Actress Susannah York has died at the age of 72.
Her son, actor Orlando Wells, told the Telegraph newspaper that his mother had died after suffering from bone marrow cancer. He said she was “an absolutely fantastic mother”.
Sussanah York was an acclaimed theatre, film and TV actress who was also well known for her political and activist work.
She won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for her role in Sydney Pollack’s 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? alongside Jane Fonda.
York trained at RADA and went on to forge a stellar acting career. Film highlights include films Tom Jones, opposite Albert Finney, in 1963, A Man for All Seasons in 1966, The Killing of Sister George in 1968, The Battle of Britain in 1969, Images in 1972 for which she won a Cannes Film Festival award, The Maids in 1974, and playing Superman’s mother in the three Christopher Reeve Superman films.
On stage her roles included September Tide at the Comedy Theatre in 1994, Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the RSC in 1997 and 1998, An Ideal Husband at the Haymarket in 1998, The Wings of the Dove in 2007, A Singular Man, Man and Superman, Private Lives, Hedda Gabler, Peter Pan, Cinderella, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, Penthesilea, Fatal Attraction, The Women, The Apple Cart, Agnes of God, The Human Voice, Multiple Choice, A Private Treason, Lyric for a Tango, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Noonbreak, Small Craft Warnings, Amy’s View, The Hollow Crown, The Kindness of Strangers, Walking on Water, Quartet and The Eagle has Two Heads. She also starred in a number of one-woman stage shows including Independent State, Picasso’s Women, The Human Voice and The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women.
TV work included an Emmy nomination for NBC’s Emma in 1970, blockbuster TV series We’ll Meet Again in 1982 and in later years BBC dramas Holby City and Casualty.
She was also an accomplished children’s author, and campaigner, including her long support for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
A devoted mother to her two children, Sasha and Orlando Wells, Orlando recently appeared in the West End in The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre.
British Film Institute – Susannah York