Name: Erica Durance
Occupation: Actress, Producer
Birth Date: June 21, 1978 (age: 34)
Place of birth Calgary, AB, Canada
Grew up on a turkey farm in a small town
called Three Hills, AB, Canada
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Height: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)
Eye color: Hazel/Green
Husband: David Palffy
Born in Calgary on June 21, 1978, Erica Durance, who’s both an American and Canadian citizen, was raised on a turkey farm along with her older brother and sister in Three Hills, a small town few miles away from Calgary. Erica has stayed true to her roots and remained grounded. Her parents, Joel and Gail taught her the importance of strong family bonds, “They have a very strong work ethic. I’ve never seen two people work harder in my life and also have a strict code of honor and integrity. When it comes down to it, your most important asset in life is your family. I’ve been blessed.”
Erica has always stood out from the crowd from an early age. Kathy Covert, her voice and acting coach at Prairie Bible College, has fond memories of her, “She was a little star the first time I met her. Even in the fourth grade, she lit up a room. She still does that, totally apart from her industry persona. No matter what she does and doesn’t do, people are going to love her regardless. It’s been like that since she was little.”
Music has always been part of Erica’s life. She grew up surrounded by Classical, Country, and Gospel music and was trained as a classical singer from childhood. She travelled and went to festivals, sang in choirs, and performed in amateur musicals. Apart from the joy that this experience has given her, Erica treasures the important values she has learned during this special period in her life, “I learned about discipline, that nothing absolutely nothing worth having comes easily, and I learned to laugh at myself, which is always beneficial.”
The little star grew up and saw her dreams start to become a reality miles away from Three Hills. After graduating from high school, in 1999, Erica moved to Vancouver to pursue her interest in acting professionally. The idea was to start small, compared with Los Angeles, to see where the road leads.
In Vancouver she started out with background work, before moving to numerous national and international commercials and guest-starring roles, which opened doors to more substantial roles. She continued studying acting for four years at Yaletown Actors Studio with her husband and acting coach, actor David Palffy, who she has been married for 12 years.
Durance lived in Los Angeles for awhile before landing the role of Lois Lane on “Smallville”, but ironically she got the part after she moved back to Vancouver, which led her to believe that “even though you must establish industry ties in Los Angeles and be available for castings, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live there.” Determined not to close any doors, Erica, who lives in Vancouver, also keeps an apartment in Los Angeles.
Her passion and dedication towards her work is one of her most recognized traits. She takes her work very seriously and is often the first person to get to the studio and the last one to go home. She never seems interested in money or fame but rather the work itself. Erica does a lot of stunt work a lot of other actresses wouldn’t do. She does whatever it takes for her craft, even if it means that she has to overcome her personal fears. There were times where she had to conquer her fear of water to shoot her scenes, all in the name of art. Her colleagues have always had nothing but great things to say about her and she is often described by them as “hardworking”, “compassionate”, “accessible”, “professional”, “egoless” and “kind”. “My Dad and Mom always said that whatever you are given to do, invest one hundred percent of yourself and treat those around you with respect, so I guess that must be rubbing off on me! For that I am very glad.”
Forget about all the hype commonly attributed to the celebrity actors’ lives, this doesn’t suit Erica’s personality. She is very private and has an innate ability to separate celebrity from reality and even considers herself an introvert, “I am not someone who is comfortable being at the center of too much attention. At work I’m very positive and upbeat because that’s part of my process. Afterwards I return home to a more relaxed, introverted me.”
Thankful for everything she has, Erica is an easy going person who enjoys simple things, “We’re all a product of our upbringing and I spent a lot of time living in a small town and that’s still a part of who I am.” She loves to meditate, walk/jog along the ocean, yoga, work out, stay at home losing herself in a great novel (she is a voracious reader!), and anything that includes being surrounded by her family and friends. Travelling is one of her favorite hobbies. Whenever her hectic schedule allows for it, she travels with her husband, David, whether on board a Harley Davidson to Whistler or abroad to a romantic gateway in Europe.
Erica plans on having kids, but for now all her attention is focused on her 13 year old stepson who she really adores and always refers to as her son, “My son is one of those kids who is very competitively involved in sports which keeps me busy yelling support on the sidelines.”
