One of South Africa’s most loved actresses, the legendary Shaleen Surtie-Richards has passed on. Shaun Mynhardt from the Museum for South African Legends has confirmed to the SABC that she passed away in a guest house in Cape Town where she was working on a television show.
Further details are still sketchy.
Surtie-Richards is perhaps best known for her starring roles in the 1988 film Fiela se Kind and as Nenna in the long-running series Egoli: Place of Gold.
Family spokesperson Alistair Izobell on Surtie-Richards passing:
She has performed in both Afrikaans and English.
The 66-year-old actress was born in Upington. She qualified as a kindergarten teacher, working as one in Upington and Cape Town between 1974 and 1984.
She had recurring roles in popular South African soapies Generations and 7 de Laan. She also had roles on radio as a narrator.
Shaleen-Surtie Richards appears on the Expresso show on her 30-year career:
In 1985, Surtie-Richards received the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for her role as Hester in Athol Fugard’s Hallo en Koebaai, an award she also received in 2009 for her performance in Shirley Valentine. In 2014, she was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Royal Soapie Awards. She was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Naledi Theatre Awards in 2015.
Tributes have poured in on social media for the late actress, with some describing her as an icon that was full of life.
Legendary TV, film and theatre actor, Shaleen Surtie Richards has died.
— Kgopolo Mphela ☕️ (@PhilMphela) June 7, 2021
Ugh man, what a talent. I absolutely loved her! She was full of life and I adored her acting, it felt like I knew her personally. Rest easy Queen ❤️? #RIPShaleenSurtieRichards pic.twitter.com/gupTgvQXot
— Zama Khumalo (@Ms_ViVaCi0us) June 7, 2021
— Lee-Roy Wright (@LeeRoyWright) June 7, 2021
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) June 7, 2021