By the time Montreal-born, Toronto-raised Stevie (Louise) Vallance was twelve, she had performed her way across eastern Canada with the Charlottetown Festival’s musical Jane Eyre (directed by Alan Lund). As a young teenager she was cast as leading roles in Canadian television shows including King of Kensington (1975) and A Bird in the House (1971) (directed by Allan King). After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she was fronting a band in Los Angeles when CBS/Lorimar executive David Jacobs heard her and offered her the recurring role of recording artist ‘Sylvie’, on the long-running series _”Knots Landing” (1983)_. Her next ‘landing’ was the regular role of ‘Jenny Ballinger’ on The Ropers (1979) with veterans Norman Fell, Audrey Lindley and Jeffrey Tambor.
Over the following decade and a half in Los Angeles, Stevie played leading roles in numerous television shows and feature films. She guest-starred with Peter Scolari on Bosom Buddies (1980), Edward Asner on Lou Grant (1977), and with Kevin Spacey on L.A. Law (1986). On Avonlea (1990), co-lead Christopher Reeve whisked her away on a horse. In the action-adventure feature Falcon’s Gold (1982), Stevie co-starred with Simon MacCorkindale and John Marley. In Slam Dunk Ernest (1995) she played ‘Erma Terradiddle’, Jim Varney’s girlfriend and in Three Men and a Baby (1987), she was Steve Guttenberg’s love interest.
In the ’80s, Vallance commuted frequently between L.A. and Toronto. Many will remember her as series regular ‘Det. Stevie Brody’ on the late-night CBS series Night Heat (1985). However, few knew that at the same time she was chasing down criminals in Toronto, she was also playing a very different sort of character in Los Angeles — a pink marsupial named ‘Whazzat Kangaroo’ on the Hallmark series _”Zoobilee Zoo” (1990)_ co-starring Ben Vereen.
Working increasingly in the animation voice-over field, Stevie became known as the ‘Cartoon Queen’ for her prolific work infusing life and personality into characters on hundreds of productions, including ‘Mouse’ and ‘Rocky Raccoon’ on _”Reboot”(1990)_, ‘Spydra’ on _Inspector Gadget (1992)_, multiple roles on ‘Don Bluthe”s animated feature, Thumbelina (1994) (musical direction by Barry Manilow), ‘Share Bear’ on the Care Bear movies, ‘Dixie’ on Donkey Kong Country (1997), ‘Natsuko Fuji’ on Inuyasha (2000), ‘Sonia’ on Sonic the Hedgehog (1993), ‘Party’ on _”Popples”(1999)_, ‘G.L.A.D.I.S.’ on Totally Spies! (2001), ‘Gnat’ on Growing Up Creepie (2006), and ‘Tigrerra’ on Bakugan Battle Brawlers (2007).
Stevie received a 2001-2002 Emmy Award for casting and voice-directing the dialogue and vocals for the beloved Disney classic, The New Adventures of Madeline (1995) (70+ episodes, 2 CDs & title song), on which she also portrayed ‘Miss Clavel’, the nun and ‘Genevieve’ the dog.
Between 2003 and 2006 Vallance cast and voice-directed Teletoon series Silverwing (2003) and Totally Spies! (2001). In 2007, she voice-produced Emmy-nominated Growing Up Creepie (2006) for Discovery Kids. In 2008, she served as Voice Director for Teletoon’s hit show, Best Ed (2008).
In 2011, Stevie is stepping up as co-producer by organizing and voice-directing a 52-episode, Nickelodeon series executive produced by Bill Schultz (executive producer, The Simpsons (1989)).
Over the years, Vallance has also become one of North America’s most sought-after cartoon voice-over coaches. Since 1995 she has launched numerous voice-over careers through her trans-formative Tooned In! Animation Acting Workshops. In the fall of 2010, at New York’s giant Comic Con, 400 Animé and Animation fans participated in her high-energy seminar. Then she was again invited by the Ottawa International Animation Festival to teach 200 Animators ‘How To Do Cartoon Voices’, in their own shows.
Stevie’s vocal talents and lifelong interest in music, particularly jazz, has led to her alternate career as a singer. While living on British Columbia’s Bowen Island in the mid-90s she met Michael Creber (musical director, k.d. lang) and in 1998 they recorded Stevie’s debut jazz CD, ‘Practically Naked’, reviewed by one critic as “an unforgettable piece of music history, sung with a warmth and grace that sends shivers down the spine.”
On her second CD, ‘Always’, inspiration came from Stevie’s theatrical portrayal of the legendary country singer Patsy Cline, with whom Vallance coincidentally shares the same birthday. The 2-person musical production toured western Canada and opened for the Calgary Stampede in 1999.
Motivated by the loss of a close personal friend, Stevie organized two critically acclaimed jazz benefit concerts. In 2001 & 2002, ‘Divas For Life’ packed Vancouver’s 1250-seat Vogue Theatre and raised $70,000 for people living with a life-threatening illness. As a result, she was awarded the ‘Friends for Life Philanthropy Award’. Then, with media sponsors such as Bravo on board, she negotiated a national distribution deal with Fusion Records for the CD, ‘Divas For Life: Live At The Vogue’, which was featured on CBC Radio’s Hot Air and was released as part of the 2002 Vancouver International Jazz Festival line-up.
Stevie’s fourth Jazz CD, ‘Make My Night’, was released in 2008. Arranged by Pat Coleman (guitar) and mastered by Don Thompson, the CD offers original interpretations of jazz standards as well as original songs by Stevie. Paul Grant, host of CBC Radio’s Hot Air, said “Vallance’s voice sounds fabulous… mature, well-recorded, comfortable, sexy… “
In 2008 & 2009, the Stevie Vallance Trio headlined at the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, Alberta. She also fronted the Charlie Bell Trio in the Thornbury and Kincardine Jazz Festivals, Ontario. For a year she hosted and co-programmed her own radio show, ‘Jazz & Blues on the Beach with Stevie Vallance’, presented by Bayshore Broadcasting. During this year she was the featured singer alongside Ernie Duff, with The Stardust (17-piece Jazz) Big Band.
In the fall of ’09 Stevie executive-produced ‘Jazz InClined’ at the Bruce County’s museum, in Southampton, Ontario. The concert, comprised of Patsy Cline songs done with a ‘jazzy’ twist, was a huge hit. At the same venue, in 2010, ‘Stevie Vallance & the Masters of Jazz’ presented seven live-recorded concerts of various world-class jazz players such as Dave Young, Kieran Overs, Brian Dickinson, Ted Warren and Ted Quinlan.
In April, 2010, Stevie performed with renowned Canadian composer and friend David Warrack in the debut of ‘3 Davids’ – an original Cabaret-jazz style revue featuring tunes by Frishberg, Shire and Warrack.