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Susannah York dies at 72

The son of Susannah York, who has died of cancer, paid tribute to her yesterday as a talented actress with an eclectic career and a “truly wonderful mother”.

York became a star of stage and screen and was best known for her role in the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, for which she won a Bafta and was nominated for the best supporting actress Oscar.

She died at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London yesterday at the age of 72 after suffering from bone marrow cancer.

Her son, the actor Orlando Wells, said she was admitted to hospital on January 6, three days before her birthday, after suffering pain in her shoulder.

“She was obviously an incredibly brave woman, because she didn't complain at all,” the actor said.

He and sister Sasha are in “terrible shock”, but he said of his mother: “From Sasha and my point of view, she was absolutely the centre of our lives. She was a truly, truly wonderful mother.”

York enjoyed a varied career that saw her win acclaim for roles in films including A Man For All Seasons, Battle of Britain and Tom Jones.

In more recent years she was seen on television screens in BBC dramas Holby City and Casualty, as well as continuing her work on the stage.

Speaking from his home in south-west London, Wells said: “What amazed me about mum was how she managed to garner so many strands of her career.”

York's stunning blue eyes and blonde hair set men's pulses racing and she was one of the best known faces of the swinging Sixties.

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