Janet Suzman

Janet Suzman

Highest Rated: 96% The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

Lowest Rated: 33% Nijinsky (1980)

Birthday: Feb 9, 1939

Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

South African-born actress Janet Suzman became an established star of the London stage from the late 1960s through her association with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She made occasional film appearances since her debut as the mother of an autistic child in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (1970; released in the USA in 1972). Perhaps Suzman's most notable role was her Oscar-nominated portrayal of the Russian Czarina in "Nicholas and Alexandra" (1971). The granddaughter and niece of politically active South Africans, Suzman decided to pursue an acting career while attending the University of the Witwatersrand in her native Johannesburg. Accepted into several British drama schools, she opted to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where she trained under Iris Watson. Upon graduation, Suzman spent five months appearing with various regional repertory company (i.e., Ipswich, Manchester) where she was spotted by John Barton who invited the up-and-coming performer to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. Almost immediately, Suzman distinguished herself in "The Comedy of Errors" and was tapped to participate in the company's mammoth undertaking of what came to be know as "The War of the Roses" (1962-64). She won further praise in 1965 for her Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" and her Ophelia in "Hamlet." When her contract with the RSC expired, Suzman decided to concentrate on television work, debuting in the BBC series "Lord Raingo" in 1966. When Suzman rejoined the RSC in 1967, she soon became one of its leading players. (Among those she appeared alongside were Ben Kingsley, Patrick Stewart and Alan Howard.) She toured the USA as Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" (1968-69) and appeared with the RSC in BBC productions of "Three Sisters" (1969), "Macbeth" and "Hedda Gabler" (both 1970). (Those three productions aired in the USA on PBS in 1975). By this time, Suzman had starred with Alan Bates in "Joe Egg." After earning a surprise Academy Award nomination, the actress triumphed onstage in "Antony and Cleopatra" which was filmed and aired in the USA on ABC in 1974. Suzman continued to concentrate on stage work, although she accepted the occasional film role. She was the distraught mother of a kidnapped child in "The Black Windmill" (1974) and was one of the passengers in the all-star melodrama "Voyage of the Damned" (1976). Suzman was excellent as Frieda Lawrence to Ian McKellen's D H Lawrence in the biopic "Priest of Love" (1981). After a brief respite to give birth to her son, she returned to films as a Restoration aristocrat who hires an artist in Peter Greenaway's "The Draughtsman's Contract" (1982). As the decade wore on, Suzman began a secondary career as a stage director, helming a South African production of "Othello" in 1987 (later filmed for broadcast) and most recently, a well-received production of "The Cherry Orchard" (1997). As her directing work increased, she has made fewer onscreen appearances, although she was excellent in support of Michael Gambon in the Dennis Potter-scripted British miniseries "The Singing Detective" (1988) and as Donald Sutherland's wife in Euzhan Palcy's anti-apartheid drama "A Dry White Season" (1989).

Highest rated movies

The Draughtsman's Contract
Leon the Pig Farmer
Voyage of the Damned
A Dry White Season
And the Ship Sails On
Max
Nicholas and Alexandra
The Black Windmill

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sam Spiegel: Conquering Hollywood Self - 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nobody's Died Laughing Unknown (Character) - 2016
69% 64% Max Mrs. Rothman (Character) $527.0K 2002
83% 50% Leon the Pig Farmer Judith Geller (Character) - 1992
43% 53% Nuns on the Run Sister Superior (Character) $9.7M 1990
81% 75% A Dry White Season Susan du Toit (Character) $3.3M 1989
No Score Yet 80% Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy Lady Edwina Mountbatten (Character) - 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood Eleanor (Character) - 1984
80% 83% And the Ship Sails On Edmea Tetua (Character) - 1983
96% 86% The Draughtsman's Contract Mrs. Herbert (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet 60% Priest of Love Frieda Lawrence (Character) - 1981
33% 29% Nijinsky Emilia Marcus (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet 67% The House on Garibaldi Street Hedda (Character) - 1979
83% 53% Voyage of the Damned Leni Strauss (Character) - 1976
50% 38% The Black Windmill Alex Tarrant (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 70% A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Sheila (Character) - 1972
67% 78% Nicholas and Alexandra Alexandra (Character) - 1971

TV

Credit
No Score Yet 100% Shakespeare Uncovered Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ruth Rendell Mysteries Unknown (Character) 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mystery! Unknown (Character) 1997