Czech actors: Modern era (1980/90-)


During the eighties, there were four directors, who had enormous commercial success - firstly, Zdeněk Troška with the first two parts of the "Sun, Hay..." trilogy, secondly, Vít Olmer with provocative projects, then Dušan Klein with the "poetic trilogy" and especially Jaroslav Soukup, who learned that the most rewarding thing is to make attractive movies for young people. Except these I should list Poledňáková's S tebou mě baví svět, a family comedy that won huge popularity. Further, Menzel's My Sweet Village is a cathegory for itself, but other Menzel's movies remained outside Top 20.


Among actors, Luděk Sobota lost his position as the Czech comedian Number One and his movies, more and more simpleminded, completely disappeared from the top list. Perhaps the most popular personalities of the 80's were thus young idols of teenagers like Lukáš Vaculík or Pavel Kříž.


If I were to choose something from the list below, my personal favourites of the 80's would be Olmer's criminal drama Bony a klid a Smyczek's student's comedy Sněženky a machři. And the poetic trilogy together with some Vaculík's movies are also good.


  1. VESNIČKO MÁ STŘEDISKOVÁ (My Sweet Village, dir. J. Menzel 1983) - 4 428 556
  2. SLUNCE, SENO A PÁR FACEK (Sun, Hay, And Few Facers, dir. Z. Troška 1989) - 4 058 095
  3. SLUNCE, SENO, JAHODY (Sun, Hay, Strawberries, dir. Z. Troška 1983) - 3 352 398
  4. BONY A KLID (Bons And Rest, dir. V. Olmer 1987) - 2 659 372
  5. S TEBOU MĚ BAVÍ SVĚT (I Enjoy The World With You, dir. M. Poledňáková 1982) - 2 587 136
  6. SESTŘIČKY (The Nurses, dir. K. Kachyňa 1983) - 1 969 687
  7. COPAK JE TO ZA VOJÁKA... (Who Is That Soldier..., dir. P. Tuček 1987) - 1 876 197
  8. LÁSKA Z PASÁŽE (The Love From The Passage, dir. J. Soukup 1984) - 1 754 147
  9. JAK BÁSNÍCI PŘICHÁZEJÍ O ILUZE (How Poets Lose Their Illusions, dir. D. Klein 1984) - 1 745 229
  10. JAK BÁSNÍKŮM CHUTNÁ ŽIVOT (How Poets Enjoy Life, dir. D. Klein 1987) - 1 731 174
  11. DISCOPŘÍBĚH (Discostory, dir. J. Soukup 1987) - 1 665 046
  12. KOPYTEM SEM, KOPYTEM TAM (With A Hoof About, dir. V. Chytilová 1988) - 1 665 036
  13. JAK SVĚT PŘICHÁZÍ O BÁSNÍKY (How The World Loses Poets, dir. D. Klein 1982) - 1 604 259
  14. ANDĚL S ĎÁBLEM V TĚLE (An Angel With The Devil In The Body, dir. V. Matějka 1983) - 1 518 467
  15. VÍTR V KAPSE (Wind In The Pocket, dir. J. Soukup 1982) - 1 464 742
  16. KAMARÁD DO DEŠTĚ (The Friend To The Rain, dir. J. Soukup 1988) - 1 444 854
  17. TŘI VETERÁNI (Three Veterans, dir. O. Lipský 1983) - 1 185 079
  18. JAKO JED (Like A Poison, dir. V. Olmer 1985) - 1 099 071
  19. SNĚŽENKY A MACHŘI (Snowdrops And Dabs, dir. K. Smyczek 1982) - 1 070 476
  20. UPÍR Z FERATU (The Vampire From Ferat, dir. J. Herz 1982) - 1 024 934


After 1990 the situation in Czech cinematography dramatically changed. There was no longer a state support for film-makers and in 1991-1992 the number of produced movies fell to mere 9-10 pieces a year. At the same time, before 1990 the average had been about 30, but sometimes as much as 35 movies a year. No wonder that a lot of people predicted the end of Czech cinema. Simultaneously this feeling was even being strengthened by the decreasing quality of the Czech film production. It's bitter to remember all those prattling about the "lack of freedom" in Czech cinema during the communistic era that was actually the top era of the Czech cinematography. Ironically, the "freedom" mainly brought things that were unknown before: vulgar commerce and an unscrupulous thirst to earn money as quick (and as easy) as possible. Between 1990-1995 it looked like if someone offered 1.000 000 dollars to the director, who will make the most stupid movie in the history of Czech cinema. The leading figures in this unofficial competition were Jaroslav Soukup and Vít Olmer, former authors of commercially very successful titles of the 80's. "The fall of Vít Olmer" became something like a synonym for this decline.


