Alberta Watson, Star of ‘La Femme Nikita,’ ’24,’ Dies at 60

Alberta Watson, the Canadian actress who starred in USA Network’s “La Femme Nikita” as Madeline, the ruthless, Machiavellian second-in-command of secret agency Section One, recurred on the CW’s reboot series “Nikita” as Senator Madeline Pierce and memorably appeared as the mother in David O. Russell’s first film, “Spanking the Monkey,” died Saturday at a Toronto hospice. She was 60 and had fought a long battle with cancer.

“La Femme Nikita” ran on USA from 1997-2001. Watson was also a series regular as director of CTU Los Angeles Erin Driscoll during season four of Fox’s “24.” Earlier she was a season regular on the brief 1987 ABC drama “Buck James.”

The actress also had a long career in films, especially in her native Canada. In Russell’s “Spanking the Monkey,” she played the bedridden mother to Jeremy Davies’ sullen, priapic teen; the two eventually have a sexual encounter. She won critical praise for this performance and for her work in Atom Egoyan’s 1997 film “The Sweet Hereafter.” She also played the mother to Jonny Lee  Miller’s computer whiz in 1995’s “Hackers,” also starring Angelina Jolie, and to Hansel in the 2001 film version of John Cameron Mitchell’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Watson is survived by her husband Ken.

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