Susan Strasberg Biography

Susan Strasberg was an American actress famous for her role in the film ‘Picnic.’ Check out this biography to know about her birthday, childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her.

Quick Facts

Birthday: May 22, 1938

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Died At Age: 60

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: Susan Elizabeth Strasberg

Born Country: United States

Born in: New York City

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'1" (155 cm), 5'1" Females

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Spouse/Ex-: Christopher Jones (m. 1965–1968)

father: Lee Strasberg

mother: Paula Strasberg

Died on: January 21, 1999

Cause of Death: Cancer

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Professional Children's School, and then spent time at both The High School of Music & Art and the High School of Performing Arts.

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Susan Strasberg was a well-known American actress famous for her work in the Broadway production ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, and the films ‘Picnic’ and ‘Kapo.’ Born in New York City, she was the daughter of theatre director Lee Strasberg and former actress Paula Strasberg. Before she began her acting career, she studied at The High School of Music & Art and the High School of Performing Arts. She made her mark after her appearance in the 1955 Broadway play ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, where she played the titular role. She was nominated for a Tony Award and won the Theatre World Award for this role. Her first appearance on the big screen was in the film ‘Cobweb’. In the ensuing years, she acted in many popular films like ‘Picnic’, ‘Kapo’, ‘Scream of Fear’ and ‘The Brotherhood’. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-1990s, which eventually led to her death in 1999, at the age of 60.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • At the age of 14, Susan Strasberg appeared in her first off-Broadway play ‘Maya’ (1953). She then made her TV debut in an episode of ‘Goodyear Playhouse’. The next year, she was seen in the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, where she had the role of Juliet. She also played a regular role in the sitcom ‘The Marriage’.
  • In 1955, she was seen in the movie ‘The Cobweb’, which was directed by Vincente Minnelli. The film featured actors such as Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall and Charles Boyer. It didn’t do very well commercially.
  • Also in 1955, she played an important role in the romantic comedy drama film ‘Picnic.’ It was directed by Joshua Logan. Strasberg’s performance was praised. The film won two Oscars, out of several nominations.
  • She gained a lot of attention for her titular role in the Broadway production of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’. The play ran for 717 performances between 1955 and 1957. Strasberg earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance and also won the Theatre World Award.
  • The success of the play led to her receiving numerous film offers. In 1958, she was seen in ‘Stage Struck’, which was directed by Sidney Lumet. She was next seen in the Italian film ‘Kapo’, which was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.
  • She played the lead role in the thriller film ‘Scream of Fear’ in 1961. It was directed by Seth Holt. The reviews were favorable.
  • In 1962, she played the female lead in the comedy drama film ‘Disorder’. It was directed by Franco Brusati. The same year, she also appeared in the film ‘Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man’, in a supporting role. The film was directed by Martin Ritt. Strasberg was nominated for the Golden Globe Award in the ‘Best Actress’ category.
  • She returned to Broadway to appear in the play ‘The Lady of the Camellias’, which was directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Following this, she appeared in several movies, which included ‘The Big Valley’ (1967), ‘Psych-Out’ (1968), ‘The Brotherhood’ (1968), ‘And Millions Will Die’ (1973), ‘RollerCoaster’ (1977) and ‘The Immigrants’ (1978).
  • She wrote an autobiography named ‘Bittersweet’ in 1980. In the ensuing years, she appeared in films like ‘Bloody Birthday’ (1981), ‘Sweet Sixteen’ (1983), ‘The Delta Force’ (1986), and ‘The Runnin’ Kind’ (1989).
  • Her last works included ‘Schweitzer’ (1990) and ‘Prime Suspect’ (1990). She also wrote two other books, ‘Marilyn and Me: Sisters, Rivals, Friends’ and ‘Confessions of a New Age Heretic.’
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Major Works
  • ’Picnic’, a 1955 American romantic comedy drama film, is one of the early works of Susan Strasberg’s career. Directed by Joshua Logan, it was adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which was also directed by Logan. Strasberg earned appreciation for her role of Millie Owens. The film won two Oscars and was nominated for three more.
  • The work which made Strasberg famous is the play ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, which was staged in 1955. She played the titular role. It was based on the book ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’, by Anne Frank. The play received the Tony Award for Best Play, while Strasberg earned a Tony Award nomination for ‘Best Actress’.
Family & Personal Life
  • Prior to her marriage, Susan Strasberg had relationships with Bobby Driscoll, Warren Beatty, Cary Grant, and Richard Burton.
  • Strasberg married actor Christopher Jones on September 25, 1965. Their daughter, Jennifer Robin, was born after six months. The couple got divorced in 1968.
  • She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-1990s. She passed away of the disease at the age of 60 on January 21, 1999.

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Last Updated
- August 28, 2019
Susan Strasberg

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