Arlene Duncan was born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, of Jamaican/Canadian heritage. Her mother came to Canada as a young girl from Jamaica, and her great-grandfather had escaped from slavery in the U.S., walked to Canada from Maryland and settled in Oakville four generations before. As far as her mother is concerned Arlene started performing when she was three. She loved to sing and dance along with an old record of the musical South Pacific that she was 'gonna wash that man right out of her hair'. Soon she was cooing along with Diana Ross & the Supremes on the Ed Sullivan Show, and from then on music and performing were as naturally as breathing . As a singer, actress, and songwriter, her career has taken her on a journey to Europe, the U.S., across Canada, and as far north as the Arctic. She travelled south to New Zealand, representing Canada in the PACIFIC SONG FESTIVAL where she won the Artistic Merit Award for her performance. Later the following year from Canada, she hosted the show 'live' via satellite to eight countries along the Pacific Rim. Arlene also headlined the Canadian Armed Forces---'Northern Entertainment Tour' to the Arctic, Gooseberry and Bosnia-Hertzigovina. This year she performed at the Stratford Summer Music Festival in a well received tribute to COLE PORTER. This exciting concert series was later broadcast as a two hour special by CBC RADIO TWO.

Her theatrical credits include:

A RAISIN IN THE SUN, THE CLUB, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, LEADER OF THE PACK, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, SERIOUS TO SYNCOPATED - A TRIBUTE TO DUKE ELLINGTON, RAVEL & DEBUSSY, THE EVOLUTION OF JAZZ, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, and the Dora Award winning productions of NUTMEG PRINCESS, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', and The Who's TOMMY.

Her film and television credits include:

HARRIET TUBMAN in the GEMINI nominated musical docudrama SING OUT FREEDOM TRAIN, EARTH FINAL CONFLICT, FX the Series, THE DuMAURIER WORLD STAGE, LEAP YEARS, ENSLAVEMENT: The True Story of Fanny Kemble, SESAME STREET, TREE HOUSE TV, ELECTRIC CIRCUS, LITTLE MEN, and the recurring roles of VANESSA MARKS in the SHOWTIME T.V. series SOULFOOD and MRS. BROWN on the CBC series DROP THE BEAT .

Arlene was a winner and later co-host of the DuMaurier Search for Stars. Later she was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Black Music Awards, BLAC 1994 Female Vocalist of the Year-- Hall of Fame Award Winner for Dance/House Music and received an ACTRA nomination for her performance in the CBC television special: ALL FOR ONE.

Arlene has sung jingles for: McDONALD's, PEPSI, HOSTESS, and TOYOTA to name a few, performed in various commercials and has written and recorded for POPULAR RECORDS and CONTRABAND/WARNER MUSIC.

She is also proud of her work as vocal director for SUITE LIFE, a special multi-disciplinary work for the stage at THE HARBOURFRONT CENTER & YOUNG PEOPLE'S THEATER performed by up and coming young performers, as well as her children's voice workshops with the CABBAGETOWN COMMUNITY CENTER.

Arlene continues to write and record her music, act for film and television and perform on stage. Her most recent projects include the role of JANINE EBERHARD in the new T.V. series 1-800-MISSING starring Gloria Reuben, the remake of the THE MUSIC MAN starring Matthew Broderick, Victor Garber and Kristin Chenoweth, and the role of LILY in the DISNEY/HANDMADE FILMS production of ELOISE at CHRISTMASTIME starring JULIE ANDREWS as the ultimate nanny and young SOFIA VASSILIEVA as the legendary 6 year old of the KAY THOMPSON storybooks.

 
 

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WHAT'S NEW!

Arlene will be performing in the lead role of CHARLOTTE in the origional drama HEAVEN by CHERYL FOGGO. (click on the link in the title for more info) It will be aired on CBC RADIO's SUNDAY SHOWCASE during Black History month on February 9, 2004. It is the first in a 7 week series of documentaries, musicals, dramas and poetry, honouring African-Canadian heritage.

She finished off 2003 and began 2004 at the LORRAINE KIMSA THEATRE in the 25th anniversary production of the MORDECHAI RICHLER classic JACOB TWO-TWO and THE HOODED FANG. Going into its second season, Arlene can also be heard as the recurring character of BETTY PARKER on the CBC RADIO mystery series THE OLD GUY . (Click on the link in the title for audio & interactive info!)

If you weren't in the audience for the live tapings at the GLEN GOULD STUDIO in Toronto, you will still be able to experience 'GEORGE ELLIOT CLARKE--EASTCOASTING' March 21 & 22 2004 at 2:00 & 8:00 pm., as part of the new WORDS & MUSIC series on CBC RADIO. Starring Phil Akin as poet George Elliot Clarke and Arlene Duncan as The Muse, under the musical direction of Joe Sealy it has been called a "...soul-soothing soup of poetry, acting and music..." Toronto Star (Click on the link in the title for more info or cbc.ca to listen directly thru your computer!)

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