Structurally and thematically the Czech film production of the 90's can be divided into two eras: the era of restitutions and erotic saloons (1990-1995) and the era of drugged graduates (1995-2000). During the first era the most frequent themes of screenplays were restitutions of property once stolen by the communistic regime. The hero usually fought dishonest fellows, who wanted to get him rid of it, and occassionally visited erotic saloons full of naked women. During the second era there appeared quite a big number of movies made especially by young graduates of film schools, who had some experience with drugs. Therefore their movies primarily depicted stories of young drug addicts and contained a lot of scenes full of syringes and vomitus.


Despite these extravagant adventures Czech cinema has survived. Since mid 90's the annual number of movies has again raised and currently moves between 15-20 movies a year (24 movies in 2005). Nevertheless, it is rather a result of the long film tradition and the enthuziasm of filmmakers, who can expect no money from the side of the ignorant government that sponsors tunneled banks and pays billions for its own faults. The biggest sponsors are currently Czech TVs, especially the public TV (ČT) and the commercial TV Nova. However, the creation of each new Czech movie is still an uneasy task. The consequence of this situation is the decline of the total number of opportunities and disappearance of some previously popular actors. On the other hand, some of less known artists won unexpected popularity (a nice example is Miroslav Donutil) and a lot of new young talents were discovered. Among directors there are three new names worth mentioning: Jan Svěrák (son of Zdeněk Svěrák), Jan Hřebejk and Vladimír Michálek. Except these three the most active personality of the 90's was Zdeněk Troška, especially thanks to his fairy tales that were successful even abroad. Yet I think that the overall quality still isn't on the level of the "great golden past" - I especially mean the era from 50's to early 80's. As one reviewer on remarked, "If I compare the Czechoslovak films coming from those days to the films that are shot at present, it is clear that despite all modern computer methods and tricks the present ones lack the atmosphere of those in the past. It is not only the production that makes them worse but also the quality of screenplay and acting. Very sad."


The best Czech movies - holders of the Czech Lion since 1993: 1993 - Šakalí léta (The Jackal's Years, dir. J. Hřebejk), 1994 - Díky za každé nové ráno (Thanks For Every Good Morning, dir. M. Šteindler), 1995 - Zahrada (The Garden, dir. M. Šulík), 1996 - Kolja (Kolya, dir. J. Svěrák), 1997 - Knoflíkáři (The Buttoners, dir. P. Zelenka), 1998 - Je třeba zabít Sekala (It Is Necessary To Kill Sekal, dir. V. Michálek), 1999 - Návrat idiota (The Return Of The Idiot, dir. S. Gedeon), 2000 - Musíme si pomáhat (Divided We Fall, dir. J. Hřebejk), 2001 - Otesánek (The Little Otto, dir. J. Švankmajer), 2002 - Rok ďábla (The Year Of The Devil, dir. P. Zelenka)...


My personal preference is as follows: Pelíšky (The Cosy Dens, dir. J. Hřebejk 1999), Všichni moji blízcí (All My Loved Ones, dir. M. Mináč 1999) and Rebelové (The Rebels, dir. F. Renč 2001).


