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■ Melbourne’s showbiz community is mourning the death of publicist Suzie Howie, at age 63. Opening night audience members at A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum, Suzie’s final professional assignment, paid their tributes to the dynamo. Reports on Page 3 and 6. Di Rolle’s tribute is on Page 12

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Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - Page 3

‘Ask the audience to pause and hold back their applause. A great friend has left the theatre.’ Suzie Howie. Extraordinary woman. ■ Mebourne’s showbiz community is mourning the passing of publicist Suzie Howie, who died on Thursday night, after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. Suzie was remembered on Saturday at the opening night of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, her final professional assignment. Suzie, 63, had worked on a range of theatrical projects including Cats, Phantom Of The Opera, The Man From Snowy River, Love Never Dies ... even the visit of Pope John Paul II to Australia in 1995. Performer Marina Prior led the tributes to Suzie Howie: “Ask the audience to pause and hold back their applause. A great friend has left the theatre.” Condolence messages were plentiful on social media: TV producer Pam Barnes said: “There will never be another Suzie. What an amazingly fabulous, intelligent, brilliant woman. I have known her for more years than I care to count. I am so sad she has gone.” Colleague Donna Unsgaard said: “I had the pleasure of being Suzie's assistant. She was inspiring and wonderful. Such a lady and a fighter. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.” Entertainer Silvie Paladino said: “So saddened to hear the news of the passing of my first publicist and friend Suzie Howie. May the angels be singing to you the most majestic and glorious song. Rest in peace darling, can't imagine an opening night without you pushing me around!” Performer Matt Hetherington added: “It's so sad to hear of the passing of Suzie Howie. She was a great force of energy and enthusi-


● Barry Humphries with Suzie Howie, at the Love Never Dies opening night, at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre last year. asm. She will be greatly missed. RIP the best in the business RIP.” Radio pair Grubby (Peter Suzie.” Theatre identity Simon Gallaher Stubbs) and Dee Dee (Diane Dunsaid: “This saddens me deeply as leavy) said: “We are feeling very Suzie was so instrumental for the sad about the passing of one of success of Essgee shows around the Melbourne's best PR gals, Suzie Howie. A straight-talking, kind, country. RIP dear Suzie.” Leading press photographer Julie funny, dynamic woman, her parting Kiriacoudis said: “Very sad news, words were "Enjoy life - I have". As always, we will do as she asks. RIP Suzie.” Radio man Ian Maurice said: “I'm shocked. I thought Suzie was invinvincible. RIP Suzie. The theatre will miss you so much.” 3AW theatre commentator Chris Ryan said: “I am deeply saddened by dear Suzie's passing. The the-

‘Led by example’

■ “Suzie Howie was one very special person - I really do think they broke the mould after they made her,” said Julie Houghton, Melbourne Observer arts columnist. “Having dealt with Suzie over three decades as an arts journalist, she inspired confidence in everyone she dealt with. “If Suzie said an interview would happen, you knew you could rely on it. “But my real admiration for Suzie increased tenfold when I started out as a publicist myself, and quickly realised that the role model I needed was Suzie. “To watch the way she con● Julie Houghton ducted a press reception, or glided easily around the room connecting people to one another, was an education in how to do the job. “And always with a smile and a welcoming word for each arts journo at her reception. From a very personal perspective, Suzie was always very supportive of my own efforts as a publicist and so kind in her feedback and encouragement. “This was something I treasured from the lady who has been aptly called the Publicity Queen. Suzie, I shall miss you greatly, but glad for your sake that you are now at peace. Thanks for leading by example, and we are poorer for not having you here anymore.”

atre lights will seem just a tad dimmer tonight. But tomorrow, they'll be serving breakfast outside Florentino's in Bourke St - one our last 'on the hop' meetings ... a list of to dos in front of her, the dogs in the car and Paul by her side ... somewhere there's an incandescence needing to glow upon a show. It will be unimaginably enriched. Goodnight dear friend.” Age columnist Suzanne Carbone said: “Saddened by the death of wonderful publicist Suzie Howie but heartened that she is being chauffeured to the theatre in the sky and has the best seat in the house in row H.” Actor Nick Giannopoulos recalled: “Suzie and Paul worked on some of my stage shows in the 90s. I will never forget the long coffee sessions at Mario's discussing the publicity schedule. “It began with me not wanting to do any of it and an hour later Suzie had convinced me to do all of it. “She really understood actors and knew exactly what to say and when to say it. The best I've worked with. RIP Suzie. My deepest sympathies to Paul.” Journalist Cheryl Critchley said: “ It's so sad. Suzie was one of the best, and a great person as well.” Media woman Alison Lee-Tet said: “Vale to the lovely Suzie Howie. You are the most amazing person I've met, who made everyone who met you feel so very special and unique. “The world of music, musical theatre and entertainment will not be the same without your cheery face and voice around the place for launches and opening nights.” Photographer Jim Lee said: “A trooper to the end. Vale Suzie Howie. You will be very sadly missed in Showbiz, in the arts, in theatre, in the media, by your family and friends, and in our hearts!” Writer Jacqueline Pascarl said: "So sad, what a wonderful 'gal' - VIP seats to Heaven Suzie.” ● Turn To Page 6


● Melbourne photographer Jim Lee captured Suzie Howie at work on her final professional assignment, the launch of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, with John Frost and Simon Phillips.

Farewell message

● Suzie Howie ■ “A publicist to the end,” is how Age journalist Karl Quinn described Suzie Howie, following her death at Kyneton on Thursday night. Suzie prepared a farewell message prior to her passing, which was released by her solicitor: ★ “I have had a terrific life and am so grateful for the fun, the excitement and the wonderful people who have been part of it. “Couldn't have done it without the love of my creative husband, Paul Taylor, and the warmth and love of his family, who have given me so much affection and support – and that includes the first Mrs Taylor, Maggie Pinkney. “My clever and amusing doctors, Gaynor Simmons and Bob Millar, who have guided me through the last seven years of breast cancer and best of all shown me that death is just a part of life. “I am so grateful to them, as it has meant that I have genuinely accepted this and taken joy from all my life. “The darling people of Woodend, who made Paul and I so welcome, and always up for a laugh. “And to Frosty the Showman – for giving me a fabulous show like Forum as a brilliant exit line. “Please note – that after 30 years of media calls, press conferences, before and after drinks and all those opening night parties — enough is enough. “There will be NO funeral, and certainly no memorial. I am very happy to just float away when called. “Thank you everyone – and enjoy life. I have.”

Dear friend ● Melbourne Observer columnist Di Rolle pays her tribute to her friend Suzie Howie on Page 12.

Melbourne Observer. 121031S. Preview of Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Tribute to Suzie Howie.  

Melbourne Observer. 121031S. Preview of Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Pages 1 and 3. Tribute to Suzie Howie.

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