First appearing on television in the late 1990s, Meredith McGeachie is best remembered while playing Tonya (2004-2006), a lesbian who was engaged to Dana Fairbanks and had a relationship with Melissa Rivers, on Showtime's gay-themed drama series "The L Word." She currently co-stars as Cate Banning on a weekly soap opera shown nationally on the Showcase channel in Canada, "Paradise Falls."
On the big screen, McGeachie garnered positive reviews for her performance in the Canadian boxing film "Punch" (2002), which won her a Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC) Award for Best Supporting Actress - Canadian Film and earned her a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. She also has appeared in the films "Free Fall" (1999), "Three to Tango" (1999), and "Bless the Child" (2000).
Childhood and Family:
"I'm like a shy girl who likes to wear dresses. I don't kiss boys first, I wait for them to kiss me, I'm really shy, and I'm from Winnipeg." Meredith McGeachie.
Born July 5th in Toowoomba, Australia, Meredith McGeachie relocated with her family to Winnipeg, Manitoba, for much of her childhood until she moved to Toronto to go to George Brown Theatre School with scholarships from Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Manitoba Arts Council.
Daughter of teacher parents, McGeachie is an experienced diver. She spent three months training in Mexico.
The L Word
"I thought theater would be the end of the road. It was boot camp,” for the stage, she says. I never considered acting anywhere but the stage. I had no concept of television and film." Meredith McGeachie.
In her final year at school, Meredith McGeachie was spotted by Christopher Newton, the Canadian director and actor and served as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, who offered her a contract for that season.
Meanwhile, McGeachie made her early appearances on television, in an episode of Canadian forensic show "Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science" and Canadian science fiction television series "Earth: Final Conflict," as well as in the made-for-television movies "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" (1998), a biographical drama about athor Jacqueline Susann (played by Michele Lee), and "If You Believe" (1999), a drama starring Ally Walker and Hayden Panettiere.
She also made her first two films in 1999, "Free Fall," an action/drama directed by Mario Azzopardi starring Hannes Jaenicke, Jaclyn Smith, and Hayden Christensen, and "Three to Tango," a romantic comedy helmed by Damon Santostefano starring Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, Dylan McDermott, and Oliver Platt.
Entering the new millennium, McGeachie was cast in Chuck Russell's film adaptation of Cathy Cash Spellman's novel, "Bless the Child" (2000; starring Kim Basinger). She then returned to television to appear in the period romantic drama telepic "Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story" (2000; starring Megan Follows) and in the magical TV movie "Prince Charming" (2001; starring Martin Short and Christina Applegate). She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of Canadian dramatic television series "Da Vinci's Inquest."
Between 2002 to 2004, McGeachie appeared in two episodes of the Canadian/American science fiction television series "Andromeda." During this time, she got her first big break in film, in the Canadian boxing film "Punch" (2002), which was written and directed by Guy Bennett. Acting opposite Michael Riley and Sonja Bennett, McGeachie's performance received praise, winning her a Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC) Award for Best Supporting Actress - Canadian Film, and earning a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
On receiving the role, McGeachie recalled, "When they offered it to me I called my dad and I said 'Dad, there is this amazing character for this totally crazy script that I think I have something to offer, I could tell something about this women. But she is a topless, boxing, pseudo lesbian, maybe a pedophile character. 'I said: 'I shouldn't do it right?' And he said 'why don't you want to do it?' and I said 'cause I am vain and I am afraid.' And he said 'I'll be ashamed if you don't.'"
She also admitted, "I threw up the next day, it was the most horrifying day of my life. It was one day of shooting all the boxing, but I had done all the work and everybody had worked so hard in making this movie, everybody was so talented and trying so hard, it felt like to cop out at that point was doing such a disservice to everybody involved."
Following her first breakthrough, McGeachie joined the cast of Showtime's gay-themed drama series "The L Word" as Tonya, a lesbian who was engaged to Dana Fairbanks and had a relationship with Melissa Rivers.
"I really loved playing Tonya. She was really hated and that was weird and sad." Meredith McGeachie.
During this time, she could be seen in the drama/comedy TV movie "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & Mindy'" (2005), an inside look at the ABC sitcom which turned Robin Williams into a star in 1978.
After her "L Word" contract ended in 2006, McGeachie guest-starred in an episode of the American-Canadian science fiction television program "Stargate: Atlantis" and appeared in the action/sci-fi/thriller TV movie "Nuclear Hurricane" (2007). She currently co-stars as Cate Banning on a weekly soap opera shown nationally on the Showcase channel in Canada, "Paradise Falls."
Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC): Best Supporting Actress - Canadian Film, "Punch," 2003