Actor Shaleen Surtie-Richards who has been struggling with diabetes and lung-related complications was found dead in a guest house in Cape Town on Monday. While the cause of her death is yet to be established, Shaleen was reportedly in Cape Town on the production of telenovela, Arendsvlei.
Born in Upington on May 7, 1955 and qualified as a kindergarten teacher, she taught between 1974 and 1984. With a career in theatre, film, and TV spanning close to 40 years, Shaleen participated in both the Grahamstown and Edinburgh festivals.
Shaleen will best be remembered for her title role in the 1988 film Fiela se Kind and as Ester Willemse in the M-Net soap opera Egoli: Place Of Gold.
She appeared in several other South African TV soaps including 7de Laan, Villa Rosa, SABC1’s Generations and in 2001 she also hosted her own TV talk show, Shaleen, on M-Net. Most recently, Sharleen was seen in the Showmax film, Swirl.
She won more than forty awards in her acting career. Among them are the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for her role as Hester in Athol Fugard’s Hallo en Koebaai and in 2009 for her role in Shirley Valentine.