Shaleen Surtie-Richards

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Shaleen Surtie-Richards (1955-). Actress.

Also See Surtee-Richards, Shaleen (Also billed as Surtee-Richards on occasion.)


She was born in Upington on 7 May 1955, schooled both there and in Cape-Town. Qualifying as a kindergarden teacher, she taught in both cities between 1974 and 1984.


She acted in several amateur stage productions between 1974 and 1981, amongst others as a member of the Cape Flats Players and appeared at the Space Theatre in Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena. She was also active in productions of the Department of Education’s Theatre-in-Education from 1982 - 1984.

In 1984 she turned full-time professional and became a household name through her appearances on stage, television and films.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Her stage work over the last 30 years includes "Hester" in Fugard's Hallo en Koebaai (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1985), Fiela se Kind at the (Nico Malan, 1986), Esther van Ryswyk’s production of Hallo en Koebaai in 1987 (AA Life Vita Award, most outstanding actress in an Afrikaans play). Just Like Home (Pieter-Dirk Uys, 1989), Adam Small’s Kanna is coming home ** Pieter-Dirk UysJust Like Home (Laager, 1989). **. ***Shirley Valentine (2008-2009) *

The Comedy of Errors (Maynardville 1986), Hello en Koebaai (1986), Die Proponentjie (CAPAB 1986), Kyk Hoe Hol Hulle (1986-1987), Blomtyd is Bloeityd (1987), Romeo and Juliet (Maynardville 1988), Aap in die Mou (CAPAB 1988), Legends! (1988), Just Like Home (1989), Juno and the Paycock (Baxter Theatre 1990), Selle Ou Storie (1991), Kanna hy kô Hystoe (radio broadcast 1994).

'Buckingham Palace', District Six (2001), the pantomime RooiKôppitjie (2001), The Vagina Monologues (2002), As Ek Maar Geweet Het (2011), Rondomskrik (2014), Shirley Valentyn (2008-2009), A Christmas Carol (Baxter Theatre 2013), Fiela se Kind, Siener in die Suburbs (as Ma, Aardklop 2015).

Shaleen appeared as Fiela in two stage productions of Fiela se Kind; a CAPAB production in 1986 and thirty years later in a Lefra Produksies production (2017-2018). She also starred in the award-winning 1988 film version.

Her many TV appearances include stints as presenter and roles in single dramas and series such as Generations, Sewende Laan and notably the role of “Nenna Willemse” in Egoli.

Film roles in Egoli: the Movie, Treurgrond (released in 2015), Nag van die Negentiende (1990).

She also works on radio as narrator and actress.

Awards, etc.

Besides a staggering 28 awards, starting in 1978 when she was still an amateur, e.g. Hallo en Koebaai (Fleur du Cap Theatre Award, Best Actress, 1985), she has been named an Afri-koon (African icon) by the ATKV in 2005 and made Health Ambassador for the Northern Cape. In 2009 she won a Fleur du Cap Best Solo Performance for Shirley Valentyn.


Wikipedia [1].

TVSA [2].

Tucker, 1997.

A. van Wyk Die Taalgenoot, Vol. 68, Iss 5, , May, WINTER, 1999.

Cape Times, 2 April 2001.

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