When I was a kid, just before everything British became awesome, there was Susannah York:
Yes, that's Susannah York with the then-gorgeous (today, not so much) Albert Finney in Tom Jones (1963).
And a little glimpse from A Man For All Seasons:
And in They Shoot Horses, Don't They:
And now, gone:
She was the blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomised the sensuality of the swinging Sixties. Sexy and demure by turn, Susannah York, who died yesterday from cancer at 72, held a generation of male admirers in her thrall.
Her wide-ranging career, which won her both a Bafta and an Oscar nomination, oscillated between powerful portrayals of either the dutiful woman or the wanton wife. The zenith of her career was surely her roles as Thomas More's daughter in A Man For All Seasons, in 1966, and her passionate performance as the feisty section officer who took on Kenneth More in the acclaimed film Battle of Britain in 1966.
But York was not an actress whose career was shaped by her artistic ambition. Instead, as a single mother with two children, she chose roles (at times unwisely) which provided income. But for all that, she was acclaimed as one of our best character actors whose professionalism was legendary.
Last night Ms York's son, the actor Orlando Wells, spoke movingly of his pride in and love for his mother. "She was an absolutely fantastic mother, who was very down to earth," he said. "She loved nothing more than cooking a good Sunday roast and sitting around a fire of a winter's evening. In some sense, she was quite a home girl. Both Sasha [Orlando's sister] and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as a mother.''