where he played the part of Franklin J. Robinson. Although the film didn’t reach the heights of other titles that were released in the same year, such as Fight Club and The Blair Witch Project, it did provide the Canadian actor with his first serious film role.
Eleven years after the release of Velocity Trap, Bisson was cast in Casino Jack as Oscar Carillo, alongside Barry Pepper, Kevin Spacey, Rachelle Lefevre, and many more. The comedy-drama, which is a true-to-life tale centred around the career of Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist and businessman from Washington, generated a box office total of $1.1 million upon release. Essentially, the movie acquires its title from Abramoff’s cunning plan against casino owners for his own sizeable financial gain. In reality, while casinos are legal throughout Canada, including online casinos where players have a wide choice of games, they are only available under strict supervision and when in line with the country’s implemented legislation.
Following Casino Jack, Bisson’s most recent venture into film came in the 2017 Canadian comedy horror movie, Another WolfCop. The title varies in genre to some of the previous workings that the 50-year-old has been a part of, with it offering light-hearted, gory entertainment as opposed to real-life tales of corruption.
Bisson has become an icon of Canadian television
Ultimately, there can be no doubt that Bisson is more than worthy of his Award of Excellence, given how much he has contributed to Canada’s entertainment industry. Aside from being the focal point of one of the country’s most iconic shows, the actor’s dedication has resulted in him being cast along some of the world’s biggest stars, which is a testament to his career success.