THE late actress Susan Fitzgerald was a difficult woman to live with because she was so “genuinely saintly”, her former husband has said.
Gate Theatre artistic director Michael Colgan said his late former wife “had no malice of any kind”.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a bad thing about anyone, and I certainly never heard anybody say a bad word about her,” Colgan told Miriam O’Callaghan on Radio One this morning.
“She was a unique woman and I know it’s customary and it’s clichéd to say it,” he added.
Susan Fitzgerald was one of the country’s best known stage actresses. She passed away last month at the age of 64 having lost her battle with cancer.
The couple met as students in Trinity, married in their twenties and had three children, Sarah, Sophie and Richard.
They divorced in recent years, but remained very close, with Colgan much involved in her care as her health deteriorated.
Colgan said his wife “could kill you with kindness”.
“One of the things I did say at the funeral was when the oncologist came into the room to tell Susan she didn’t have much time left, she gripped him by the hand and said ‘You poor thing having to give me that bad news’.
“That would give you an idea of the empathy. I always said she was a woman who could make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.
“That type of empathy and giving to people can be very frustrating for some,” he added.
Colgan said they remained close following the end of their 25-year marriage.
“When the marriage stopped, everything else continued,” he said.
“The parenting, the professional relationship, the friendship, the advice, it all continued.”
Despite her achievements, Colgan said his former wife’s one wish was to see her two new grandchildren, but it wasn’t to be.
“My two daughters are pregnant at the moment and not having their mother around is a terrible thing,” he said.
“Susan’s real goal was to see her two new grandchildren but she didn’t make it.”