Legendary South African actress Sharleen Surti-Richards (66) best remembered for her portrayal as Ester “Nenna” Williamse in Mnet Egoli Place of Gold, has died.
According to South African media, she was found dead in a guest house in Cape Town on Monday morning.
Surtie-Richards, who was born in Upington, appeared in numerous theatre shows and television programs and was influential in the Afrikaans theatre business that the South African Museum of Legends named her a legend.
She was a tremendous inspiration, especially in the early 1990s, when it was rare to see a Cape Coloured person on a widely dominated cast like Egoli.
Adriano Visagie, actor and performer, praised Surtie-Richards for her portrayal in Fiela se Kind_ as an inspiration.
“What struck me the most about her was her performance in ‘Filla se Kind,’ which I believe was her breakthrough role in either film or theater. Fiella se Kind is a film that I personally related to a lot, especially when it came to dealing with and branching out in a tribalistic country like Namibia. Filla se Kind is still one of my favorites. “As our ‘Nena,’ her legacy will live on forever,” he stated.
Odile Gertze, an award-winning actress, says she is stunned because Surtie-Richards was such a legend.
“In terms of inspiration, amusement, and identity, she has played a significant role in my life. I had the opportunity of meeting her and she allowed me to accept who I am. I learnt a lot from her as a young actor, and I’m so shocked I don’t know what to say. She will be sorely missed, yet she has left a lasting legacy,” she said.
Surtie-Richards got another Fleur du Cap Award in 2009 for her performance in Shirley Valentine in 2008. She also won the Herrie Prize for most popular show at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in 2008 for her performance in Shirley Valentine.