Sunday, 16 January 2011

Britain is a country whose old men say "Goodbye" to Susannah York , whose beauty they remember when they were young men

Susannah York, our English film, stage and television actress has died at the age of 72.

An obituary in 'The Telegraph' has characterised her as 'the blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomised the sensuality of the swinging Sixties'. I think there was more to her than that.

Things you may or may not have known about Susannah, that she :

* had a mother who was a diplomat’s daughter and a father who was a merchant banker and businessman called Simon William Peel Vickers Fletcher.

* went to private schools, one of which she was effectively expelled at the age of 13 after owning up to a naked midnight swim in the school pool.

* after leaving school she auditioned for, and was accepted by, RADA where she won the 'Ronson Award' for 'most promising student' before graduating in 1958.

* in the 1960's her film career featured part in 'Tunes of Glory', 'The Greengage Summer', 'Tom Jones', 'A Man for All Seasons', 'The Killing of Sister George' and 'Battle of Britain'.

* in 1969 co-starred with George C. Scott, as Edward Rochester, playing the title role in an American television movie of Jane Eyre.

* played Superman's mother Lara on the doomed planet Krypton in 'Superman' in 1978.

* in 1984, starred as Mrs. Crachit in 'A Christmas Carol' (1984).

* had her last film role in 'The Calling' which was released in 2010 .

Here she is, forever young, when she was 24 and I was 16 in 'Tom Jones' in 1963 :

* was described by the film critic Michael Billington as 'a bubbly, effervescent woman with a great gift for friendship whose greatest achievement was to escape the pigeonholing that is the curse of her profession and to overcome the perception of her as the flaxen-haired beauty of 1960s British movies. In her richly fulfilled later career, she proved that she was a real actor of extraordinary emotional range, not just a movie star.'

Michael's obituary in 'The Gaurdian' :

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