Susana, Lady Walton

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Lady Walton
Lady Susana Walton 1996.jpg
Born30 August 1926
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died21 March 2010 (aged 83)
Ischia, Italy
NationalityArgentinian and British
Occupationwriter and garden creator
Known forcreating the garden La Mortella and being married to the composer William Walton
Spouse(s)William Walton (m. 1948–1983; his death)
The Nymphaeum – she created her own memorial in the garden: the inscription reads, "This green arbour is dedicated to Susana, who loved tenderly, worked with passion and believed in immortality"

Susana, Lady Walton MBE (30 August 1926 – 21 March 2010), born Susana Valeria Rosa Maria Gil Passo, was the wife of the composer Sir William Walton (1902–1983). She was a writer, and the creator of the gardens of La Mortella.[1]

She was the daughter of a prominent Argentinian lawyer, Dr. Enrique Gil. She was working at the British Council in Buenos Aires when she met Walton in September 1948. They married in December 1948. The couple settled on the Italian island of Ischia where she created the gardens of La Mortella.[2] The residence hosted many celebrities, including Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Hans Werner Henze, W. H. Auden, Terence Rattigan, Binkie Beaumont, Maria Callas and Charlie Chaplin. It was there that Walton died on 8 March 1983.

She played alongside her husband in Walton's only acting role; he played King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony in the 1983 miniseries, Richard Wagner, directed by Tony Palmer, while Lady Walton "stood at his side in regal attire" as the King's wife (Maria Anna of Bavaria). She also appeared in Ken Russell's Classic Widows (1995) and Palmer's At the Haunted End of the Day.

Shortly after her marriage she had an abortion at Walton's insistence, as he did not want any children.[3] She wrote two books and created the William Walton Foundation in 1983.

Lady Walton was decorated with an honorary degree from the University of Nottingham, the MBE in 2000[4] and the title of Grande Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana. In 1990 she made a well received recording of Walton's Façade.

She died on 21 March 2010, aged 83, from natural causes. She is survived by a brother, Harry, and several nieces and nephews.


  • Walton, Susana. Behind the Facade (1988)
  • Walton, Susana. La Mortella, An Italian Garden Paradise (2002)


  1. ^ "Giardini La Mortella". 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  2. ^ Paolo Petrocelli (2008-07-18). "Interview: Composer Sir William Walton, as Remembered by his Wife, Lady Susana Walton". Culturekiosque. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  3. ^ John Amis (2010-03-24). "Obituary: Susana Walton". The Guardian, London. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
  4. ^ "No. 55710". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 31 December 1999. p. 36.

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