(based on data from


  1. TANKOVÝ PRAPOR (The Tank Battalion, dir. Vít Olmer 1991) - 2 022 233

  2. ČERNÍ BARONI (The Black Barons, dir. Zdeněk Sirový 1992) - 1 470 531

  3. KOLJA (Kolya, dir. Jan Svěrák 1996) - 1 345 369 (incomplete)

  4. PELÍŠKY (Cosy Dens, dir. Jan Hřebejk 1999) - 1 059 182 (incomplete)

  5. OBECNÁ ŠKOLA (The Elementary School, dir. Jan Svěrák 1990) - 1 040 135

  6. DISCOPŘÍBĚH II (Discostory II, dir. Jaroslav Soukup 1991) - 985 113

  7. SLUNCE, SENO, EROTIKA (Sun, Hay, Erotics, dir. Zdeněk Troška 1991) - 968 822

  8. KAMARÁD DO DEŠTĚ (The Friend To The Rain, dir. Jaroslav Soukup 1992) - 970 129

  9. KONEC BÁSNÍKŮ V ČECHÁCH (The End Of Poets In Bohemia, dir. Dušan Klein 1993) - 967 564

  10. NAHOTA NA PRODEJ (Nakedness For Sale, dir. Vít Olmer 1993) - 866 641

  11. DĚDICTVÍ ANEB KURVAHOŠIGUTNTAG (The Inheritance Or Fuckoffguysgoodbye, dir. Věra Chytilová 1992) - 810 862

  12. TRHALA FIALKY DYNAMITEM (Picking Violets With A Dynamite, dir. Milan Růžička 1992) - 736 221

  13. NESMRTELNÁ TETA (The Immortal Aunt, dir. Zdeněk Zelenka 1993) - 574 659

  14. KYTICE (The Wild Flowers, dir. F. A. Brabec 2000) - 543 138 (incomplete)

  15. SAMOTÁŘI (The Loners, dir. David Ondříček 2000) - 540 317 (incomplete)

  16. ŠAKALÍ LÉTA (The Chackal's Years, dir. Jan Hřebejk 1993) - 520 536

  17. PRINCEZNA ZE MLEJNA II (The Princess From The Mill, dir. Zdeněk Troška 2000) - 480 719 (incomplete)

  18. REQUIEM PRO PANENKU (The Requiem For A Puppet, dir. Filip Renč 1991) - 464 945

  19. FONTÁNA PRO ZUZANU II (The Fountain For Zuzana II, dir. Dušan Rapoš 1993) - 393 252

  20. AKUMULÁTOR (The Accumulator, dir. Jan Svěrák 1994) - 390 412










"action movie"



fairy tale

fairy tale/fantasy



fairy tale





A closer examination of the number of spectators after 1990 reveals a sudden break in 1993 that coincides with the start of the private TV Nova in February 1994. 12 out of top 15 most visited movies were filmed between 1991-1993. Today, if some movie crosses 500.000 spectators, it's usually the biggest film hit of the year. And 150-200 000 spectators is sufficient for reaching Top Ten. I also think that spectators started to be disgusted by the decreasing quality of Czech movies and were no longer willing to accept everything, what some directors offered. After cca 1994, the big wave of naked breasts and restitutions gradually ended and Czech spectators began to turn to first-rate and reliable directors of Svěrák's or Hřebejk's type. Svěrák's Kolya (1996) actually brought Czech people back to cinema houses, to watch Czech movies. On the other hand, primitive commercial attempts of Jaroslav Soukup and Vít Olmer began to suffer from low visit rate and eventually brought a professional end to its creators.


(based on data from


  1. TMAVOMODRÝ SVĚT (The Dark Blue World, dir. Jan Svěrák 2001) - 1 128 990
  2. PUPENDO (dir. Jan Hřebejk 2003) - 958 327
  3. SNOWBOARĎÁCI (Snowboard Boys, dir. Karel Janák 2004) - 635 085
  4. HOREM PÁDEM (Up And Down, dir. Jan Hřebejk 2004) - 605 943
  5. ROMÁN PRO ŽENY (A Novel For Women, dir. Filip Renč 2005) - 550 670
  6. ŽELARY (dir. Ondřej Trojan 2003) - 530 768
  7. JEDNA RUKA NETLESKÁ (One Hand Can't Clap, dir. David Ondříček 2003) - 457 505
  8. KAMEŇÁK (dir. Zdeněk Troška 2003) - 417 669
  9. JAK BÁSNÍCI NEZTRÁCEJÍ NADĚJI (How Poets Don't Lose Hope, dir. Dušan Klein 2004) - 407 406
  10. KAMEŇÁK II (dir. Zdeněk Troška 2004) - 400 848
  11. REBELOVÉ (The Rebels, dir. Filip Renč 2001) - 399 304
  12. Z PEKLA ŠTĚSTÍ II (The Devil's Luck, dir. Zdeněk Troška 2001) - 333 532
  13. MACH, ŠEBESTOVÁ A KOUZELNÉ SLUCHÁTKO (Mach, Šebestová And A Magic Receiver, dir. Václav Vorlíček 2001) - 273 056
  14. ČERT VÍ PROČ (The Devil Knows Why, dir. Roman Vávra 2003) -  258 260
  15. PŘÍBĚHY OBYČEJNÉHO ŠÍLENSTVÍ (The Stories Of Ordinary Lunacy, dir. Ondřej Trojan 2005) - 225 911












