Susan George


Looking every inch the lady of the manor as she poses against the historic backdrop of Maunsel House, a stunning medieval mansion in Somerset, time seems to have stood still for the ever youthful Susan George.

Yet the actress is experiencing monumental changes in her personal and professional life right now -changes she talks about for the first time in this exclusive interview with HELLO!.

“I’ve turned a massive corner,” she says. “I feel incredibly excited, which I never thought I’d feel again. There’s so much more to do in my lifetime and still so much to fulfil.”

Not only is Susan embracing a renaissance in her film and TV career, preparing for a one-woman stage show and completing her candid autobiography, but she is also considering a move from the wilds of Exmoor and parting with many of her Georgian Arabian horses, part of the equestrian breeding enterprise she has devoted more than two decades to.

It is all, she says, exactly what her husband, actor Simon MacCorkindale, who died of cancer at 58 in 2010, would have wanted.

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Susan GeorgeAs she focuses on the future SUSAN GEORGE opens her heart for the first time about the loss of her husband and soul mate SIMON MacCORKINDALE

Tucked away in a remote comer of Exmoor with her horses and dogs around her, actress Susan George is busy – very busy. It may seem a strange time to take on such a heavy workload, but she’s the first to admit that it helps numb the pain of losing her husband and soulmate, actor Simon MacCorkindale, who lost his brave battle with cancer last October.

Just days after celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary, Simon died in Susan’s arms. He had fought the disease for five years, but when the end came it was swift and unexpected.

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Hello – 25th October 2010

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Much-loved actor Simon MacCorkindale died of cancer in the arms of his wife Susan George last week, at the age of just 58.

The former Casualty star died in a London clinic after a brave four-year fight against a disease that he refused to let dominate his life.

In a moving tribute to her beloved husband of 25 years, actress Susan said: “To me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart He will live on in me forever”

Simon had credited his wife (together, above) as being an “unbelievable” support throughout his ordeal And Susan was quick to pay tribute to the TV and stage star’s own fighting spirit as she mourned his passing. “No one could have fought this disease any harder than he did since being diagnosed four years ago” she said. “He fought it with such strength, courage and belief. Last night, he lost this battle, and he died peacefully in my arms”

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‘Simon is not dying of cancer – he’s living with it, That’s really important’

Actor Simon MacCorkindale is looking a picture of health, riding his quad bike across the Exmoor farm he shares with his actress wife Susan George. His rosy cheeks and positive energy make the knowledge that he is battling cancer all the harder to comprehend.

It was only last month that former Casualty star Simon, 57, revealed the secret he’d been harbouring for three and a half years. During that time, he’d thrown himself into a grueling work schedule. A schedule he now admits was ridiculous given that, when not filming the BBC medical drama, he was undergoing surgery for bowel cancer.

After that, he took on two national tours and the exacting role of Captain Georg Von Trapp in The Sound of Music in the West End, while quietly coping with the knowledge that the cancer had spread to his lungs.

But Simon is not the sort of character to sit and brood over what life throws at him.

Being told he may have only five years to live has made him all the more determined to confound the doctors’ prognosis.

“There’s not a single cancer that exists that someone hasn’t survived, so therefore nothing is incurable,” he says in his distinctive deep voice

“Never underestimate the power of the mind and spirit.”

This positive approach, coupled with homeopathic treatments and a macrobiotic diet has, he says, yielded significant results.

“I have rarely felt fitter or had more energy,” he says. But, right now, he has reduced his workload as he undergoes a six-month course of chemotherapy, a treatment that he believes will shrink the cancer and stop it spreading.

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Hello – 15th July 2008

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They come from two completely different worlds: she’s an internationally renowned actress who has starred in 30 films, most notably opposite Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs; he’s the Crown Prince of Ajman, the smallest of the United Arab Emirates, which sits on the edge of the Persian Gulf and is set to be a hot new holiday destination.

