Much of Willis' career has been situated in the theatre, including the off-Broadway Mirror Repertory stagings of Children of the Sun and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Her National Touring Company roles include a 350-city stint of Fiddler on the Roof as well as performances in Mame, Picnic, Blithe Spirit, Desk Set, Zorba and The Merchant of Venice.
She has essayed 23 of Shakespeare's characters over the years, beginning with her portrayal of Portia in The Merchant of Venice at the Barter Theatre in Virginia. Her regional and summer stock credits include Stella in Light Up the Sky as well as productions with the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the San Diego Shakespeare Festival, the Old Globe Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse, where she won a fellowship and began her professional career after graduating from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh.
The Ohio native's motion picture roles include What About Bob?, Meryl Streep's She Devil, and The Faculty. She also appeared in Paul Newman's "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and will next be seen in the films Ropewalk and Petty Crimes."
On television, she appeared for three years on the popular daytime serial All My Children and has made guest appearances on Law & Order, Third Watch, Law & Order: S.V.U., the Fox-TV series, Million Dollar Mysteries and HBO's Sex in the City.
She has crowned her lengthy career by creating a unique cabaret act, with pianist Rod Derefinko, called My First 50 Years in the Theatre, in which she performs songs by Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and Noel Coward.
Susan Willis Facts