Actor / Singer / Entertainer, Toronto, Ontario. Born: Oakville, ON.
Arlene Duncan is an acting, singing, and songwriting triple threat. Best known for her current role as Fatima Dinssa on the international hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie, for the past 5 seasons, Arlene has enjoyed a long list of professional successes. Born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Arlene Duncan’s career has taken her around the world: through Europe, the United States, and across Canada, travelling as far north as the Arctic and far south as New Zealand.
She as appeared in numerous notable film and television projects including the role of Harriet Tubman, both onstage and then again reprising the part in the Gemini-nominated television production of Sing Out Freedom Train. Arlene is familiar to viewers from recurring roles on the Showtime series, Soul Food; the CBC series, Drop the Beat; and the internationally acclaimed CTV series, Degrassi the Next Generation. Her numerous theatrical credits include roles in Sophisticated Ladies, Once on This Island, Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang, along with Dora Award-winning productions Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Nutmeg Princess, and The Who’s Tommy.
Aside from Little Mosque on the Prairie, Arlene’s other recent film and television credits include the Disney remake of The Music Man, Eloise at Christmastime, Regenesis, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and This is Wonderland. She can also be heard in the recurring role of Betty Parker in the CBC radio mystery series, The Old Guy, and the recurring role of Officer Rabbit in the children’s cartoon, Franklin the Turtle.
On the musical front, she has sung jingles for McDonald’s, Pepsi, Hostess, and Toyota, to name a few. Her 1990’s campaign for Suzi Shier won a Gold Commercial Award. She has also written and recorded for A&M, Popular Records and Contraband/Warner Music.
Honours: Artistic Merit Award representing Canada as a vocalist at the Pacific Song Festival in New Zealand and later co-hosted the show live via satellite to 8 countries along the Pacific Rim; ACTRA award nomination for her performance in the CBC television special ALL FOR One; winner and later co-host of the du Maurier Search for Stars; awarded Female Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Black Music Awards; named the BLAC Female Vocalist of the Year, Hall of Fame Award Winner for Dance/House music (1994).
Community: Honourary Chairman for Literature for Life, a Toronto-based organization created by Jo Altilia, committed to engaging at-risk young families in building a culture of literacy and learning to overcome systemic barriers, thereby investing in their own and their families’ future
Favourite book? Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill. Based in my hometown of Oakville Ontario, it tells the story of tragedies and victories of five generations of a Black Canadian family from the slave trade to modern day.
Favourite quote? “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucious
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I would love to travel more around the world; meeting new people and learning about and experiencing new places & cultures.
Who inspires you? My son’s are a constant inspiration to me – to be a good example to them, and to stay open to experiencing and learning new things.
Why do you do what you do? I love what I do, it is how I express myself. I love being able to communicate and share through telling stories onstage & screen, and through music.
Contact: Website | Facebook| IMDb | Little Mosque | CBC | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube