Regina might not be considered a hotspot for international celebrities, but there are several Hollywood stars and celebrity connections with the Queen City. While some of these are household names, others may be a bit unfamiliar. Let’s see how many you know!
You can’t talk about Regina celebrities without mentioning one of Canada’s greatest comedic actors of all time, Leslie “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Nielsen.
Considering himself an outsider, Nielson was worried upon moving to New York that his background would “discovered”, and he would be “shipped back to Canada”. By 1950 however, his fears were dismissed when he appeared in 46 TV programs within a single year.
Nielsen is best known for his roles in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Airplane! (1980), The Naked Gun series (1988–1994), and Scary Movie 4 (2006) where he acted alongside Regina-born actress Beverley Breuer.
The slapstick star sadly passed away on November 28, 2010.
Photo credit: Alan Light (Wikipedia)
Yes. Deadpool is actually from Regina.
Biographers often dispute the origins of Wade Wilson with some believing his father to either be Slade Wilson or Loki Odison. For decades, it was believed Wilson was born in Vancouver, but in 2016, he admitted he was from Regina.
Did you know that before he became a star, Wilson had been dismissed by the Canadian military in his early twenties, and had joined the CIA and trained in Morocco and Japan for several years? Upon moving to the United States, he made cameo appearances in the X-Men and Spiderman animated series. Then in 2016, he landed a major role in Deadpool, and Deadpool 2, in 2018.
Photo credit: Matthew Barton (Rebellion Brewing Co)
It isn’t every day the future is born, but on April 19, 1948, Maye Musk, best known as mother to visionary engineer and businessman, Elon Musk, was born (as a twin) in the Queen City. At two, Musk moved to South Africa with her family where she would fly around the world in a prop airplane with her parents. Maye was a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa beauty competition, and an international model for over 50 years. As she got older, she would spend a decade living in the Kalahari Desert, searching for the Lost City of Kalahari.
Musk married in 1970, and in 1971, gave birth to Elon Musk, the creator of Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla and the Hyperloop.
Maslany was born in the Queen City on September 22, 1985. Her teenage years were busy ones, split between attending Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School and working as an actor all across Canada. Upon graduation in 2003, she moved to Toronto to pursue acting full time.
The versatile Maslany has appeared in over 30 films, including The Vow (2012) and The Other Half (2016). She is best known however, for her lead role in the hit TV series Orphan Black (2013-2017).
Maslany has won a Primetime Emmy Award, a TCA Award and to Critic’s Choice Television Awards and a Golden Globe. She’s a superstar, and from the YQR.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (2016 Comic Con San Fransisco)
William Henry Pratt
Better known for his stage name as Boris Karloff, Willian Henry Pratt arrived in Regina in June of 1912. Karloff is best known for his work in the horror-genre, particularly his role in Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Old Dark House (1932), and The Black Cat (1934).
Days after arriving in the Queen City, the acting troupe he was travelling with broke up and he was left jobless. Before he could find a new job, the city was struck by Canada’s deadliest tornado. With a city in ruin, Pratt found a job by the recovery efforts. He worked for several months rebuilding the city before moving to Minot to pursue his career.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Born in 1892 England, Bird started filmmaking at an early age. After travelling the world, he settled in Regina and shot footage for the opening of the Albert Street Memorial Bridge and the 1935 Regina Riot.
In 1928 Bird opened Bird Films, which continues to operate to this day.
Bird also started a CKCK radio program “Camera Trails” and created his own magazine “The Camera Trailer”. Together, these brought the subject of nature photography to the attention of the province.
In 1952 Bird became a photographer for Walt Disney Productions along with his wife. Together they lectured and taught about nature, travelling to Harvard, the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institute.
Bird passed away in 1986.
This one is a stretch, but there is a strong connection between the Queen City and the King of Rock and Roll.
Known world-wide for his music, films and shaky legs, Elvis is one of the greatest performers of all time. His fan base was loyal and timeless, and in 2005 a Regina woman named Kathleen Lorch did something to memorialize The King, and ensure he lived on in the city.
After years of amassing a collection of Elvis memorabilia, Lorch opened the Elvis Presley Museum. This museum is unlike anything else in the world, holding the most extensive collection of Elvis collectibles imaginable. Lorch even went so far as to create her own replication of Elvis’ Tupelo house. The house is to-scale, with relics of a typical mid-1930s home that Elvis would have grew up in.
Although there is little chance The King ever visited the Queen City, Lorch’s museum is testament to the one of most popular celebrities to have ever existed.
Other celebrities that have a strong Regina connection are Passchendaele’s Alex Arsenault, SpongeBob SquarePants’ Kyle McCulloch, The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun, and Bonnie Baker, the inspiration behind A League of Their Own.