Susannah York

  1. Hildegarde Neil, Antony and Cleopatra, 1971.  Said producer Peter Snell: “Jesus Christ, Cleopatra and Hitler have to be the three impossible roles.” Despite a few thought about havjng Orson Welles directing Marlon Brando in a reprise of his 1952 Mark Antony, Charlton Heston grabbed both roles – he was one of the producers, after all!  Finding his Cleo was more difficult. He first thought of Anne Bancroft, and it was her husband, Mel Brooks, who said no thank you. Next: Diana Rigg, Portia in the 1969 Julius Caesar. “Charley Hero” then shuffled through Sophia Loren (the El Cid co-star he never got on with), the Greek Irene Papas and four  other  true Brits: Glenda Jackson,  Vanessa Redgrave, Susannah York – and signed the less expensive Neil. This was, sang The Guardian critic Derek Malcolm, “The Biggest Asp Disaster in the World.”
  2. Miranda Richardson, Dance With A Stranger, 1980.      The brother of Ruth Ellis (last women to be hanged for murder in Britain) tried to stop the production, having previously halted a 1975 version due to star David Bowie’s wife, Angie.  (First saw Susannah during my Bournemouth Times days in The Wings of the Dove play).
  3. Twiggy, The Doctor and The Devils,  1985.     Originally set opposite Laurence Harvey in Belgrade. When made, the sole movie project  of  Swansea’s Dylan Thomas  – the self-styled “Rimbaud of Cymdonkin Drive”  –  created   a record 37-year delay between the completion and shooting of a script.
  4. Stephanie Beacham, The Colbys, TV, 1985-1987.   For billionaire Charlton Heston’s British art gallery owning wife, Sable (first cousin of Dynasty’s Joan Collins character), Faye Dunway wanted a bigger payday The budget was already $1m per episodeElizabeth Ashley, Angie Dickinson were next up. Then, the Brits.  Sue Lloyd and Kate O’Mara O’Mara (Dynasty’sCaress Morrell during 1986).  Plus Diana Rigg, Susannah York who quite simply refused the soap.   Beacham later Dynasty-ed in the 1988-1989 season.


 Birth year: 1939Death year: 2011Other name: Casting Calls:  4