An actor born on September 7th, 1946 in Chorzów.
He graduated from the Theatrical Academy in Kraków in 1968, and two years after his debut in Kraków's Teatr Rozmaitości moved to Warsaw. For more than ten seasons, he was associated with the capital's theatres - Teatr Dramatyczny, Współczesny, Powszechny and Studio. In 1988, he left for Vienna. He appeared on the stages of German-speaking countries for eight years (he spent two seasons as a full-time actor at the Municipal Theatre in Bonn). After returning to Poland, he became an actor at the Teatr Narodowy (National Theatre), and in 2000, returned to the stage at Teatr Wspolczesny.
He made his debut while still a student in the film Jowita / Iovita in 1967. The cinema gave him more opportunities to express himself creatively, especially during those first seasons. People took note of his roles, and audiences quickly remembered him as a sensitive and spiritual actor. The lyricism he brought to the big screen was put to good use by Kazimierz Kutz and Andrzej Wajda. In Sól ziemi czarnej / Salt of the Black Earth (1969), as the youngest of seven brothers in the Basista family, the heroic, ardently patriotic but also youthfully naive Gabriel, he carried on the legacy of the idealistic struggle of romantic heroes. In Perła w koronie / The Pearl in the Crown (1971), in a more mature role, he was a warm and lyric father. In Brzezina / The Birch Wood (1970), a film full of symbolism that was a story about love and the passage of time, he played Stanisław, who was dying from tuberculosis. "He based the entire character on contrasts: the feverish activity before death, contrasted with apathy; spasmodic sensuality and joy muted by the signs of the coming catastrophe." (Konrad Eberhardt, Album aktorów polskiego filmu i telewizji, WaiF, 1975) In Janusz Majewski's Lekcja martwego języka / Lesson of a Dead Language) (1979) - as a lieutenant in the Austrian army during the First World War, he created a deep psychological portrait of an incurably ill asthete, who tries to bring sense to his life as the world that he was raised in is collapsing around him.
Lukaszewicz recreated a special kind of subtle and rather neurasthenic individual on the screen. His characters are usually seen in crisis moments in their lives, enmeshed in tragic circumstances, unhappy for historical reasons or because of fate, but above all because of existential reasons. Olgierd Łukaszewicz's acting allowed those loners, miserable and abandoned, to have a beautiful death. From romantic, lyric, nostalgic heroes, marked by misfortune, disease (such as Ostrzeński from Noce i dni / Days and Nights (1975), Szczerbic in Dzieje grzechu / The Story of a Sin (1975), Odrowąż in Wierna Rzeka / The Faithful River (1983)), Łukaszewicz moved in the direction of negative heroes who were complicated and sickly. The anarchist commander in Agnieszka Holland's Gorączka / The Fever (1980) was ruthless and fanatic; Franzel in Filip Bajon's Magnat / The Magnate (1985) was a calculating Nazi who had succumbed to the cult of power; in Wieslaw Saniewski's Dotknieci / The Touched (1988), he played the role of a monstrous doctor. Audiences were very surprised at his performance as the meek and disorientated scientist Albercik in Juliusz Machulski's Seksmisja / Sexmission (1983), in which he and Jerzy Stuhr once again both proved their acting abilities.