fairy tale

fairy tale

fairy tale





  • Jiří Lábus
  • Oldřich Kaiser
  • Vladimír Dlouhý
  • Boleslav (Bolek) Polívka
  • Dagmar (Dáda) Patrasová
  • Ivana Chýlková
  • Lukáš Vaculík
  • Marek Vašut
  • Tomáš Töpfer
  • Tomáš Hanák
  • Vilma Cibulková
  • Ondřej Vetchý
  • Karel Roden
  • Miroslav Donutil
  • Veronika Žilková
  • Martin Dejdar
  • Ivan Trojan
  • Jaroslav Dušek
  • Klára Issová
  • Tatiana Vilhelmová
  • Anna ("Aňa") Geislerová
  • Pavel Liška




Jiří Lábus (26. 1. 1950)


Jiří Lábus was born in Prague. His mother was a nurse in the National theatre in Prague and young Lábus was so amazed by dramatic art that he later joined an amateur actor's group at high school and after the leaving exam he was received at conservatoire. In 1972 he finished his study and was chosen by director Schmid, who sought young talents for his new theatre Ypsilon in Liberec (the theatre later moved to Prague).

Lábus' first noticeable role was a member of a thievish gang, who later dies with a hand of his colleague in a children's story Páni kluci (Boys the Masters, 1975). Then he was working through episodes (i. e. Chytilová's Hra o jablko/The Apple Game, 1976) to more important roles (Blázni, vodníci a podvodníci/Lunatics, Mermen And Cheaters, 1980) and, eventually, to his life's role of sorcerer Rumburak in Arabela (1980). I can say that this role won him a really international popularity, which can be illustrated by the fact that during his recent visit in Taiwan he was overwhelmed by Taiwan children asking an autograph from "Rumburak". Since a lot of children was sorry for Rumburak's fate in the serial, the creators decided to make a special movie called Rumburak (1984), where he got a "human face" and found a love in the human world. However, in the second part of Arabela (1994) he again became a bad guy.

The quality of his other films (where he appeared both in very little and big roles) is often changeable. From his "less artifical" ones I must especially list zootechnician Béďa in Troška's "folk" comedies Slunce, seno... (1983-1991). In the final part of these series he also showed his naked buttocks. The biggest dramatic chances came in the nineties. In 1994 he got the Czech Lion for the part of an uncle in Michálek's adaptation of Franz Kafka's Amerika about a young emmigrant, who comes to his uncle to America. Later (1996) he performed a communistic collaborationist in another Michálek's drama Zapomenuté světlo (The Forgotten Light). Recently he could be seen as an uncompromising real estate agent, who exacts penalty from an old joker (Vlastimil Brodský) in a bitter comedy Babí léto (Autumn Summer, 2001).

Besides film roles the centre of Lábus' activity concentrates to TV and radio. In the end of the seventies he began to collaborate with Oldřich Kaiser, with whom he created a wonderful comical duo. Later (1981) they got their own TV programme called Možná přijde i kouzelník (Maybe Even A Magician Will Come Here) that belonged to the most successful TV programmes of the eighties. Since 1990, when the show ended, they appeared in TV rather sporadically; for some time there ran their TV improvisational show Ruská ruleta (The Russian Roulette), but it was later broken off. Recently, after Kaiser's hospitalization in the addicts rehabilitation centre, they had a new TV programme Zeměkoule (The Globe), but soon it was again broken off. Frankly, I was not surprised, because their humour has somehow degenerated. Some of their sketches are rather perverse and I really don't know, what they find so witty on it. By the way, for many years Lábus and Kaiser have been having their own radio programme, a humouristic serial about the Tlučhoř family, where they use their sense for improvisation.

