Susannah York b 1939 Actor

 

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Susannah York

passed away at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London from advanced bone marrow cancer on 15 January 2011, six days after her 72nd birthday. An English rose with her blonde hair, blue eyes and fresh-faced complexion, she became one of the most recognisable actresses in the 1960s, winning a swathe of male admirers. She starred opposite the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Peter O’Toole. Known for her role opposite Jane Fonda in the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, and her an amzing performance in “The Killing of Sister Geroge” with Beryl Reid.

 

 

Susannah York (9 January 1939 – 15 January 2011) was an English film, stage and television actress. She was awarded a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for the same film. She won best actress for Images at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. In 1991 she was appointed an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Her appearances in various hit films of the 1960s formed the basis of her international reputation, and an obituary in The Telegraph characterised her as “the blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomised the sensuality of the swinging Sixties”.

Early Years


In early 1943, her mother married a Scottish businessman, Adam M. Hamilton, and moved, with her daughter, to Scotland. At the age of 11 York entered Marr College in Troon, Ayrshire. Later she became a boarder at Wispers School, a school housed in Wispers, a Norman Shaw-designed country house in the Sussex village of Stedham. At 13 she was removed  effectively expelled  from Wispers after owning up to a naked midnight swim in the school pool, and she transferred to East Haddon Hall in Northamptonshire.

Enthused by her experiences of acting at school (she had played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the age of nine), York first decided to apply to the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art; but after her mother had separated from her stepfather and moved to London, she instead auditioned for RADA. There she won the Ronson award for most promising student before graduating in 1958.

Career


Film-

Her film career began with Tunes of Glory (1960), co-starring with Alec Guinness and John Mills. In 1961, she played the leading role in The Greengage Summer, which co-starred Kenneth More and Danielle Darrieux. In 1962, she performed in Freud: The Secret Passion with Montgomery Clift in the title role.

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York played Sophie Western opposite Albert Finney in the Oscar winning Best Film Tom Jones (1963) and also appeared in A Man for All Seasons (1966), The Killing of Sister George (1968) and Battle of Britain (1969). She co-starred with George C. Scott (as Edward Rochester) playing the title role in an American television movie of Jane Eyre (1970).

York was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969). She famously snubbed the Academy when, regarding her nomination, she declared it offended her to be nominated without being asked. She was highly praised for her performance, though she said “I don’t think much of the film, or of myself in it.” She did attend the ceremony but lost to Goldie Hawn for her role in Cactus Flower.

In 1972, she won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Images. She played Superman’s mother Lara on the doomed planet Krypton in Superman (1978) and its sequels, Superman II (1980) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). York made extensive appearances in British television series, including Prince Regent (1979), as Maria Fitzherbert, the clandestine wife of the future George IV, and We’ll Meet Again (1982).

In 1984, York starred as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (1984), based on the novel by Charles Dickens. She again co-starred with George C. Scott (as Ebenezer Scrooge), David Warner (Bob Cratchit), Frank Finlay (Jacob Marley), Angela Pleasence (The Ghost of Christmas Past) and Anthony Walters (Tiny Tim).

In 1992, she was a member of the jury at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.

In 2003, York had a recurring role as hospital manager Helen Grant in the BBC1 television drama series Holby City. She reprised this role in two episodes of Holby City’s sister series Casualty in May 2004. Her last film was The Calling, released in 2010 in the UK.

Stage-


killing of sister george at theatregold.com

In 1978, York appeared on stage at the New End Theatre in London in The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs with Lucinda Childs, directed by French director Simone Benmussa. The following year, she appeared in Paris, speaking French in a play by Henry James: Appearances, with Sami Frey. The play was again directed by Benmussa.

In the 1980s, again with Benmussa, York played in For No Good Reason, an adaptation of George Moore’s short story, with Susan Hampshire. In 2007, she appeared in the UK tour of The Wings of the Dove, and continued performing her internationally well received solo show, The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women. Also in 2007, she guest starred in the Doctor Who audio play Valhalla. In 2008, she played the part of Nelly in an adaptation by April De Angelis of Wuthering Heights.

According to the website of Italian symphonic metal band Rhapsody of Fire (previously known as Rhapsody), York had been recruited for a narrated part on the band’s next full-length album Triumph or Agony. In 2009, she starred alongside Jos Vantyler in the Tennessee Williams season at the New End Theatre, London for which she received critical acclaim.

York’s last stage performance was as Jean in Ronald Harwood’s Quartet, at the Oxford Playhouse in August 2010. She demonstrated her undoubted star quality when she appeared in a 1985 production of the play of the same name, the last ever written by Noel Coward.

Personal Life


In 1960, York married Michael Wells, with whom she had two children, daughter Sasha (born May 1972) and son Orlando (born June 1973). They divorced in 1976. In the 1984 TV adaptation of A Christmas Carol, she played Mrs. Cratchit and both of her children co-starred as Cratchit offspring. Orlando gave York her first grandchild, Rafferty, in 2007.

Politically, she was left-wing and publicly supported Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli dissident who revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons programme. While performing The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv in June 2007, York dedicated the performance to Vanunu, evoking both cheers and jeers from the audience.

See More of Susannah York her complete Filmography at Theatregold.net Database

Holding the Man on DVD Here