In the theatre, he began as a lover-type in the roles of Walery in Moliere's Tartuffe (Polish trans., Swiętoszek) (1969) and Wacław in Zemsta / Revenge (1970). The first important performance in which the Lukaszewicz showed his ability in the theatre was the play by Jerzy Grzegorzewski, based on themes from Franz Kafka's America (Polish trans., Ameryka) (1973) at Teatr Ateneum. He had the leading role - Karl Rossman. "Łukaszewicz has the ideal appearance for this role. One could even say that this is the perfect theatrical debut for this film star... In America, he has something of Kafka's pathological disquiet in him, while at the same time is a charming, naive boy, who, in his struggle for existence in a merciless, hostile world, which crushes people to a pulp, he attempts to maintain his moral purity, his compassionate humanity-split between his stubborn desire to live with others and his sense of utter loneliness." (August Grodzicki, "Wyjść z labiryntu!" "Zycie Warszawy", no. 32/1973)
After his role as Billy, the immature patient from Dale Wasserman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1977) in Warsaw's Teatr Powszechny, the critics thought he deserved an Oscar in for "best psychiatric performance". Łukaszewicz's theatre "mentors" became Franz Kafka and Taduesz Różewicz. He played the character of Kafka twice in Pułapka / The Trap, at Warsaw's Teatr Studio under the direction of Jerzy Grzegorzewski (1984) and in the Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji) production, directed by Stanisław Różewicz (1990). In 1984, critics were unanimous in their opinion: "That is Kafka, his three-dimensional shading, his trembling, sick, disintegrating and very beautiful double." (Stefan Treugutt, "Wzlot w zniszczenie", "Teatr", no. 4/1984). In the television version, too, he gave a disturbing and fascinating performance: "he has the delicateness that is so necessary in the role of Franz, the looks, natural elegance of his movements and his boyish timidness, and on the other hand, the strength and determination of a true artist who is completely dedicated to his art." (Elżbieta Baniewicz, "Czarna ściana", "Twórczosc", no. 2/1991)
Łukaszewicz became known as an outstanding interpreter of poetry - The Psalms of David, in the Roman Brandstaetter's translation (1985), in his interpretation were about faith and doubt, about prayer and sacrilege, all at once, a hymn to god, but also a depiction of man's weakness. He also prepared monodramas based on the poetry of Jerzy Harasymowicz, Stanisław Grochowiak and the poetic prose of Maurice Gilliams. "There are subjects that absorb me, the depiction of prayer, of struggling for the sense of one's own existence in the profession. But there are jokes, too. Life in the fiction of art is comprised of jokes and lyrical contemplation-there is nothing else. The rest is just information." ("Gazeta Olsztyńska", 28-30 Nov 1997) His most recent monodrama was the ironic and bitter A kaz ty ta Polska, based on Stanisław Wyspiański's work, which is travelling throughout Poland. Through Wyspiański, Lukaszewicz is learning to be engaged in important issues - from cruel jokes, to pathos.
He than appeared on the stage of Teatr Współczesny. In William Nicholson's Odwrót / Turn Back (2000), he plays the role of a man who leaves his wife for another woman after over thirty years, and "who for the first time represents a person who is burdened with a considerable amount of baggage accumulated over the years and various experiences, whose heavy weight is ever more difficult for him to bear. He shows his tired face and body, strangely cramped up, a withered figure emanating an embittered determination. A masterpiece." ("Rzeczpospolita", 2 Nov 2000)
He was the initiator of several unusual events organised by Warsaw actors. On All Saints' Day, in front of Teatr Narodowy, they staged Namiot przymierza / Ark of the Covenant (1999), dedicated to the memory of the Jews, and Siberia - Ostatnie pozegnanie / Siberia - The Final Farewell (2000) - in honour of the Poles who were exiled to Siberia, many of whom perished. He was also the initiator of Noc pielgrzyma / Night of the Pilgrim - a theatrical mystery play in honour of the romantic poet Juliusz Słowacki, which took place on the occasion of the unveiling of the Słowacki memorial in Warsaw on 29 September 2001.
"Being an artist should be a kind of calling", stresses Łukaszewicz. "If there is an ethos according to which intellectuals are the bearers of enlightenment and education, then there is also an ethos of the artist, who shares with his audience that which he himself is experience, shares the mystery of existence, love, and curiosity about other people. One is an artist from time to time-when one succeeds in touching the core of the problem, a philosophical catchword, a turn of phrase that penetrates to the very heart of the matter." ("Gazeta Lubuska", 8-9 May 1999) "I treat acting as a kind of service. The aim of our work, of every artist, is after all to act as witness, to have an influence on people, to prompt them to reflect, to grow intellectually, to shape their opinions." ("Aktorstwo to rodzaj służby", "Przegląd Tygodniowy", 29 March 2000).
