Farrell has received honorary degrees from Harvard Yale University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University among others. She started to develop arthritis in her right hip and despite two years of varied treatments by 1985 (at the age of 40) her career on stage was almost over. In the fall of 1999 Farrell received critical acclaim for the successful Kennedy Center engagement and East Coast tour of Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th century Ballet.
She was born as Roberta Sue Ficker in Cincinnati and received her early training at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. C. Suzanne Farrell (born August 16 1945) is an eminent 20th century ballerina (often referred to as the greatest American lyric ballerina) and the founder of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.