Actress Susan Fitzgerald dies after long illness

Tributes to ‘gifted’ performer ‘beloved of theatre audiences’

Actress Susan FitzGerald has died after a long illness. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Actress Susan FitzGerald has died after a long illness. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Tributes have been paid to actress Susan Fitzgerald who died this morning.

The Gate Theatre today announced the death of the 64-year-old actress from cancer following a long illness at her home.

She was “a stalwart of not just the Gate stage but of Irish theatre” the theatre said in a statement. She was married to the theatre’s artistic director Michael Colgan.

Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan described her as “the pre-eminent stage actress of her generation and beloved of theatre audiences”.

“With the poise of the truly gifted she could move from comedies of manners to contemporary plays and also, with equal facility, to television and film,” he said in a statement.

She was “especially kind and helpful to emerging young actors and her elegant presence soothed many opening night nerves,” he said.

She played many roles at The Gate, including as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Mrs Bennett in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Among the Abbey Theatre productions she appeared in were Six Characters in Search of an Author, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Duty Master.

Her film and television work included playing Nora Clancy in Fair City, appearing in RTÉ’s Bachelor’s Walk and the role of Angela Gore in the film Satellites and Meteorites

She began her acting career in the 1970s after she graduated from Trinity College Dublin. Among her relatives are writer Jennifer Johnston, Hollywood actress Geraldine Fitzgerald and English actress Tara Fitzgerald.

She is survived by her children Sarah, Sophie and Richard and Michael Colgan.

Her funeral will take place on Wednesday at 2pm at the Church of The Three Patrons, Rathgar Road, Dublin 6.