Polly Shannon (born September 1, 1973) is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Margaret Trudeau in the 2002 miniseries Trudeau, a film about the late Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau.
Polly Shannon grew up in Aylmer, Quebec, with her mother (a Canadian Script-Writer for children's television) and her father (Director-General of Health Canada). She was given a deadline of the age of 25 to make it or break it as an actress, and she's more than met that quota. In 1999, alone, she's had hits with The Girl Next Door (1998) (with Henry Czerny) and The Sheldon Kennedy Story (1999) (with Jonathan Scarfe of Madison (1993) and ER (1994) fame), coming a long way from her first role as Nina in the Canadian teen series Catwalk (1992) in the early nineties.
Polly Shannon was born September 1, 1973 in Kingston, Ontario, and raised in Aylmer, Quebec. Her father, Michael Shannon, is a doctor who served in various senior posts at Health Canada, including director general for the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control. Her mother, Mary Mackay-Smith, is a screenwriter for children's films and television. At the age of 13, after acting in theatre as a child, Shannon became a model, with assignments that took her to New York, London, and Tokyo. She attended Philemon Wright High School in Hull, Quebec.
In 1992, Shannon began her television career, landing a part in Catwalk, a YTV series about a struggling rock band. She went on to appear in several television series, including Sirens (1994) as Kelly Van Pelt, Ready or Not (1996) as Angelique, Side Effects (1996) as Lisa Burns, and the Canadian horror series The Hunger (1999) as Jen.
In 2002, Shannon appeared in the popular comedy film Men with Brooms in the role of Joanne. Her most notable role was playing Margaret Trudeau in the 2002 miniseries Trudeau, a film about the late Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau. "Playing Maggie was a really thrilling experience," Shannon noted at the time. "It was a challenge that was different from anything else I've done." More recently, Shannon starred opposite Tom Selleck as his girlfriend Abby Taylor in two Jesse Stone television films, Stone Cold (2005) and Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006).