Renowned Polish actor Krzysztof Kolberger has passed away at the age of 60 in Warsaw. After bravely battling cancer for many years, Kolberger succumbed to the disease on January 7, 2011. He was best known for his roles at the National Theatre in Warsaw, where he starred in performances of classic Polish works and later for his film roles in productions by Wajda and Zanussi...
Krzysztof Kolberger, Warsaw, December 6, 2010, Photo: Zbyszek Kaczmarek/East News
Renowned Polish actor Krzysztof Kolberger has passed away at the age of 60 in Warsaw
After bravely battling cancer for many years, Kolberger succumbed to the disease on January 7, 2011. He was best known for his roles at the National Theatre in Warsaw, where he starred in performances of classic Polish works such as Mickiewicz's Forefather's Eve and Wypiański's The Wedding.
Born on August 13, 1950 in Gdańsk, he completed his studies at the State Theatre Academy in Warsaw. He had his theatre debut at the Silesian Theatre in Katowice in 1972. He quickly moved to Warsaw, where he joined the National Theatre, where he remained until 1982. He later joined the companies of the capital's Współczesny(1982-87) and Ateneum (1988-2000) Theatres.
Kolberger also gained a great reputation for his interpretations and oratorios of works by major international poets - from T.S. Eliot to Juliusz Słowacki, Czesław Miłosz and even Pope John Paul II. In the days of mourning following the Pope's death he took on the daunting task of reading the holy man's testament out loud.
Kolberger evolved from the stage onto the television and cinema screens, starring in a number of films directed by such famed directors as Andrzej Wajda, Kaziemierz Kutz and Krzysztof Zanussi. His most memorable roles spanned such films as Wajda's Popiół i diament" / "Ash and Diamonds, Zanussi's Kontrakt" / "Contract, Kazimierz Kutz's Na straży swej stać będę" / "I Shall Stand as My Own Guard and Waldemar Krzystka's Ostatni Prom" / "Last Ferry. He went on to direct theatre and opera performances, including a spectacular recital dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul the II, which revived young Karol Wojtyła's poems. Later he lent his voice to the Polish dubbed version of the American television miniseries Pope John Paul II, starring John Voigt.
In the last few years of his life he served as an inspiration to many for his brave and optimistic battle against cancer. He continued to work as an actor throughout his illness, with a part in Marcin Wrona's 2009 film Moja Krew" / "My Blood. Writer Marzanna Graff-Oszczepalińska portrayed him in her book Odnaleźć dobro" / "Discovering Good, in which she recounts her personal encounters with the goodness of man.