SUSANNAH YORK PASSES AWAY


FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This makes me sad.

SUSANNAH YORK was a particular favourite of mine. She was very beautiful and brilliantly talented. She always brought a piercing intelligence and a unique kind of emotional strength to her roles.

From what I’ve heard, she was also outspoken and didn’t suffer fools gladly. I think we would’ve had a lot to talk about.

I will miss her very much.

English actor SUSANNAH YORK, one of the leading stars of British and Hollywood films in the late 1960s and early 1970s, has died in London.

She was 72.

SUSANNAH received an ACADEMY AWARD nomination in 1970 for her role in THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? and also appeared in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS before going on to play CHRISTOPHER REEVE’S biological mother in the SUPERMAN series of movies.

She died of cancer Saturday at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Her son, actor ORLANDO WELLS, said that SUSANNAH was a “truly wonderful mother” and an incredibly brave woman who did not complain about her illness.

Ms. York had a long distinguished career in film, television and on stage. But she is best remembered for her early roles, when she had an immediate impact that started with her 1963 portrayal as ALBERT FINNEY’S love interest in the memorable period piece romp TOM JONES.

With its tongue in cheek sensuality and gentle send up of the British aristocracy, the film is remembered as an early landmark in 1960s cinema and SUSANNAH YORK’S unmistakable presence added to its appeal. Her long blonde hair, stunning blue eyes and quick witted repartee brought her a string of excellent roles.

Ms. York acted with major stars like ELIZABETH TAYLOR, MICHAEL CAINE, SEAN CONNERY and many others, stirring some controversy with her daring portrayal of a lesbian in the 1968 drama THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE.

In 1972, Ms. York won the BEST ACTRESS award at the CANNES FILM FESTIVAL for the ROBERT ALTMAN film IMAGES. Her motion picture work tailed off as London’s Swinging Sixties era faded into cultural history, but she returned to play Superman’s mother.

Actor and politician GLENDA JACKSON, who starred with SUSANNAH in the 1975 film version of THE MAIDS, said her death “came as a shock.”

Ms. Jackson said Ms. York had been a pleasure to work with and was “too young to go.”

SUSANNAH branched out into television and stage work, earning a number of accolades and awards. Her work in the theatre continued for much of her career and included several one woman shows.

British director RICHARD BRACEWELL, who worked with SUSANNAH later in her career, described her as “electrifying” once the cameras started to roll.

ORLANDO WELLS stated that his mother was incredibly versatile throughout her working life.

“There was the glamorous Hollywood aspect – she has worked with everyone from John Huston to Sydney Pollack – as well as the big commercial films like Superman.”

Mr. Wells, an accomplished television actor, said his mother also had a passion for writing.

“She wrote two children’s books, which is great for her grandchildren and something we will pass on to them.”

SUSANNAH YORK was born in London and studied at the prestigious ROYAL ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ART, which has tutored many of Britain’s top actors throughout the years.

She had two children – son ORLANDO and daughter SASHA – with her husband MICHAEL WELLS before they divorced. She is survived by her children and several grandchildren.

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