Editors at Theatre People are sad to hear of the passing of entertainment publicist Suzie Howie who died in Kyneton hospital overnight after a long battle with breast cancer. She was aged 63.

Many of the high profile musicals covered by Theatre People in recent years were handled by Suzie's company Howie & Taylor. Suzie's flair and passion are captured perfectly in this shot from the announcement earlier this year of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum.

During her 30 year career, Suzie Howie handled some of the world’s biggest names in show business including Sammy Davis Jr, Rudolf Nereyev, Cher, Barry Humphries, Paul Hogan and Kirk Douglas.

Howie worked on almost every major musical in Australia including Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys and Wicked. Throughout her illustrious career, Howie publicised more than 600 shows and also managed the 1995 tour of the late Pope John Paul II. Howie also publicised international film blockbusters such as Crocodile Dundee, The Man from Snowy River and The Man from Snowy River II.

In true publicist style, Howie penned her own death notice which was distributed via 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," she wrote.

"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."

Longtime friend and promoter John Frost who most recently worked with Suzie on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, said “As a publicist she was the number one in her field. The industry has lost a person who lived and loved being the best at what she did. Thank you Suzie for being a total original.”

Live Performance Australia President, Andrew Kay said "Suzie was loved, respected and admired by anyone lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with her. She was the queen of publicists and we are forever blessed to have been able to count her as a member of our Live Performance family.”

Photo: Simon Parris

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