JOHANNESBURG: Shaleen Surtie-Richards passed away on Monday morning with details surrounding her death are still unknown.
She was best known for her role in a number of television programmes such as 7 de laan, Generations and Villa Rosa. She dedicated much of her life to Theatre and Production. She also hosted her own television show named Shaleen in the early 2000s.
Throughout her career, she won a few awards including Best Actress Award at the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards (1985) and Lifetime Achievement Award Twice, First at the Royalty Soapie Awards (2014) and Naledi Theatre Award (2015).
Tributes have been pouring out since the announcement of her death.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has joined others in mourning the passing of the veteran actor. In a statement issued by the Presidency, “We have lost a household performer whose distinctive energy, artistic versatility and humility touched generations of South Africans for more than three decades.
“On stage and screen Shaleen Surtie-Richards held a mirror to our unjust past and gave us hope for our future as a nation.
“May her soul rest in peace,” conclude the statement.
A family Friend Alistair Izobell spoke to the media and said that “Shaleen Surtie-Richards was one of the most phenomenal, incredible and wonderful contributors to the South African Arts Industry.”
“We understand by the knowledge of what we experience from Fiele Se Kind, which is an imprint of a legendary contribution to South African work. To the longest soap opera actress in Egoli.“
“Everything she touched was just legendary and during the tapestry of Apartheid, she made us understand that she belonged here. That the people of colour belong here. The contribution was about understanding that she needed to make a statement with every piece of work that she did.
“She also contributed to the smiles of people’s hearts, making sure that South Africans in their general popularity that we are a country that has a wealth of arts. She is a veteran, a celebrated iconic figure that today we only not grieve but we celebrate the footprint of Shaleen Surtie-Richards,” she added.
Her family has asked for space during this most difficult. She will be forever be missed by all who loved and adored her.