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 anOfficier 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".
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Death
- 5 Filmography
- 6 References
- 7 External links
York was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher in Chelsea, London, in 1939, the younger daughter of Simon William Peel Vickers Fletcher (1910–2002), a merchant banker and steel magnate, and his first wife, the former Joan Nita Mary Bowring – they married in 1935 and divorced prior to 1943. Her maternal grandfather was Walter Andrew Bowring, CBE, a British diplomat who served as Administrator of Dominica (1933–1935); she was a great-great-granddaughter of political economist Sir John Bowring. York had an elder sister, as well as a half-brother, Eugene Xavier Charles William Peel Fletcher, from her father's second marriage to Pauline de Bearnez de Morton de La Chapelle.
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.
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.
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 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 toGoldie 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 (film) (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 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 (TV series) in May 2004. Her last film was The Calling, released in 2010 in the UK.
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 ofWuthering 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.
She was a guest, along with David Puttnam on the BBC Radio 4 documentary I Had The Misery Thursday, a tribute programme to film actor Montgomery Clift, which was aired in 1986, on the twentieth anniversary of Clift's death. York had co-starred with him in Freud, John Huston's 1962 film biography of the psychoanalyst.
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 Avivin June 2007, York dedicated the performance to Vanunu, evoking both cheers and jeers from the audience.
|1960||There Was a Crooked Man||Ellen|
|Tunes of Glory||Morag Sinclair|
|The Richest Man in the World (TV movie)||Martine Herrault|
|1961||ITV Television Playhouse||Eva Sinding
|episode: Midnight Sun
episode: The Crucible
|The Greengage Summer||Joss Grey|
|The First Gentleman (TV movie)||Princess Charlotte|
|1962||Freud: The Secret Passion||Cecily Koertner||Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama|
|The Slaughter of St. Teresa's Day (TV movie)||Thelma Maguire|
|1963||Tom Jones||Sophie Western|
|1964||The 7th Dawn||Candace Trumpey|
|Scene Nun, Take One||The Actress|
|1965||Sands of the Kalahari||Grace Munkton|
|Thursday Theatre||Milly Theale||episode: The Wings of the Dove|
|1966||The Fall of the House of Usher||Madeleine Usher|
|Kaleidoscope||Angel McGinnis||Laurel Award for Favorite Female Comedy Performance (5th place)|
|A Man for All Seasons||Margaret More|
|Jackanory||Storyteller||episode: The Children of Green Knowe|
|episode: The Winner
episode: Kiss on a Grass Green Pillow
|The Killing of Sister George||Alice 'Childie' McNaught|
|ITV Playhouse||Grace||episode: The Photographer|
|1969||Oh! What a Lovely War||Eleanor|
|Battle of Britain||Section Officer Maggie Harvey|
|Lock Up Your Daughters||Hilaret|
|They Shoot Horses, Don't They?||Alice||BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role|
|1970||Jane Eyre||Jane Eyre||Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role|
|Country Dance||Hilary Dow|
|1971||Happy Birthday, Wanda June||Penelope Ryan|
|1972||Zee and Co.||Stella|
|Images||Cathryn||Best Actress Award (Cannes Film Festival)|
Mandy Hope Cecily Cardew Kathleen Caroline
|1973||Great Mysteries||Countess Josephine||episode: La Grande Breteche|
|1974||Gold (1974 film)||Terry Steyner|
|Fallen Angels||Julia Sterroll|
|Conduct Unbecoming||Mrs. Marjorie Scarlett|
|That Lucky Touch||Julia Richardson|
|1976||Sky Riders||Ellen Bracken|
|Eliza Fraser||Eliza Fraser|
|1978||The Shout||Rachel Fielding|
|A Month in the Country (TV movie)||Natalia|
|The Silent Partner||Julie Carver|
|Long Shot (1978 film)||An Actress|
|1979||Prince Regent (TV series)||Maria Fitzherbert|
|The Golden Gate Murders (TV movie)||Sister Benecia|
|1980||The Awakening||Jane Turner|
|Falling in Love Again||Sue Lewis|
|1981||Second Chance (TV series)||Kate Hurst||episode: April II|
|Loophole (1981 film)||Dinah Booker|
|1982||We'll Meet Again (TV series)||Dr. Helen Dereham||13 episodes|
|Nelly's Version (TV movie)||Narrator (voice)|
|1984||A Christmas Carol||Mrs. Cratchit|
|1985||Star Quality (TV movie)||Lorraine Barry|
|The Love Boat||Kay Webber||episode: Girl of the Midnight Sun/There'll Be Some Changes Made/Too Many Isaacs/Mr. Smith Goes to Stockholm|
|Daemon (TV movie)||Rachel|
|1986||The Two Ronnies||My Lady||episode: Episode #12.2|
|1987||Superman IV: The Quest for Peace||Lara (voice)|
|Mio min Mio||Seamstress|
|Tomorrow's a Killer||Toni|
|1988||A Summer Story||Mrs. Narracombe|
|Just Ask for Diamond||Lauren Bacardi|
|1989||Melancholia||Catherine Lanham Franck|
|After the War (TV miniseries)||Irene Jameson||episode: Yesterday and Tomorrow
|A Handful of Time||Susanne Walker|
|The Ray Bradbury Theater||Nora||episode: The Haunting of the New|
|1990||Screen Two||Amy Wallace||episode: The Man from the Pru|
|Boon (TV series)||Lady Tessa Bolton||episode: Daddy's Girl|
|1991||Devices and Desires (TV miniseries)||Meg Dennison||6 episodes|
|1991-1992||Trainer (TV series)||Rachel Ware||23 episodes|
|1992||Illusions (TV movie)||Dr. Sinclair|
|1993||Piccolo Grande Amore||Queen Christina|
|The Ruth Rendell Mysteries||Liz||episode: A Dark Blue Perfume|
|So This Is Romance?||Mike's Mum|
|2000||St. Patrick: The Irish Legend||Concessa|
|2002||The Book of Eve||May|
|Holby City||Helen Grant||9 episodes|
|2004||Casualty (TV series)||Helen Grant||episode: Don't Go There
episode: Breaking Point
|The Stoning||Jean Fielding|
|2009||The Calling (2009 film)||The Prioress|
|2010||Missing (UK TV series)||Marjorie Claye||episode: Episode #2.9|
|[[Doctors (soap opera)||Lorna Robson||episode: Gibberish|