Susan Shentall

 Susan Shentall and Laurence Harvey in Romeo and Juliet in 1954

Susan Shentall and Laurence Harvey

Susan Shentall left acting straight after this film and never appeared on screen again. She married  married Philip Worthington

What became of actress Susan Shentall, who played Juliet opposite Laurence Harvey’s Romeo in the 1954 film?  She never trained as an actress and appeared in only that one film.

The story of her ‘discovery’ is that the film’s producer had been unable to find an established actress who matched his ideal of an ‘English rose’ to play the part.

Then, in a hotel restaurant, he spotted Susan, just 17, while she was on holiday with her parents in Paris. He asked permission for Susan to audition for the part, and promptly offered it to her.

What a story this is for a young girl to be cast in such a big film at the time – and then to turn her back on a potential film career. She obviously found great happiness with her husband and three children – so all worked out well

The film received three BAFTA nominations and won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice film festival.

Susan Shentall

However, Susan never acted again, choosing instead, at the age of 19, to marry her fiancé, Philip Worthington, ( pictured with her above) with whom she raised three children.

She died ten years ago, following a long illness.

Romeo and Juliet 1954

Above: Director Renato Castellani demonstrating what he requires for the scene.

 

Susan Shentall and Sebastian Cabot

 

Above:  Susan Shentall and Sebastian Cabot - having a bit of fun on the set of Romeo and Juliet

Here are some reviews :-

Laurence Harvey is perfect as the young Romeo. He brings genuine love and pathos to his character that is heart-rending.

Susan Shentall’s gives the most intelligent and moving execution of this challenging role I’ve ever witnessed. She, like Harvey, overcome minor matters of age to make these characters their own.

Who could be a better nurse than the great Flora Robson, or Norman Wooland a finer Paris?

Roman Vlad’s original score is wonderful, and he’s composed a Gallilard that becomes a haunting motif as it’s reprised throughout in different variations.

Susan Shentell brings a lovely gentle quality to Juliet and looks ravishing.

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