Michael Sarrazin (May 22, 1940 – April 17, 2011)[1] was a Canadian film and television actor who found fame opposite Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969).[2][3]

Early life

He was born Jacques Michel André Sarrazin in Quebec City, Quebec, and moved to Montreal, Quebec, as a child. After acting in school plays he landed his first professional role at age 17.[4]


Sarrazin worked on television productions in Toronto, Ontario,[4] and then gained a contract with Universal Studios. His early appearances include The Virginian (1965), the TV film The Doomsday Flight (1966), Gunfight in Abilene (1967), and a starring role in The Flim-Flam Man (1967) with George C. Scott. In 1969 he starred in four films, one of them being the dark Great Depression drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. The Sydney Pollack-directed movie earned nine Oscar nominations, with Sarrazin starring alongside Jane Fonda, Susannah York, Gig Young, Red Buttons, and Bruce Dern. He served as a supporting actor in Sometimes a Great Notion (1971). He starred in a string of successes, including the television film Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), the crime caper Harry in Your Pocket (1973), the screwball comedy film For Pete's Sake (1974), and the horror film The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), about a man doomed to die the same kind of death twice. His film career as a leading man in mainstream cinema came to a close with his role in The Gumball Rally (1976), although he was later the lead in the obscure, poorly-reviewed Canadian mystery thriller Double Negative (1980).

He also appeared in Joshua Then and Now (1985), the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Quickening" (1996), and The Outer Limits episodes "I Hear You Calling" (1996) and "The Other Side" 1999. He hosted the April 15, 1978, episode of Saturday Night Live.

Sarrazin was originally cast to play Joe Buck in the drama film Midnight Cowboy (1969); however, he was unable to gain release from a prior contract and the part went to Jon Voight.[5]

Personal life

For seven years (1967–1974) he was in a relationship with actress Jacqueline Bisset, whom he met while making the drama film The Sweet Ride (1968).


Sarrazin died of mesothelioma cancer. According to a family spokesman, his daughters Catherine and Michele were at his side when he died.[1]


See also


  1. ^ a b Actor Michael Sarrazin dies at 70. CBC News, April 18, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "Michael Sarrazin". www.NNDB.com. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Movies". NYTimes.com. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b The Times Obituary p. 67, April 20, 2011.
  5. ^ "Michael Sarrazin". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 

External links