Our beloved Jacques Godin was a giant among actors. And the love we feel for him was as big as the man. He appeared on our screens soon after television entered our living rooms. And he stayed there throughout his life, moving seamlessly between comedy and drama. Whether on radio, in film, on television, or at the theatre, the great Godin appeared in almost 230 productions, his acting ranging between powerful and sensitive.
To say that he marked the cultural landscape is an understatement. Because he cannot have merely marked the landscape when he was such a huge swath of it.
His simple-minded giant in Des souris et des hommes has gone down in Québec television history, touching the hearts of many generations that were deeply moved by the empathy and humanity of his performance.
And he brought to life hundreds of characters on the boards and on the screen with the same passion and depth: from the title role in Radisson to his Ben Ducresson in the first version of Des belles histoires des pays d’en haut, the tyrannical millionaire in Sous le signe du lion, the old man with Parkinson’s disease in La dernière fugue, En attendant Godot,La Cerisaie, O.K. Laliberté, and La Donation.
An outstanding actor, his soul shone through in every one of his roles, good guy or bad guy, happy or sad, as very few had managed before him.
Jacques Godin was so passionate about his art that he wanted to keep acting forever. And we have every reason to believe Jacques Godin is hard at work in the heavens. If he thought competition would be stiff up there, down here we know that his acting will shine among the stars.
“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. Credit : Radio-Canada (1971)
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec’s artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.