Su Cruickshank

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Su Cruickshank
Birth nameSusan Cruickshank
Born(1946-08-31)31 August 1946
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Died8 December 2009(2009-12-08) (aged 63)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Singer
  • actress
  • writer
Years active1970s–2009

Susan Cruickshank (31 August 1946 – 8 December 2009), commonly known as Su Cruickshank, was an Australian jazz singer, actress and writer. She was regarded as one of the finest female jazz singers in Australian history.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cruickshank was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, the eldest of four children. She grew up in the suburb of Adamstown in a musical family. Her father played double bass and her paternal grandmother had been a singer.[1]


"In the 1970s Cruickshank moved to London and worked as a singer in a variety of low-end jazz clubs. She returned to Australia in 1979 and began to rise to public prominence, notably through successfully hosting a string of Sydney's annual Jazz in the Domain summer outdoor concerts.[2]

She subsequently appeared in many Australian film and television roles and was especially well known for her role in the 1988 surprise hit (in Australia) film Young Einstein and, from 1992, for her regular appearances on Bert Newton's top-rating nationally-broadcast morning entertainment show Good Morning Australia.[3]

In 1993-4 she hosted her own talk show on ABC TV called In Company with Su Cruickshank and she continued to make frequent guest appearances in a wide variety of Australian drama, comedy and light entertainment programs for the rest of the decade, as well as appearing in a number of TV commercials.[2] She maintained a long-running fortnightly radio spot on the nationally broadcast ABC Local Radio Overnights program and is often remembered for her appearances on the nationally televised World Series Debates that were a gala event of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the early 1990s.[2]

A large woman, Cruickshank briefly co-owned a Portuguese themed restaurant in Newtown, New South Wales in the late 1990s[1] and often made use of her size in her on-stage and on-screen personas and it became a signature part of her public image.[4]


Cruickshank suffered from a long-term illness in her last years and she died on 8 December 2009. A memorial concert was held to celebrate her life in her home town of Newcastle a week after her death.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Cruickshank married and divorced in the 1970s and then never remarried. She had two stepchildren, Effie and Saabeah Theos, to her Ghanaian partner of eight years.[1]

Acting roles[edit]




  • Cruickshank, Su, Bring A Plate to The Mortdale Scout Hall – The Autobiography of a Fat Tart Complete with Recipes, Sun Books, 1992, ISBN 0-7251-0677-8


  1. ^ a b c d Washingmachine, George (14 December 2009). "Talent came in huge servings, too". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Vale Su Cruickshank". ABC Local Radio Overnights. ABC. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. ^ Wingate-Pearse, Gabriel (10 December 2009). "Newcastle jazz diva Su Cruickshank dies at age 63". Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  4. ^ Cruickshank, Su (1992). Bring a Plate to The Mortdale Scout Hall – The Autobiography of a Fat Tart Complete with Recipes. Chippendale: Sun Australia. ISBN 0-7251-0677-8.
  5. ^ Carr, Matt (16 December 2009). "Musical farewell for Su Cruickshank". Retrieved 26 November 2010.

External links[edit]