He created interesting roles of mature men facing unexpected love. He played painter Marek Wawrowski in a war melodrama Deborah, directed by Ryszard Brylski (1995). He convincingly portrayed a married man who falls for a young Jewish girl Deborah (played by Renata Dancewicz). In Temptation, directed by Barbara Sass (1995) - a film about love and freedom, religion and politics, set in the Stalinist times, he played a priest. His partner on screen was Magdalena Cielecka, who played a nun falling in love with the priest she was employed by the communist authorities to watch.
He played the title part in Ryszard Bugajski's General Nil (2009) subtly and sublimely at the same time. It tells the story of the last years of the legendary leader of Home Army's Kedyw - a steadfast hero, killed by the security forces in 1953 and convicted to oblivion by the PRL propaganda. 'General Nil is played by Olgierd Łukaszewicz, whom we haven't seen on the screen for a long time, and it would be hard to imagine anyone better in this role' - wrote Zdzisław Pietrasik ("Polityka", 14.04.2009).
In 2011 Łukaszewicz played a supporting role of a psychotherapist, crucial to the plot of Jacek Bromski's Entanglement, based on Zygmunt Miłoszewski's bestseller. He also played the fascinating, charismatic mistic, Jakub Frank, in Adrian Panek's original debut feature Daas. He also appeared in Małgorzata Szumowska's In the name of... (2013), in Filip Bajon's Damaged (2015) and in the screenwriter's Maciej Szczerbic's debut, Sprawiedliwy / Just, which unfortunately hasn't hit the screens yet.
He also played in TV series such as Twarze i maski, Na dobre i na złe, Plebania, and theWorld War II drama Czas honoru.
Since 2003 he works mainly in Teatr Polski in Warsaw. He played, among others in plays directed by Jarosław Kilian: Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest (2003), Jacob in As you like it (2006), Mentes and Mentor i Homer's Odyssey (2005). He was Franciszek Gamciewicz in Aleksander Fredro's EuroCity / From Przemyśl to Przeszowa directed by Andrzej Łapicki (2005). He also took part in an interesting project called Wyzwolenie - próby / Liberation - rehearsals (dir. Adam Wojtyszko, Weronika Szczawińska, Wawrzyniec Kostrzewski), in which young directors worked on Wyspiański's play (2007) in 2009 he played Sajetan Tempe in S. I. Witkiewicz's Szewcy / Shoemakers and as Time in Shakespeare's Winter's Tale. He also lent his voice to musical projects such as Krzysztof Penderecki's Paradise Lost shown in the Opera in Wrocław (2009) and Grzegorz Walczak's Obłoczni or Chopin's Dream, which he also directed (2011). His last role up to date is Tiresias in Oedipus the King, directed by Jakub Krofta in Teatr Dramatyczny in Warsaw (2014).
Most significant awards:
- 1970 - Zbigniew Cybulski Award for outstanding achievement in acting
- 1979 - special mention for his role as Billy in Dale Wasserman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Polish trans., Lot nad kukułczym gniazdem) at Warsaw's Teatr Powszechny during the Kalisz Theatrical Encounters
- 1984 - acting award for his role as Franz in Tadeusz Różewicz's Pułapka / The Trap at Warsaw's Teatr Studio at the Festival of Contemporary Polish plays in Wroclaw
- 1986 - acting award for Psalmy Dawida / Psalms of David in Roman Brandstaetter's translation at the Festival of One-Man Shows in Wrocław
- 2000 - Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
- 2002 - Gold Medal for Merit for Country's Defence
- 2005 - Silver Medal Gloria Artis - Merit to Culture
- 2008 - Order of Merit for the Federal Republic of Germany;
- 2010 - Tiburon International Film Festival - Golden Reel Award for best actor for General Nil.
- 2011 - Krzysztof Zaleski Splendor of Splendors, award of the Polish Radio Theatre for radio performances.
- 2014 - Gold Medal Gloria Artis - Merit to Culture.
December 2001, updated by NMR, October 2016.