American actress best known for her portrayal of Native American acters in a variety of films. Bedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Her heritage is Inupiat Eskimo Métis.
Irene Bedards first role was as Mary Crow Dog in the television production Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, which depicted the 1970s stoff between police Native Americans at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. While many of her films are historically accurate, she is probably best known as the voice of the main acter in the Disney animated film Pocahontas. Bedard was also the physical model for the acter. She appeared in a different take of the story in the 2005 film The New World, as Pocahontas mother.
In 2005 she was cast in the television mini-series Into the West, portraying the half-Lakota, half-white adult Margaret "Light Shines" Wheeler.
Though physically small (she sts 5 feet ? inch ), Irene Bedard is known for bringing a powerful emotional presence to her acters. She was chosen as one of People magazines 50 Most Beautiful People for 1995.
Since 1993 she has been married to singer Denny Wilson.