By Sebastian C Romero, Assistant Entertainment Editor & Assistant Photo Director
Since The Pulse honored achievements for National Hispanic Heritage month in September and early October, the team decided to do the same thing for National Native American Heritage Month. I’m writing about a famous Native American actress who deserves to be written about and celebrated during this month, and her name is Irene Bedard.
Bedard has played many Native American characters in a variety of films, but she is more known for the voice of the title character in the 1995 animated movie Pocahontas. Bedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 22, 1967, and was primarily raised in Alaska, but also spent a few years as a child in Washington state. Bedard has four siblings, and she’s the oldest among her younger siblings: Leslie, Joseph and David. She graduated from Anchorage’s Dimond High School in 1985, and then she went to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned her Musical Theatre degree.
Bedard’s first role was as Mary Crow Dog in the television production, Lakota Women: Siege at Wounded Knee which depicted the 1970s standoff between police and Native American. Her television roles span around 1995 to early 2020, including Stephen Spielberg’s Into The West, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Longmire, Westworld, and FBI Most Wanted. She also performed in two Stephen King series: The Mist, as the character Kimi Lucero, and 2020’s, The Stand, as the character Ray Rentner.
Bedard’s decades of creative work include singing, theatre, producing television, and making movies. She fosters a passion for many creative disciplines, and she is also a lover and adopter of animals. She was also chosen as one of People magazine 50 Most Beautiful people in 1995.