Alexandra Vandernoot, the bride of Highlander
Alexandra Vandernoot was born on 19 September 1963 in Uccle, a leafy municipality south of Brussels, into a family of artists. Her father André Vandernoot conducted the major Belgian ensembles: the Belgian National Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Flemish Opera, the Antwerp Philharmonic... and her mother, the Serbian-born dancer and choreographer Dušanka Sifnios, was one of the most famous ballerinas in the world when she worked with Maurice Béjart in the 1960s. During her conventional secondary school studies, her love of animals prompted Alexandra to consider a career as a veterinarian, but ultimately, without too much hesitation, she entered the Brussels Conservatory, graduating in 1985. The same year, she made her cinema debut in Babel Opera by André Delvaux. In 1992, she found international fame for her performance in Strangers, a film by American director Joan Tewkesbury. This international audience also allowed her to make a name for herself in France. She subsequently starred in Le Souper by Edouard Molinaro in 1992, and Le Jaguar by Francis Veber in 1996.
The actress achieved worldwide success the following year with her performance as one of the main characters in the Canadian series Highlander. The hero of the story is a native of the highlands of Scotland at the time of the clan wars. He is killed in one of these battles, but miraculously comes back to life. He can prolong his life indefinitely as long as he beheads his enemies, who have been cast under the same spell, thereby taking over their life force and strength. As such, Duncan MacLeod has managed to survive until the present day.
In the Canadian series, the attractive, blonde-haired Vandernoot plays Tessa Noël, a French sculptor and antiques dealer who meets Duncan MacLeod in the early 1980s. They fall in love and Duncan retires from the "game" (the duels with other immortals) so that they can live happily ever after. She was "killed" (at the actress' request, she was missing Europe) by a drug addict in withdrawal.
She then returned to France and embarked on a new career, this time focusing on television. From 1999 on, she starred in major epics including Tramontane, Le bleu de l'océan, La battante and Le prix de l'honneur in which she proudly starred alongside Michel Sardou. In the cinema and on the small screen in series including Camping Paradis, Section de recherches and Profilage, Alexandra also tread the boards, in 2012 and 2013, alongside Gérard Jugnot in Cher Trésor by Francis Veber.