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5 things we remember about Shaleen Surtie-Richards

Shaleen Surtie-Richards has died.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards has died.
Image: Supplied.

It is without a doubt that the stage and the screen was a place where veteran TV actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards belonged and with the news of her passing this morning, the film and television industry has definitely lost one of the greats.

Known for her larger-than-life personality and bright smile, Surtie-Richards captured the hearts of many throughout her career in television and theatre.

The news of the film and theatre icon’s passing has sent shock waves across the country, with details around her death yet to be released. Surtie-Richards was 66.  

The icon will be missed for her enthusiasm, bubbly character and the TV aunty we all grew to love.

In celebration of her life and the impact she has made in the acting industry, here are five things we remember about the star.

1. Her character Fiela Komoetie was her claim to fame

Having taken many roles in several amateur stage productions between 1974 and 1981,  Surtie-Richards first launched her professional acting career in 1984. 

She was famous for her role as Fiela Komoetie in the 1988 film adaptation of the Afrikaans novel Fiela se Kind and Nenna in the long-running soapie Egoli: Place of Gold

2. Her role on Generations always brought fun and cheer

With over 40 accolades including three Lifetime Achievement awards, the veteran actress will also be remembered as the loquacious Mattie in SA's longest-running TV soapie, Generations.

3. She embodied much-loved characters

She took her career to greater heights when she portrayed the character of Ester (Nenna) Willemse in the MNet soap opera Egoli. She appeared in most of the show's 18-year run as Ester which led her to be dubbed as the "TV aunty".

4. Her talk show helped many young people in SA

In early 2000, Surtie-Richards hosted her own talk show, Shaleen, on M-Net which she used to address serious topics and give guidance to the youth and women in the country.  

5. Her contribution to the arts

With her contribution to film and television for the past 30 years, Surtie-Richards has been widely recognised for her stellar work, including winning a Fleur du Cap theatre award, and will be missed for her an integral part of making South African television and theatre what it is today.