A distinguished actress working in theatre, film and cabaret. Born on December 6, 1928, in Warsaw.
A distinguished Polish actress working in theatre, film and cabaret.
She continues to perform at the age of 83, engaged in a number of productions in prominent Warsaw theatres.
During the war Krafftówna took dance and pantomime lessons and attended drama classes at Iwo Gall Dramatic Studio. In 1945 she resumed her studies at the Studio, which was moved to Kraków's Stary Teatr in the post-war period. One year later, together with the group of the Studio graduates, she joined Iwo Gall at Gdynia's Wybrzeże Theatre, where she made her stage debut in 1946 in the role of a Fisherwoman in Homer and the Orchid by Tadeusz Gajcy. In 1947 she passed an extramural examination to become an actress by profession.
In the following years, she performed at prominent theatres in Łódź, Wrocław and Warsaw, playing a wide variety of roles from both Polish and international repertoires in the plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekhov, Brecht, Witkiewicz, Miller, Durrenmatt, Gombrowicz and Mrożek.
In 1953 she made her first big-screen appearance in picture directed by Jan Rybkowski and Jan Fethke picture entitled Sprawa do załatwienia / A business to settle. Her most fruitful film collaboration was that with the director Wojciech Jerzy Has, including roles such as Zosia in Złoto / Gold (1961), Camilla de Tormez in Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie / The manuscript found in Saragossa (1964) and Jadwiga in Upał / The Codes.
Krafftówna's most significant film achievement is the role of Felicja in Has' 1962 film Jak być kochaną / How to be loved. The extremely emotional, highly complicated role, presented in the form of an internal monologue, presents a woman dealing with the past, returning to her in the form of dramatic images. Felicja is both, a prosecutor and a defender in her own case, when she tries to answer herself a question if the way she behaved in the past was the right one. The role, regarded as the most interesting female film role of the post-war Polish cinema, was also awarded individual prize at the 1963 San Francisco International Film Festival.
Krafftówna lent her characteristic voice to a varied repertoire of stage and cabaret songs, taking part in such popular ensembles as the Elderly Gentlemen's Cabaret / Kabaret Starszych Panów. Between 1983-1998 the actress lived in the United States. During her stay there, she was awarded the prestigious Drama Logue prize for her role in Witkacy's Matka / The Mother. At the end of the Nineties, she returned to Poland, actively participating as an actress in numerous theatre, film and TV series productions. Her most recent role was the role of a lottery winner in Janusz Kondratiuk's comedy Million Dollars.
Million Dollars hits screens May 13, 2011 directed by Janusz Kondratiuk.
Barbara Krafftówna is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the 2006 Gloria Artis Gold Medal for her contributions to culture and the 2007 title of Master of the Polish Mother Tongue.
Over the week of May 14-22, 2011, Warsaw's Teatr Dramatyczny celebrated her birthday with a programme of concerts and performances, starring Krafftówna herself.
Source: www.culture.pl, www.rp.pl
Auhtor: Halina Olczak-Moraczewska, December 2006.
Updated May 2011.