Bernie Coulson’s Career, Struggles with Addiction and What He’s Up To

Bernie Coulson
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Profile summary of Bernie Coulson
  • Name: Bernard Coulson
  • Date of birth: 1965
  • Age: 59
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Education: Magee Secondary School
  • Parents: N/A
  • Bernie Coulson’s wife: N/A
  • Height: 5′ 7″ (1.7 m)
  • Occupation: Actor, multi-instrumentalist
  • Years active: 1980 to date
  • Net worth: N/A

Whenever promising actors suddenly disappear from the screen, speculations of drug addiction would normally rent the air and in the case of Vancouver-born movie star, Bernie Coulson, the rumors were a hundred percent correct. After Bernie almost hit stardom with his portrayal of Michael Reardon’s character in Intelligence (2005 to 2007), the actor got entangled with hard substance. Reports said he started from marijuana and gradually graduated to heroin.

It would appear that the Canadian movie star overcame his addiction sometime in 2016. He was sober long enough to appear on the set of Dark Harvest as Frank Becker. However, that was the last time Coulson graced the screen, and fans cannot help but wonder about his recent whereabouts.

Bernie Coulson was born in Vancouver

Available information on Bernie Coulson’s background and family history is very sparse, however, we know that his place of birth is Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada and he spent his growing up years there. In the same vein, the actor’s exact date of birth is not public knowledge, but he was born in 1965. Though he prefers to be called Bernie, the Canadian movie star was named Bernard Coulson at birth. There is absolutely nothing to go by on his parents and siblings as the musician cum actor locks that part of his life away from prying eyes.

The actor’s academic records don’t seem to be updated, the only available info on that is that he is an alum of Magee Secondary School where he acquired basic education, graduating in 1983. As an academic institution, Magee boasts a very rich alumni network, including great actors like Gary Basaraba, Bruce Greenwood, Gil Bellows, and Margot Kidder.

While he was still struggling to create a niche for himself in the entertainment industry, Bernie Coulson had a lot of industry friends like Brad Pitt who was equally trying to find his stance in Hollywood then. According to the records, the duo cohabited as roommates before fortune smiled on them. Bernie’s other childhood friends who became successful actors include Jason Priestley and Victor Formosa.

He played roles in both movies and TV shows

Bernie Coulson’s onscreen roles took off as far back as 1980 when the Vancouver-born musician and actor was featured as Sal on the set of the television series, Huckleberry Finn and His Friends. After his debut, Bernie had to wait for six long years before scoring another role. This time around, he was featured in the 1986 movie, Bullies as Jimmy Cullen. With time, he began landing roles regularly, and from what was obvious; Coulson had all it takes to be a prolific actor and a successful one at that.

Before long, he started scoring some of his best-known roles, notable among them is the TV series, The X-Files where he was seen as Kenneth ‘The Thinker’ in 1995. His other prominent roles were realized on the sets of Hard Core Logo, Loverboy, The Accused, and Eddie and The Cruisers II, Eddie Lives.

Coulson was on his way to stardom, playing Michael Reardon in the series, Intelligence between 2005 to 2007 when tragedy struck. The Vancouver star was hit by the marijuana addiction which took him off the screen for a very long time but obviously, that was not the end of his career. Fans had already written him off when in 2016, he surfaced in Dark Harvest – giving expression to the character, Frank Becker.

Bernie Coulson’s movies and TV shows


  • Bullies as Jimmy Cullen – 1986
  • The Accused as Ken Joyce – 1988
  • Moving Target as Jeff Ackley – 1988
  • Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! As Rick Diesel – 1989
  • Loverboy as Sal – 1989
  • Shangri-La Plaza as Noz – 1990
  • Adventures in Spying as Brian McNichols – 1992
  • Dirty Work as Johhny – 1992
  • The Surgeon as Flower Delivery Boy (as Bernie Coulsen) – 1995
  • Jack Reed: One of Our Own as Mike Quinn -1995
  • Hard Core Logo as Pipefitter 1996
  • Rupert’s Land as Bud Loogan – 1998
  • 2 Extra Days as Dude – 1998
  • Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story as Cadrain Short – 1999
  • The Real Thing as Bernie -2000
  • Saint Jude as Big Al – 2000
  • The Highwayman as Panda – 2000
  • Cabin by the Lake as Duncan – 2000
  • Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (Video) as Shred – 2001
  • Flophouse as Steve – 2002
  • The Life as Nick -2004
  • Crossing as Matt Duschane – 2007/I
  • Dark Harvest as Frank Becker – 2016

TV shows

  • Huckleberry Finn and His Friends as Sid – 1980
  • The New Adventures of Beans Baxter as Beef Wellington / Pledge – 1987
  • Wiseguy as Johnny – 1987
  • 21 Jump Street as Jackson – 1987
  • The Hitchhiker as Socks – 1987
  • Airwolf as Dwayne -1987
  • MacGyver as Sean Ryder -1988
  • Murder, She Wrote as Stanley Lewis – 1990
  • Life Goes On as Perry – 1991
  • Neon Rider – 1994
  • Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years as Bailey – 1995
  • Lonesome Dove: The Series – 1995
  • The X-Files as Kenneth ‘The Thinker’ Soona – 1995
  • Sliders as Oakland Raider #2 – 1995
  • Millennium as Pilot – 1998
  • Welcome to Paradox as Frank Daskin – 1998
  • Cold Squad as Ray Farrell – 1999
  • Da Vinci’s Inquest as Felix Charles / Todd -1998-2003
  • The Chris Isaak Show as Joe – 2004
  • Psych as Farmer Al Mooney – 2007
  • Intelligence as Michael Reardon – 2005-2007

Bernie Coulson is a multi-instrumentalist

While he was busy with acting roles, Bernie Coulson was equally running a parallel career in the music industry as a multi-instrumentalist. The veteran actor was an adept hand at the drums and bass. It was thanks to this particular skill that he was featured in the 1995 Hard Core Logo – the rock and roll road movie where he shared the screen alongside Callum Keith Rennie, Hugh Dillon, and John Pyper-Ferguson as bandmates.

Substance abuse marked the end of Coulson’s career

Being Brad Pitt’s very close friend, fans naturally began to put the two actors on par, believing that Bernie Coulson’s career is very likely to pick like that of his friend and former roommate, Pitt. Thus, as the movie industry grew, the viewing public expected to see Coulson grace the screen more often. However, the rising star succeeded in making appearances in a few notable films in the 2000s – The Highway Man, Intelligence, and Big Al before vanishing into thin air.

News soon hit the airwaves that the actor got into deep trouble with marijuana addiction which scuttled his acting career. From marijuana, he graduated into heroine and this was exactly while he was still part of the cast of Intelligence but he had to do the disappearing act during season two because of the hard-knock from addiction.

He however managed to pick the pieces of his life and appeared before the camera again for a role in Dark Harvest. This, according to reports, was a feat achieved by a close friend who deemed it necessary to track the reclusive actor down and convince him to give acting another trial.

Read Also: How Old Is Gaku Space, Is The Overwatch Voice Actor Married?

What is Bernie Coulson up to now?

Bernie Coulson has been quite reclusive of late but when reporters managed to track him down, the Intelligence actor was not forthcoming with clear answers on his current preoccupation. When asked what he is presently doing, he merely narrated how he got rid of his agent and took quality time off work in a bid to sort out his personal life.

It was later discovered that he has been putting up in a room in a B.C. government-renovated downtown hotel which now serves as housing for victims of drug abuse. According to Coulson, he managed to stay clean for six long years but from what was perceivable, he was far from clean as at the time of the interview.

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