Jiří Lábus is an old bachelor and after the death of his parents lives alone in his Prague house. He still acts in the theatre Ypsilon. He is a renowned lover of fun and pranks and often makes fun of his colleagues and friends. According to many sources, he is a very informal person, who discusses with people in the tram and behaves very simply and naturally. In 1995 he allegedly refused a big role from some American director claiming that during summer he must take rest at his cottage (although they offered 1 million Czech crowns to him). Although being natural is good, I think that this was a little bit deviant.

Silly thief Petr in Páni kluci (1975) was Labus' first big role

And the sorcerer Rumburak was his life's role




Vladimír Dlouhý (10.6. 1958)


Vladimír Dlouhý, the Petr from the legendary Arabela, acted in movies as early as a child. In 1970 he performed a little boy suffering from paralysis in Kachyňa's Už zase skáču přes kaluže (I'm Jumping Over Puddles Again), based on the well-known novel of Alan Marshall. During 70's he acted in several other movies, but they were not too memorable (except Robinsonka/The Robinson Girl, 1975, a story of a girl growing up without mother). During the time he began to study the conservatoire in Prague. Gradually he became a frequently casted young actor and from his roles in late 70's I must especially list a sci-fi comedy Hop a je tu lidoop (1977) about a bottle containing a spirit of an Indian genie that turns down the life in a small town. From his TV roles, I remember an interesting part in a drama Mapa zámořských objevů (The Map of Oversea Discoveries), where he appeared as a son of a shy professor (Vlastimil Brodský), who can't resist arrogance of his students. However, his life's role came as early as in 1979, when director Vorlíček casted him into a role of Petr in Arabela. It was undoubtedly a good choice, because he showed to be the right type of a romantic university student, who falls in love with a princess from the fairy-tale world. The early 80's offered a lot of film opportunities to him, including a fairy-tale S čerty nejsou žerty (Don't Play With Devils, 1984).

After finishing the conservatoire he had a stabile engagment in the theatre Na zábradlí. However, the number of opportunities decreased in late 90's and it seemed to me that he will become "a forgotten actor". The new series of Arabela (1994) certainly didn't indicate any hope for a big comeback. But in late 90's it really happened, and I think that it was mainly due to his role of a psychiatrist in a narrative crazy comedy Knoflíkáři (The Buttoners, 1997). Since that time he again goes from role to role, both in cinema and in TV. In 1997 he was nominated for the Czech Lion for the best actor's performance in a drama Bumerang (Boomerang). Quite recently he acted in a bizarre comedy Jedna ruka netleská (One Hand Can't Clap, 2003) and several other movies are just being finished.

Although Dlouhý's portrait of the romantic Petr was very convincing, personally I think he is far from this ideal figure. Several years ago he appeared in a TV talk-show together with his younger brother, and one almost couldn't see them because of the bottles of alcohol on the table and a cigarette smoke that they both intensively produced. I think that his greyish hair is also a sign of his not too disciplined life.

As I noted above, Vladimír Dlouhý has a younger brother, Michal Dlouhý (29.9. 1968), who is also a well-known actor.

Vladimír Dlouhý as Petr and Jana Nagyová as Arabela (before their wedding, i.e. before they were changed into a clock and a sheep)




Boleslav (Bolek) Polívka (31. 7. 1949)


Bolek (Boleslav) Polívka was born in Vizovice (eastern Moravia). His father was a passionate amateur actor and brought his son to theatre. Young Polívka studied acting at the dramatic academy in Brno, where his schoolmates were Jiří Bartoška or Karel Heřmánek. Very soon he began to incline to pantomime and began to play in the theatre Na provázku in Brno. Here he subsequently became one of the leading figures.