Nevertheless, Susan George and His Highness Sheikh Ammar have been friends for years, brought together by their mutual passion for the purebred Arabian horse. “I remember meeting Susan six years ago, at the All Nations Cup horse show in Aachen,” says Sheikh Ammar. “I had seen a few of Susan’s movies and, of course, meeting her was a pleasure. When we first met, she commented on some of my horses in the show ring.” ‘They were absolutely gorgeous,” adds Susan. “I enjoy being in his company and value him highly as a person and as a friend. When it comes to horse breeding, we’ve much to talk about”

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Hello – October 16 2007

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Formerly known for her work on the big screen, these days Susan George can be forgiven for horsing around behind the camera. The actress turned equestrian photographer has been celebrating her first major exhibition in Mayfair. The Straw Dogs star and film icon of the 1970s has latterly turned her attention to Arabian horses, which she breeds at the farm in Somerset that she owns with her husband of 23 years, Casualty star Simon MacCorkindale

Susan, who is honorary president of the Horse of the Year Show and even has her own line of homeopathic horse treatments, told hello! she has always had an interest in photograph “I discovered I could find out so much about my horses through the eye of a lens. It’s incredibly exciting to see die energy and magic of die Arabian shining through a picture. When I have a winning image, I say to the horse, ‘That’s the one.”

Susan, 57, admits of the stud farm: “It’s an extravagant hobby which takes everything I earn – and my husband likewise.” However, with Simon, 55, planning to hang up his stethoscope as smooth-talking consultant Harry Harper in Casualty, Susan may need to rein in her passion slightly.

Pictured At Home With Her Magnificent Arabian Horses

Actress Susan George Reveals Why She Gave Up Hollywood For The Good Life

While Susan George remains firmly embedded in the nation’s psyche for her illustrious film career, these days the actress is more likely to to be found delivering foals than lines from a script

In a move that has taken her far from the bright lights of Hollywood, the Straw Dogs star now spends her time breeding Arabian horses at the farm she shares with her husband of 22 years, Casualty star Simon MacCorkindale. In turn, the magnificent animals have led to Susan’s inspired venture into photography.

So successful has she become in both her new fields that later this month, her dazzling work will become the first-ever photography exhibition to be held at the Petley Fine Art gallery in Mayfair.

Ever restless, Susan runs a hand through her blonde hair and lets out an infectious laugh. “I’m always desperate for a challenge,” she says with a smile. “Then once I achieve my goal, I have a habit of moving on to the next challenge straightaway.”

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Susan George and Simon MacCorkindale

Take A Break In Mauritius Before She Launches Her New Singing Career And He Prepares For A Starring Role In Hit Hospital Drama Casualty

Even the most assiduous actress needs rest and refreshment. But seven long years had passed without Susan George taking time out in the sun. “I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed holidays,” says the fine-boned blonde with the fierce work ethic and a long-ago romantic link with Prince Charles.

A recent sybaritic stay in Mauritius with husband Simon MacCorkindale has reminded her. The couple had a lot to celebrate on their two-week stay, seized between Susan finishing recording her first-ever album and Simon starting filming Casualty (to be broadcast in May), in which he plays head consultant Harry Harper.

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Albert Square seems an improbable address for Susan George, but for three “exhilarating” months the English rose actress made it home. You’d normally link Susan not with cockney parlours but with the finer things of country life – with rose-painted china, red setters and the Arab horses she now breeds on a Northamptonshire farm.

Susan made her young name huge in Hollywood, starred in Straw Dogs at 21 and was romanced by the Prince of Wales. At that stage, plum parts in Dynasty and The Colbys were hers for the signing, but Susan always said “no” to soap. But now, six years after she last appeared in front of the camera, the blonde once named among the world’s 100 all-time sexiest actresses has embraced her EastEnders role as if to Bow bells born.

“When my agent rang to say I’d been offered the guest-starring role of Margaret,” says Susan, “she did first ask if I was sitting down. But I was already a fan and I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve just finished my studio run and I miss everyone already. I enjoy the buzz, the energy, that whole other life. Joining EastEnders is like joining a family.”

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Susan GeorgeSusan George

Actress Susan George marked the end of the Horse of the Year Show by hosting a celebrity gala dinner on behalf of Grandstand Media.

