IN PICTURES | The life and times of actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards

08 June 2021 - 11:00
Shaleen Surtie-Richards will be fondly remembered for her brilliant acting skills.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards will be fondly remembered for her brilliant acting skills.
Image: Ambrose Peters

As Mzansi continues to mourn the loss of one of the country's favourite TV aunties, legendary actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards, the actress has been remembered fondly for her smile and dimples that have been captured beautifully over the years.

Shaleen died on Monday morning aged 66.

In a statement sent to TshisaLIVE, the Surtie family confirmed that the actress was found dead in a guest house in Cape Town where she was staying during filming of the TV series Arendsvlei

News of her death sent shock waves across Mzansi and ignited nostalgia on social media platforms as her fans remembered her roles —  from the hilarious ones to the in-depth and serious roles — that she brought to life on their TV screens or theatre stages.

Much like her natural talent for acting, Shaleen was very expressive as a person. Since her death, the actress has been described as having been flamboyant, warm, approachable, fun to be with and very funny.

It's true that pictures often speak a million words and for Shaleen, when captured on camera her every mood translated clearly and beautifully. When she was in character and when she was just being her bubbly self could easily be seen on her face.

Here are some pictures that captured particular moments of Shaleen's life:

Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards filling a mini bunny chow.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards filling a mini bunny chow.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Stephanie Lloyd
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards walking the red carpet.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards walking the red carpet.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Tebogo Letsie
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards in her element on stage.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards in her element on stage.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards showing off her dimples.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards showing off her dimples.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Sam Majela
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards on the OG Generations set.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards on the OG Generations set.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards attending a Comedy Central event.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards attending a Comedy Central event.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Simon Mathebula
The ever so expressive Shaleen Surtie-Richards
The ever so expressive Shaleen Surtie-Richards
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Ambrose Peters
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards when she was younger.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards when she was younger.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards seen here with a fellow actor.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards seen here with a fellow actor.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards pouting.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards pouting.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives/Ambrose Peters
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards poses in studio.
Actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards poses in studio.
Image: Supplied/Arena Archives shaleen/Simon Mathebula

Shaleen's family moved swiftly to kill speculation already swirling online that the actress committed suicide on Monday.

They stated that Shaleen suffered from diabetes and heart problems, and while either may have not been confirmed as the official cause of death, they were awaiting information that would emerge from the autopsy.

“It is common knowledge that she suffered from diabetes and heart problems. Her death might be related to this but the family awaits an autopsy as to the cause of death. All kinds of rumours are flying around as to the cause of death which is why we would like to emphasise that Ms Surtie-Richards did not commit suicide,” read the statement.

The family's spokesperson, producer Alistair Izobell, spoke expressed the profound loss they were feeling.

“We have lost a sister, an aunt, a cousin and a niece. We are trying to process, come to terms with the news and to still our broken hearts. We understand that she was not only in our hearts but in the hearts of this great nation. We thank you for the love, support and respect as we prepare for her final curtain call,” he said.

The details around the memorial and funeral services of the actress are yet to be made known by the family.


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