Playing Lois Lane on “Smallville” for seven years was certainly the big break of her career. It gave her a certain amount of exposure and celebrity status but above all a positive opportunity to work, learn and grow, something that she will always be grateful for. “It’s an experience I will cherish always and never forget. Lois is a beloved character. I took that seriously and put my heart and soul into her for seven years. I enjoyed every minute and am forever changed by it.”
Lois Lane has increased her notoriety significantly, long overdue for someone who has dedicated herself and worked hard to pursue her dreams and career.
Erica made her onscreen acting debut in the 2002 horror movie “The Untold”, known as “Sasquatch” in the United States. In the film she plays Tara Knowles, the daughter of billionaire Harlan Knowles, played by actor Lance Henricksen. Subsequently she landed roles in “Devil Winds” (2003) and the unsold pilot “111 Gramercy Park” (2003). Still in 2003 acclaimed television director David Nutter (“X-Files”, “Smallville”, “Supernatural”, “Chase”) met her in an audition and immediately signed her with Warner Bros.
In 2004 she guest-starred on various shows including, “The Chris Isaak Show” (playing ‘Ashley’); “Tru Calling” (opposite Eliza Dushku, as a contestant in a beauty pageant) as well as the Canadian show “The Collector”. She also landed guest spots on popular shows such as “Andromeda”, and “Stargate SG-1” but the best was yet to come. In this same year Erica landed the much-coveted role of Lois Lane in the WB’s hit show “Smallville“. “Imagine this small town girl entering the lot at Warner Bros and being in awe of all the cinematic history,” she recalls the day of her audition “I remember leaving the studio excited, yet numbed by the possibility of becoming the next Lois Lane when considering all the amazing actresses who had auditioned.”, she continues, “I remember being at LAX later that day, leaving for a flight back to Vancouver, and while I was browsing for a new book, my manager called to say I’d gotten the part. It was a surreal moment like falling into a trance. After a few seconds, I woke up, hugged David, danced crazily around the airport, and called my sister. Then anxiety and panic set in, when I realized I was starting on Monday. I can’t believe that was 7 years ago. It seems like yesterday.”
On the series, she played Lois as a street-smart, tough young woman who bonds with the Kent family. Over the years, Erica garnered praises for her spot-on portrayal being described by many as one of the best live action interpretation of the character. Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve movies, gave Erica the ultimate compliment “I just think that Erica’s work is absolutely fabulous and psychologically more nuanced than what we were doing. She hit it out of the park”.
Although she was originally brought on for four guest appearances at the start of season four, the producers were so thrilled with her character that they brought her back for nine more episodes, before making her a series regular in the following seasons (with a 13 episodes contract). At the San Diego comic con in July 2009, executive producer, Kelly Souders, announced that Erica’s episode count would be increased to 18 episodes for the series’ 9th year; Subsequently she snagged a full season contract, starring for the first time as a series regular in 22 episodes, in the tenth and final season of “Smallville”, a perfect closure for someone who embodied Lois Lane perfectly and made the role her own.
Over the years she has kept herself busy with other roles “As opportunities arise, if they are interesting, I’ll go after them” she once said. In 2006, Erica landed the role of Julie Miller in the movie “The Butterfly Effect 2”.
In 2007, she starred in the TV comedy movie “I Me Wed” where she plays a thirty-something woman named Isabel Darden, who decides to marry herself in protest, to pressure to find a man to marry from friends and family. In 2009, Erica worked on three projects, “Final Verdict”, “Beyond Sherwood Forest” and “The Building” expanding her acting portfolio with different acting ranges.
After 7 years, 2011 has seen Durance complete her stint on “Smallville” as Lois Lane and at the same time guest star in one episode of the ABC show remake of “Charlie’s Angels.”
In the summer of 2012, Durance got the part of Dr. Alex Reid, the lead role in the CTV medical drama “Saving Hope”, where she’s also a producer. The series also stars Michael Shanks (“Stargate SG-1”) and Daniel Gillies (“The Vampire Diaries”).
The series has given CTV its largest audiences this summer, earning an average of 1.7 million viewers sealing a second season for 2013 as well as an additional order of five episodes, giving it a total of eighteen episodes.
On a professional and personal level; from the projects she takes on, to her down to earth personality, charisma, sense of humor and kindness towards her fans, as well as her eloquent interviews, Erica continues to charm and inspire fans around the world. To imagine that this is just the beginning makes her journey all the more enthralling.