Susan, who is honorary president of the show and a keen equestrian, welcomed a galaxy of stars to the black-tie event at Wembley Arena. One of the highlights of the evening was when Susan’s husband Simon MacCorkindale, who had flown back from filming in Canada especially for the event, recited Ode To The Horse to the assembled celebrity guests.

The six-day horse-fest is the high point of the show-jumping season and this year attracted 45,000 visitors.

Dedicating the Success of Her New Venture to Her Beloved Late Sister

Susan George Tells Why Christmas Will Be Tingled With Sadness

It won’ t be stockings but stable duty for Susan George on Christmas morning. In “scruffy jeans and a flat cap”, she’ll be outdoors early, feeding, watering and hanging hay nets for her 20-odd Arabian horses. It’s a long way from Hollywood for the star of Straw Dogs and many other films, but the 12-acre Northants stud farm Susan shares with her husband, actor Simon MacCorkindale, is the fulfillment of a long-held dream.

In fact it’s more than she ever dreamed of to be breeding, showing and – when their busy film production company permits – riding out with Simon on their prize-winning Arabs. “Fifteen years ago,” Susan explains, “my dream was of having just one horse grazing outside my own front door.”

There’ll be tinsel around the stable doors and “something special” for every four-legged friend – including the quartet of Irish setters. But Christmas Day will also be tinged with sadness for Susan as it’ll be the first she’ll spend without her much-loved mother Billie, who died in January at the age of 88. And Susan is still devastated by the loss of her older sister – “and best friend” – Pam just before Christmas two years ago.

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Hello – 29th June 1996

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Susan George In Motorway Crash With Husband Simon

Susan George and husband Simon MacCorkindale had a narrow escape earlier this week when the car they were travelling in crashed on the M40 in Oxfordshire.

The couple were taken to Radcliffe Infirmary where Susan was treated for a head wound and Simon, who injured his neck, was kept in overnight for observation.

The couple were on their way to London for the Stella Artois tennis tournament when the accident happened. Their Range Rover hit the central barrier, somersaulted

Hello – 13th April 1996

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An Arabian Night in Dubai and a Day At The Races For The Horse-Loving Acting Couple

Susan George and Simon MacCorkindale, both great horse lovers, glance across the paddock enclosure with wonderment written across their faces. “We’ve been to race meetings all over the world, but we’ve never seen anything quite like this,” says Susan. “There is something very special about this race, which has attracted the world’s best horses, owners, trainers and jockeys.”

Susan and her husband Simon were among a host of celebrities present at the inaugural event at the Nad Al Sheba racetrack, located 15 kilometres from the centre of Dubai.

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Susan George and Simon MacCorkindale

The acting couple shows us the dream farm that’s allowed them to put down their roots and provides a break from their hectic film careers

Susan George and Simon MacCorkindale have been cruising along the movie world’s jet-set super-highway for over 20 years. They have probably spent more time in exotic film locations than in their native Britain. Even on their wedding day they were to be found exchanging sacred vows on the paradise isle of Fiji.

But now Susan, at 44, and Simon, at 43, have finally stopped roaming – and it is largely due to the farm they have just moved to on the edge of an old-world village.

The idyllic 17th-century property with its 12 lush acres on the Oxfordshire-Northamptonshire border has given them a clearer perspective, a degree of tranquillity – and forced them to re-evaluate their lives.

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Hello – 30 October 1993

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Susan George

With Her Husband Simon MacCorkindale At Their Berkshire Home Talks About Her Family, Her Beloved Father, And The Importance Of Her Adored Red Setters

Running a film production company from their Berkshire home allows Susan George and her husband Simon MacCorkindale to combine their careers with their passion for red setters.

Both Susan and Simon are best known for their acting roles but their company, Amy International, is proving a powerful player in the independent film world. They made Stealing Heaven in 1987 and two years later White Roues won the Tokyo Film Festival’s Grand Prix. A TV film on the life of missing peer Lord Lucan and a mini-series, a 19th-century love story called The Liaison, are scheduled for next year.

When Amy International is recruiting new staff members, candidates must get the dogs’ approval first. “We have to know the dogs like them – and dog lovers certainly get my vote,” says Susan.

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