Karen LeBlanc is a multi-talented performer whose credits span film, television and stage. She could also be described as a mover and a shaker. A mover because her career has taken her from one end of the country to the other and back again. A shaker because part of her career was spent as a singer. She sung backup in touring rock bands like the Glass Tiger, soloed with orchestras, and starred in a Tina Turner tribute show. If you know anything about Tina Turner, that`s where the shaking comes in.
As for moving, LeBlanc transferred to Vancouver from Toronto in late 2008 when she was cast in the first season of Defying Gravity, a sci-fi series launched by CTV, ABC, the BBC, and Germany’s ProSieben network. Production began in that city on January 19, 2009.
Back in Toronto she played a Jamaican-born hospital worker suffering from sickle-cell anemia in Nurse.Fighter.Boy. Interviewed about her role, LeBlanc said, “When I read the script, I thought, ‘Can I do something this sad?’ I mean, there would be hours spent in a hospital bed.” The feature was directed by Charles Officer, who cowrote the script with producer Ingrid Veninger. It was Officer who convinced LeBlanc that the movie would be more energetic than that.
LeBlanc is on the record for being thankful she was offered the part despite her initial misgivings. She was named Best Actress for her role in Nurse.Fighter.Boy at the Atlantic Film Festival, in 2008. The film also brought an Actra Award nomination for Best Actress, in 2009 as well as a Genie Award nomination for Best Actress in 2009 for the same film.
She has played cops, doctors, and sports wives in shows as varied as Shattered, Defying Gravity, ReGenesis (for which she was nominated for a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Actress), Runaway, This Is Wonderland, Playmakers, Trailer Park Boys, Saving Hope and many, many others.
A small sampling of her stage credits includes lead roles in the Canadian Stage production of Outrageous and the Mirvish Productions’ Rent. And as previously mentioned, LeBlanc entertained audiences around the world as ‘Tina Turner’ in the Legends In Concert production, which lead to her on-screen portrayal of ‘Young Tina Turner’ in the short-lived series The Playboy Club.
LeBlanc appeared in the 2012 AMAA Award (Best Diaspora Feature) Nominated film High Chicago and played the role of Inspector Diane Caligra on the CBC series Cracked, which was shot in Toronto. More recent TV appearances include playing Josephette in five episodes of Frontier and playing Amy in eight episodes of the 2018 series Insomnia.
In early 2022 it was announced that Leblanc would play one of the key roles as Vanessa King in the 2022 series The Kings of Napa, a shot in Canada U.S. series Executive Produced by Oprah Winfrey for her OWN Network.
Also see: Karen LeBlanc’s filmography.
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