Shaleen Surtie-Richards
Photo Cred: Courtesy of Shaleen Surtie-Richards Facebook Page

Tributes Pour in: Award-winning actress, Shaleen Surtie-Richards has passed away at 66.


Cape Town, South Africa (7 June 2021) – Classy. Legendary. A queen. Those are the adjectives actress Lizz Meiring used when we asked her to describe Shaleen Surtie-Richards.

Surtie-Richards, who was known for portraying the role of Nenna in Egoli, has died in a guesthouse in Cape Town. She was 66 years old.

This LEGEND is also known for her starring role in the 1988 film Fiela se Kind.

Surtie-Richards was also a judge on the reality competition television series Supersterre from 2006-2010.

“A working actor for over many decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her acting both on screen and off,” Meiring said.

She was born in Upington, Northern Cape, on 7 May 1955 and schooled both there and in Cape Town. Her father was a school principal, and her mother was a teacher.

Qualifying as a kindergarten teacher, Surtie-Richards taught in Upington and Cape Town between 1974 and 1984.

She took many roles in several amateur stage productions between 1974 and 1981 and was also active in productions of the South African Department of Education’s Theatre-in-Education from 1982 to 1984. She launched her professional acting career in 1984.

“Shaleen was the embodiment of the story of so many people in our country. She faced many difficulties as a young actor who started her career in the apartheid era, but whose love for her craft drove her to rise above all the obstacles in her path. Her talent and commitment to acting were clear in all that she did and she was beloved by the people of South Africa for the warm and endearing characters she brought to life on our screens and stages,” Anroux Marias, Western Cape MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport, said in a statement. 

On Facebook, Chantal Scott, a fan, said:

“May your soul rest in eternal peace. This is so sad. A true legend. Condolences to her family & friends.”

Another said:

“A true legend who will be remembered for her many and varied roles. Condolences to her friends and family. RIP.”

Grace Visagie said: She was brilliant in Fiela se kind. A lovely personality. She will be sorely missed.

Many others took to Twitter to share their tributes.

Sources: Lizz Meiring | Twitter 
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