A funny new year. It's only mid-January, and the two most celebrated actors I know personally have both died: Pete Postlethwaite, and now Susannah York.
I knew Susannah very well in the 90s: she used to come to all our productions, even the solo piece Departures / Arrivals. When I directed The Great God Brown, she recorded a voice-over for the show, so she was kind of in it... and I also helped her out with her performance as Ranyevskaya when she didn't feel it was working. That was a lot of fun.
What Pete and Susannah had in common was that they didn't just act. They believed in theatre as a way of making the world better. They had celebrity, and so they made use of it. For charity, for campaigning, and just to generate a positive energy.
Miss them both.