Born in New York, Babz Chula grew up in NY and LA, the eldest daughter of an amateur actress. Soon after leaving high school she moved to San Francisco, and then travelled to Europe and Africa. Upon returning home she moved to Canada for the first time and began working with Tamahnous Theatre Company, the first alternative theatre company of its kind on the west coast. From there her career organically grew to include performances on TV and in film.
She is considered to be one of Canada’s most accomplished, versatile and daring actors. Known as “Queen of the Indies”, she is a fierce supporter of the independent film scene in Canada, which is evident in her collaboration with Independent film director, Bruce Sweeney. LAST WEDDING marked her third collaboration with Sweeney. Chula was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Performance for Sweeney’s DIRTY, and also starred in his first film, LIVE BAIT. She is winner of several Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, a Leo Award for Best performance by an Actress, a Genie award for IN SEARCH OF THE LAST GOOD MAN, Best Actress at the Atlantic Film Festival and is the recipient of the WOMAN OF THE YEAR IN FILM AND VIDEO award from Women in Film in 2009. Recently, she took home another Best Actress award from the New York Film Festival for her portrayal of Mother in Claudia Morgado’s evocative film, BITTEN. Babz also accepted an award for Best Actress from the VANCOUVER FILM CRITICS in 2007, and won the John Juliani Award for Excellence in 2008.
An accomplished singer, Babz also recorded an album and toured all over the Pacific North West, Canada and Hawaii with her band “Streethearts.”
She has appeared in films such as MY AMERICAN COUSIN and DOUBLE JEOPARDY as well as numerous made for TV movies and TV shows including The Commish, Cold Squad, and as a series regular on MADISON and CBC’s THESE ARMS OF MINE for which she received the Gemini for Best Actress in a continuing role and also starred in Ben Ratner’s MOVING MALCOLM, and in CONNIE AND CARLA DO L.A. alongside Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette.
In 1999, Chula was invited to teach acting for film at Cuba’s prestigious INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF FILM AND TELEVISION in Havana and has recently started directing for theatre and film. She is a story editor and an accomplished drama coach for actors in Canada, New York and Los Angeles.
She played and sang Mrs. Peachum in the Vancouver Opera’s, THREE PENNY OPERA. directed by Morris Panych, and can be seen in SEVEN TIMES LUCKY, with Kevin Pollack, a hit at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and winner of Best Ensemble Cast at the Method Film Festival in Los Angeles. Last Mother’s Day, she starred in Carl Bessai’s indie hit from the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS, which earned her another Best Actress Leo Award.
In the middle of a busy and successful career, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. In 2005, she was diagnosed with a rare and unrelated blood cancer. While undergoing treatment for two different types of cancer, the Babz Chula Lifeline Society for Artists was born.
She died on May 7, 2010, and it was her wish that the society in her name continue to support other artists.