Saturday, 15 January 2011

Godspeed Susannah York

Actress Susannah York passed yesterday at the age of 72. The cause was bone marrow cancer.

Susannah York was born Susannah Fletcher in London on 9 January 1939. When she was five years old her mother and father divorced. Her mother would later marry a Scottish businessman and they moved to Scotland. She trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Miss York made her television debut in 1959 on ITV Television Playhouse.  She made her film debut in There Was a Crooked Man (1960). Also in 1960, she appeared in Tunes of Glory.

The Sixties would be the height of Susannah York's career. In 1961 she appeared in Loss of Innocence, before playing the lead in The Greengage Summer. During the decade she appeared in such films as Freud (1962), Tom Jones (1963), Scene Nun, Take One (1964), The 7th Dawn (1964), Sand of the Kalahan (1965), Kaleidoscope (1966), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Sebastian (1968), The Killing of Sister George (1968), Battle of Britain (1969), They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), and Courtly Love (1970). On television she appeared as the storyteller on Jackanory for the episode "The Children of Green Knowe," as well as episodes of Armchair Theatre and ITV Play of the Week.

In the Seventies Miss York appeared in such films as Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971), X, Y, and Zee (1972), The Maids (1975), That Lucky Touch (1975), Sky Riders (1976), Long Shot (1978), Superman (1978), The Awakening (1980), and Superman II (1980). She was a regular on the TV series Prince Regent and appeared on Armchair Theatre. In the Eighties she appeared in such films as Late Flowering Love (1981), Yellowbeard (1983), Prettykill (1987), Mio Min Mio (1987), A Summer Story (1988), Melancholia (1989), and Fate. She was a regular on the series We'll Meet Again.

From the Nineties to the Naughts, Susannah York appeared in the films The Higher Mortals (1993), So This is Romance (1997), The Book of Eve (2002), Maude (2007), and Franklin (2008). She was a regular on the TV series Devices and Desires, Trainer and Holby City. She appeared on the shows Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Casualty, Missing, and Doctors.

Susannah York also had a career stage She appeared on the West End in The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs and in Paris in Appearances. She played in productions of Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. She also wrote two children's fantasy novels: In Search of Unicorns and Lark's Castle.

Susannah York was a versatile actress who appeared in everything from drama to comedy. Her range was extensive, playing everything from mothers to royalty. Few actresses could play as many different roles as she could. If Susannah York became one of the more celebrated actresses of the Sixties, it was due to her enormous talent.

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