|Alma mater||University of Santo Tomas (BFA)|
GMA Network (2005-2015)
TV5 Network (2011)
|Known for||Olongapo... The Great American Dream (1987) |
Mara Clara (1992)
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016)
Kadenang Ginto (2018)
|Height||1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)|
(m. 1989; died 2018)
Susan Africa (born August 20, 1959) is a Filipino screen and stage actress, writer, painter, beauty queen and former television host with a career spanning four decades. After placing first runner-up at the 1980 Binibining Pilipinas pageant, she pursued a career in showbusiness. A prominent figure in soap operas, she rose to fame in the television series Mara Clara (1992) and is noted for playing impoverished maternal characters. She won Best Supporting Actress at the 1987 Metro Manila Film Festival for her portrayal in Olongapo... The Great American Dream and has been involved in several international productions such as Noriega: God's Favorite (2000), Blood Surf (2000) and Under Heavy Fire (2001).
Africa also served as the host of PTV4's For Art’s Sake (1989) and Sesame (1984). Among her acclaimed performances include Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016) which competed at the Berlin International Film Festival and earned praises from Meryl Streep. She served as the Corporate Development Director of Ballet Philippines Foundation for 14 years and Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Her other memorable roles include Manang Esther in Kadenang Ginto (2018) and Nita Dimaculangan in Batang Quiapo (2023).
Africa studied Fine Arts and Advertising where she graduated cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas. She became involved in acting after joining an actors' workshop at the behest of her aunt Odette Marquez, a movie producer, who thought that it would help Africa overcome her shyness. As a young actress, Africa's mentors were Joel Lamangan and Soxie Topacio. She started in the theater in a production of General Goyo (1979) for Bulwagang Gantimpala (now Gantimpala Theater Foundation). Her other plays for Gantimpala include Kanser, Bien Aligtad, Biyaheng Timog, Bongbong at Kris. She has also acted for Teatro Pilipino (“The Importance of Being Ernest”, “Regina Ramos”), Dramatis Personae (“Antigone”) and Dulaang UP (“Juna Luna”) and has been directed by Rolando S. Tinio, Tony Espejo, Joel Lamangan, Anton Juan and Nonon Padilla.
Film and television
She received the Best Supporting Actress at the 1987 Metro Manila Film Festival for her role as Charlie in Olongapo, The Great American Dream. She is also well known for her five-year role as Susan Davis in the long-running teleserye Mara Clara. In 2005, she transferred to rival station, GMA Network, to play a supporting role on Now and Forever: Mukha and took a television break the following year but came back in 2007 through ABS-CBN's Palimos ng Pag-ibig. Africa later did TV5 and Kapamilya shows intermittently in 2011. During 2013, she returned to GMA-7 after Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala and was seen doing Kapuso teleseryes including Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko and Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real. Africa came back to ABS-CBN in late 2014.
Work off camera
Africa worked with Ballet Philippines of the Cultural Center of the Philippines as corporate development manager/director from 1986 to 2000, and with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) as alumni relations program manager/associate director from 2000 to 2014.
This 1980 Bb Pilipinas-Universe 1st Runner-up had her 1st one-woman show at Gallery 139, SM Megamall in 2001.
Africa is the widow of actor Spanky Manikan. She first met Manikan while acting opposite him in a production of Benjamin Pascual's General Goyo directed by Lamangan in 1979. The couple have three children together: Eli, Miguel, and Mika.
|1992||Mara Clara||Susan Davis|
|1999||Saan Ka Man Naroroon||Gloria|
|Tabing Ilog||Esperanza 'Esper' Magtibay|
|2001||Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan||Christina Tiongson|
|2003||It Might Be You||Margaret|
|2005||Now and Forever: Mukha||Leonor|
|2006||Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas||Adult Mashna Andorra|
|2007||Sineserye Presents: Palimos ng Pag-Ibig||Tesang|
|Walang Kapalit||Elaine Santillian|
|Komiks Presents: Tiny Tony||Eden|
|2009||May Bukas Pa||Isay Valera|
|Precious Hearts Romances Presents: You're Mine, Only Mine||Theresa|
|Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Alyna||Adela Dela Cruz-Del Carmen|
|2011||Green Rose||Linda Reyes-Delgado|
|Babaeng Hampaslupa||Epiphania 'Epang' Mallari|
|Rod Santiago's The Sisters||Carlota Zialcita|
|Ikaw ay Pag-Ibig||Aida|
|2012||Angelito: Batang Ama||Carmen Santos|
|2013||Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala||Demetria Panaligan|
|Wansapanataym: Baby Ko Ang Daddy Ko||Loring|
|Juan Dela Cruz||Debbie|
|Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko||Alicia Salazar|
|2014||Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real||Salome "Umeng" Salazar|
|2015||Wansapanataym: Wish Upon A Lusis||Minerva|
|All of Me||Maria 'Lola Aya' Sebastian|
|2015–2016||FPJ's Ang Probinsyano||Lorena|
|2016||The Story of Us||Aurora Sandoval|
|2017||My Dear Heart||Cathy Filomena|
|The Promise of Forever||Janet Trinidad / Helen Reyes|
|2018–2020||Kadenang Ginto||Esther Magtira|
|2022||The Broken Marriage Vow||Marina Ilustre|
|Maalaala Mo Kaya: "Kakanin" and "Ring Light"||Criselda Lopez-Cabantog|
|2023||Dirty Linen||Pilar Onore|
|FPJ's Batang Quiapo||Nonita "Nita" Dimaculangan|
|1985||Hinugot Sa Langit||Mitchie|
|1987||Olongapo, The Great American Dream||Charlie|
|1990||Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina?||Jackylyn|
|Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig||Malou|
|1996||Mara Clara: The Movie||Susan Davis|
|1999||Gimik: The Reunion||Mrs. Lorenzo|
|2000||Blood Surf||Melba Lofranco|
|My First Romance||Che's Mom|
|2004||Bcuz of U|
|2006||You Are the One||Sally & Charry's Mother|
|Ang Pamana: The Inheritance||Celia|
|Tingala sa Pugad||Sayong|
|2016||Singing In Graveyards||Myrna|
|A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery||Hule|
|2018||The Hows of Us||Leonida 'Tita Lola' Antonio|
|2021||Gameboys: The Movie||Tita Myra|
Awards and nominations
|Metro Manila Film Festival||1987||Best Supporting Actress||Olongapo... The Great American Dream||Won|||
|Young Critics Circle||2010||Best Performance||Biyaheng Lupa||Nominated|||
- "More Showbiz Scions Sign up with Star Magic". The Philippine Star. June 25, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- What's on TV?. Manila Standard. 1989. p. 19.
- "Cherie Gil says Meryl Streep praises Susan Africa". Tempo. March 21, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
- Lo, Ricky. "Batang West Side won't be at Cinemanila fest after all". Philstar.com. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
- "Susan Africa is not your typical poor nanay on TV". ph.celebrity.yahoo.com. September 18, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
- Tariman, Pablo A. (September 28, 2013). "Spanky Manikan and Susan Africa–how they are able to touch lives 'without our knowing it'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- "Veteran actor Spanky Manikan dies after battle with lung cancer". ABS-CBN News. January 14, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- "LOOK: 100 Most Memorable Stars Who Joined FPJ's Ang Probinsyano". ABS-CBN News. August 26, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- Miralles, Nitz (1987). Pay role. Manila Standard. p. 14.
- "Susan Africa trends online because of these funny memes". PEP.ph. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
- "The indie film Bakal Boys was chosen as Best Film by The Young Critics Circle. This Gina Pareno-star". PEP.ph. Retrieved October 9, 2023.