Susan Clark was discovered acting in "Festival" productions for CBC-TV, one of which, Heloise & Abelard, earned her a 10-year contract with Universal Studios.
Susan ClarkSusan Clark, née Nora Goulding, actor, producer, activist (b at Sarnia, Ont 8 March 1943). Susan Clark was a leading lady of Hollywood films of the late 1960s following a stage career that began as a child. By 12 years old she had joined the Toronto Children's Players Theatre, and she made her professional debut at age 15 in a production of Silk Stockings starring Don Ameche at a summer theatre in Michigan. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, making her West End debut in Poor Bitos opposite Donald Pleasance.
Susan Clark was discovered acting in "Festival" productions for CBC-TV, one of which, Heloise & Abelard, earned her a 10-year contract with Universal Studios. The last actor to be signed to a long-term contract with the studio, Susan Clark starred in 20 features, including Don Seigel's Madigan (1968; opposite Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda) and Coogan's Bluff (1969, opposite Clint Eastwood), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1970, with Robert Redford), Skin Game (1971, opposite James Garner), Airport 75 (1975), The Midnight Man (1974, with Burt Lancaster), and Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975, with Gene Hackman).
Clark turned to television and won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of the famous American athlete from the 1930s, Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, in the movie Babe (1975). She married her co-star from that production, Alex Karras, a former Detroit Lions all-star football player. A year later she was cast as another American heroine, the aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, in the made-for-television movie Amelia Earhart, for which she received a second Emmy nomination.
Staying with television, in 1980 she and Karras formed their own production company, Georgian Bay Productions, and made 3 movies of the week: Jimmy B and Andre (1981), Word of Honor (1981), and Maid in America (1982). They then co-produced, with Paramount Studios, 150 episodes of "Webster". It starred Clark and Karras as the White parents of an adopted Black son, played by Emmanuel Lewis, and ran from 1983 to 1989.
Returning occasionally to Canada, she appeared in a production of Hedda Gabler (1978) for the CBC and 2 films by Bob Clark, Murder by Degree (1979) and Porky's (1981). In 1987, she starred in the made-for-television movie Butterbox Babies, about the controversial midwife Lila Young from Halifax who was charged with selling babies and burying the dead in "butterbox coffins" in her backyard during the Great Depression. Susan Clark was nominated for a Gemini Award for that performance. From 1996-97 she played Aunt Elizabeth in the series "Emily of New Moon". She continues to appear onstage in theatres in the US and Canada, where the Manitoba Theatre Centre presented her in The Retreat from Moscow (2006), and The Importance of Being Earnest (2007).
Devoted to environmental causes and social justice, Susan Clark is co-founder of Americans for a Safe Future. She has received the Women For Achievement Award, the B'nai Brith Women Dove of Peace, the National Women's Political Caucus Bread and Roses Award and the United Nations Ralph Bunche Peace Award. She has been honoured by Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Central American Resource Centre, and works with Committee to Bridge the Gap, a non-profit policy organization focusing on issues of nuclear safety and disarmament.