Louise Portal was a Genie Award-winning actress, singer, author, playwright, and lecturer from Quebec, best known to international audiences for her role as Diane Leonard in 1986's "The Decline of the American Empire" and 2003's "The Barbarian Invasions," the first two films in Denys Arcand's ensemble drama trilogy of verbose Quebecois intellectuals. Born as Louise Lapointe on May 12, 1950 in Chicoutimi, she was one of five children to author Marcel Lapointe (pen name Portal), and in her youth she and her artistically-inclined siblings would do comedy and music shows on their roof and later in primary school. Having already participated in amateur theatre with the likes of Marie Tifo and Rémy Girard, she was accepted into the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Montreal in 1969. Her screen acting career began with the Michel Faure-created soap opera "La p'tite semaine" (Radio-Canada, 1973-76) and included strong notices for such work as "Cordélia" (1980), "Sous-sol" (1996), "Full Blast" (1999), "L'odyssée d'Alice Tremblay" (2002), "Heading South" (2005), and "Un ange à la mer" (2009). A singer and author, she released several albums and books, including <i>Pauline et moi</i> (2015), a memoir about her late twin sister, the actress Pauline Lapointe.