Home Cast Members Joan Orenstein

Joan Orenstein


B: December 4, 1923 in London, England
D: October 10, 2009 in Nova Scotia

Joan Orenstein began life as Joan Travell and was a highly respected Canadian theatre actress who performed lead roles on many of the nation’s stages from coast to coast, including the Centaur Theater, National Arts Center, Neptune Theater, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theater, Theater Calgary, Manitoba Theater Center, Vancouver East, and the Shaw Festival. Her work in film and television though less prolific was also highly regarded. She first appeared in the classic Canadian sit-com King of Kensington in 1978. In 1997, Orenstein was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Genie for her work in The Hanging Garden as a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease. She won the Atlantic Film Festival Award for Excellence in Acting for that role. Six years later she once again won the Atlantic Film Festival Award for her cameo performance in The Event as the sharp-tongued mother to a lawyer played by Parker Posey. Midway through her career she suffered an accidental fall that left her blind in one eye but quickly resumed her work using a glass eye. About twenty-five years later, in the fall 2004, Orenstein had another accidental fall that left her completely blind. In 2005 Orenstein was awarded the David Renton ACTRA Award of Excellence for her distinguished career.

Also see: Sarah Orenstein.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Charlie Grant’s War (TV-1984)
Murder Sees the Light (TV-1986)
Without Work: Killing Time (1988)

Henry & Verlin (1994)
Never Too Late (1997)
The Hanging Garden (1997)
Recipe for Revenge (TV-1998)

Baba’s House (2002)
Hunger Point (TV-2003)
The Event (2003)
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion (TV-2003)

TV Series – Cast:
Evergreen (1985, mini-series)
Emily of New Moon (1998)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
King of Kensington (1978)
Seeing Things (1985)

The Hanging Garden, movie poster