Janet Suzman

Active - 1969 - 2012  |   Born - Feb 9, 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Historical Film

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After attending Kingsmead College and the University of Witwaterstrand in her native Johannesberg, Janet Suzman trained for a theatrical career at Britain's LAMDA. Ms. Suzman made her first London stage appearance in 1962's Billy Liar; later that same year, she was accepted into the Royal Shakespeare Company. Though A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1970) is usually cited as Janet's film debut, she was earlier seen as Masha in Chekhov's Three Sisters, a 1969 TV movie which received a brief theatrical release. She received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Czarina Alexandra in the opulent 1971 biopic Nicholas and Alexandra, and won the London Evening Standard award for her performance in a 1973 staging of Antony and Cleopatra. Janet Suzman is married to actor Trevor Nunn.

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  • Moved to London to pursue an acting career in 1959.
  • Acted in several stage productions under the direction of then-husband Trevor Nunn.
  • Performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1963 to 1973.
  • Took a substantial break from acting in order to raise her son.
  • Made her directorial debut with a production of Othello at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg in 1987.
  • Performed in a BBC Radio 4 production of  Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate in 2011.