Janet Suzman

Dame Janet Suzman, DBE (born 9 February 1939) is a South African-born British actress and director. Janet Suzman was born in Johannesburg to a Jewish family, the daughter of Betty (née Sonnenberg) and Saul Suzman, a wealthy tobacco importer. Her grandfather, Max Sonnenberg, was a member of the South African parliament, and she is a niece of civil rights/anti-apartheid campaigner, Helen Suzman. Suzman was educated at the independent school Kingsmead College, Johannesburg, and at the University of the Witwatersrand where she studied English and French. She moved to London in 1959. After training for the stage at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Suzman made her debut as Liz in Billy Liar at the Tower Theatre, Ipswich in 1962. She then became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 and started her career there as Joan of Arc in The Wars of the Roses (1962–64).


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