Susan Strasberg

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Susan Strasberg
1973 Susan Strasberg.jpg
1973 promotional image for Mannix
Born Susan Elizabeth Strasberg
(1938-05-22)May 22, 1938
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 21, 1999(1999-01-21) (aged 60)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Breast cancer
Nationality American
Occupation Actress
Years active 1953–1992
Spouse(s) Christopher Jones
(m. 1965; div. 1968)
Children 1
Parent(s) Lee Strasberg
Paula Strasberg
Relatives John Strasberg (brother)

Susan Elizabeth Strasberg (May 22, 1938 – January 21, 1999) was an American stage, film, and television actress.

Background and acting career[edit]

Strasberg in the 1950s

Strasberg was born in New York City, New York, to theatre director and drama coach Lee Strasberg of the Actors Studio and former actress Paula Strasberg. Her brother, John, is an acting coach. Her parents were both from Jewish families who emigrated from Europe.

Strasberg attended the Professional Children's School, and then spent time at both The High School of Music & Art and the High School of Performing Arts.[1] After a widely praised performance as a teenager in Picnic, Strasberg originated the title role in the Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank and was nominated for a Tony Award at the age of 18. Strasberg became the youngest actress to star on Broadway with her name above the marquee title. In 1955, she appeared twice on the cover of Life (July 11, 1955 issue; November 11, 1955 issue) and soon after on the cover of Newsweek (December 19, 1955 issue). She later starred in the Italian Holocaust film Kapò which was nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign film of 1960.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, she guest-starred in such television series as The Virginian, The Invaders, Bonanza, The F.B.I., Breaking Point, Burke's Law, The Streets of San Francisco, Night Gallery, McCloud, Alias Smith & Jones, The Big Valley, Remington Steele, and The Rockford Files (twice, as Deborah Ryder and as Karen Stiles, Rockford's ex-girlfriend). She lived in Italy in the early 1960s, where she was often called 'La Strasberg'. In 1993, she was a jury member for the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.[2] Susan also stared in an episode of " Mannix "


Strasberg wrote two best-selling books. Bittersweet was an autobiography in which she wrote about her tumultuous relationships with her parents and with actors Richard Burton and Christopher Jones, as well as with her own daughter's struggles with a heart defect. Marilyn and Me: Sisters, Rivals, Friends was about Strasberg's friendship with Marilyn Monroe, whom she called a "surrogate sister" and a "member" of the Strasberg family for many years.[3] Strasberg was working on a third book about her personal spiritual journey at the time of her death entitled Confessions of a New Age Heretic.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Before her marriage, Strasberg had relationships with Warren Beatty, Cary Grant, and Richard Burton.[5]

On September 25, 1965, Strasberg married actor Christopher Jones, with whom she had appeared in an episode of The Legend of Jesse James. Their daughter, Jennifer Robin, was born six months later. The couple divorced in 1968.[6]


In the mid 1990s, Strasberg was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died of the disease at her home in New York City on January 21, 1999, at the age of 60.[7]



  1. ^ Vallance, Tom. "Culture: Obituary: Susan Strasberg," The Independent (24 January 1999).
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1993 Juries". Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  3. ^ Gussow, Mel (January 23, 1999). "ET Susan Strasberg, 60, Actress Lauded in 'Anne Frank,' Dies". p. 2. 
  4. ^ Bosworth, Patricia (June 2003). "The Mentor and the Movie Star". p. 1. 
  5. ^ Smith, Kyle (February 8, 1999). "Frank Actress". 
  6. ^ Strasberg, Susan (May 5, 1980). "A Child Born Under a Square". 
  7. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (January 23, 1999). "Susan Strasberg; Stage, Film Actress, Daughter of Famed Acting Teacher". 

External links[edit]