Veteran and beloved South African actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards has died.
The cause of her death is not yet known. She was found dead in her guesthouse in Cape Town where she was staying while filming on the TV series Arendsvlei.
She was born on 7 May 1955 in Upington in the Northern Cape, and became widely known for her role as Nenna in Egoli and as Fiela in the 1988 film, Fiela Se Kind.
Surtie-Richards management, Elysian Management took to social media to announce the stalwarts passing.
Artist and producer Alistair Izobell, family spokesperson said: “we have lost a sister, an aunt, a cousin and a niece. We are trying to process, come to terms with the news and to still our broken hearts. We understand that she was not only in our hearts but in the hearts of this great nation. We thank you for the love, support and respect as we prepare for her final curtain call,” he said.
“It is common knowledge that she suffered from diabetes and heart problems. Her death might be related to this but the family awaits an autopsy as to the cause of death. All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why would like to emphasize that Ms. Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide.”
Below is an excerpt of Surtie-Richards as Ouma Kitta Bosman from the 2017 film Vaselinetjie.
During her career, Surtie-Richards won more than 40 awards.
Surtie-Richards won the Best Actress Award at the 1985 Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for her role as Hester in Athol Fugard’s Hallo en Koebaai (Hello and Goodbye). In 2009, she won another Fleur du Cap Award for her 2008 performance in Shirley Valentine.
In 2008, for her performance in Shirley Valentine, she also won the Herrie Prize for most popular production at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival.
At the 2014 Royalty Soapie Awards, Surtie-Richards received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30-year contribution to television and her roles on series such as Egoli: Place of Gold, Generations, and 7de Laan. Surtie-Richards was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress for her role in Villa Rosa at the 2014 awards.
Surtie-Richards was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Naledi Theatre Awards.