Burns was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was nominated three times for a Gemini Award for her performance as Shakespearean diva Ellen Fanshaw in Slings and Arrows, and won twice: in 2006 and 2007. A decade earlier, Burns won the 1996 Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Burns is a founding member and a former associate director of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company, a company that includes a number of theatre veterans from the Stratford Festival. She has also performed leading roles at Stratford, the Shaw Festival, the National Arts Centre and the Tarragon Theatre, to name just a few. She was nominated five times for a Dora Mavor Moore Award and won twice: in 1986 for The Miracle Worker and in 1984 for Trafford Tanzi.
As associate artistic director at Soulpepper, Burns headed up its extensive youth outreach program. Earlier in her career, she founded the Toronto Arts for Youth Association and was a co-founder of another youth theatre project in Toronto, Masterclass Theatre. She has also worked as an instructor for the theatre programs at George Brown College and Ryerson University. In 2005 she was honored for her career in the theatre with the Barbara Hamilton Award.
Burns lives in Toronto with her husband, the actor Paul Gross, and their two children, Hannah and Jack.
Pooling resources; Swimming school owner Martha Burns is the Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year.(BUSINESS)
Sep 17, 2003; Byline: Larry Werner; Staff Writer CORRECTION PUBLISHED 09/18/03: An item listed at the end of this article incorrectly said...