His first noticeable film role was fulsome Magieri in a musical Balada pro banditu (The Ballad For The Bandit, 1978). His really first title role worth mentioning was a beginning railwayman, who must survive a sudden natural catastrophe in Chytilová's comedy Kalamita (The Calamity, 1981). During the 80's he continued in his collaboration with Chytilová on such movies like Šašek a královna (The Jester And The Queen, 1987), which was an adaptation of Polívka's theatre play. However, the result was a fuzzy phantasmagory that I would recommend only at one's own risk. In general, during the 80's Polívka was mainly engaged in theatre and in his TV slapsticks called Manéž Bolka Polívky (The Manege Of Bolek Polívka) that won him big popularity, especially thanks to his typical clownery and crazy, but very witty ideas.

From the end of the 80's I would also list his role in Jakubisko's Sedím na konári a je mi dobre (I am sitting on a branch and I feel fine, 1989), a dramatic story about two men, who share their house with a young girl during World War II in the Slovakian countryside. In the beginning of the 90's Polívka probably wanted to seriously enter the movie world and he began with a title role in Chytilová's restitution comedy Dědictví aneb Kurvahošigutntag (The Inheritance Or Fuckoffguysgoodbye, 1992). Here he performed a role of a simple-minded Moravian villager, who inherites a big sum of money from his dead father, but due to his naivety and good heart he eventually ends with an empty pocket. Although the movie is no masterpiece and suffers from bad dramaturgy, it has won quite a big popularity after years, because it contains a lot of nice funny scenes that are typical for Polívka's clownery. After this role Polívka appeared in a negative role in Jan Svěrák's comedy Akumulátor (1994) and in 1996, he performed one of his most important roles in Michálek's drama Zapomenuté světlo (The Forgotten Light) about a priest suffering from restrictions from the side of the communistic regime. Here he also proved his dramatical talent and got the Czech lion for the best actor's performance. Then he went from role to role and became one of the most frequently casted Czech actors: e.g. a king in Brabec's Král Ubu (The King Ubu, 1996), a parson in another comedy ...ani smrt nebere (...nor the death takes, 1996) or Marcelo in a fuzzy phantasmagory Eliška má ráda divočinu (Eliška Likes Running Wild, 1999). Since 1999 he began to successfully collaborate with director Jan Hřebejk and his court screenwriter Petr Jarchovský: a brother of the communistic father Šebek (Miroslav Donutil) in Pelíšky (The Cosy Dens, 1999), a title role of a seeming Nazi quisling in Musíme si pomáhat (Divided We Fall, 2000) and recently another title role of a sculptor in Pupendo (2002). His last collaboration with Chytilová bears a name Vyhnání z ráje (The Expulsion From The Paradise, 2001).

Today Polívka is very active in theatre and he owns his own theatre in Brno called Divadlo Bolka Polívky (The Theatre of Bolek Polívka). However, several years ago he ceased to shoot his TV slapsticks and occassionaly moderates his own TV talkshows (Bolkoviny). It is also true that his comicality has somewhat degenerated and I often don't understand, what people are actually laughing to. As one visitor of his "manege" at the film festival in Karlovy Vary remarked, if the same show was performed by an unknown artist, people would hiss him out.

However, I must confess that his ideas are often very cute. For example, during summer he usually holds various crazy competitions at his farm in Olšany near Brno. The most famous of them was the World Championship in catching flies or throwing a pop-gun into the rye field. Several years ago he also proclaimed himself for the Valachian king and appointed Radoslav Brzobohatý for his minister. His private life is otherwise very wild: he was (at least) twice married and the last marriage with French actress Chantal Poullain (that has also made quite an interesting career in Czech cinema thanks to him) was divorced not a long time ago. He has three children altogether and his daughter Anna (Polívková) appeared in several movies like Gedeon's Návrat idiota (The Return Of The Idiot, 1999).



Dagmar (Dáda) Patrasová (27.4. 1956)

Dagmar Patrasová studied conservatoire in Prague (music+drama) and since 1975 worked in the Semafor theatre. IMDb lists as her film debuts movies Malá mořská víla (Little Mermaid, 1976) and 30 panen a Pythagoras (30 Maidens And Pythagoras, 1973), where she appeared in minor roles of an "older sister" and a student, respectively. I don't remember her there at all. Her first bigger role was one of two girls, who were murdered in a criminal drama based on a true story Smrt stopařek (The Death Of Hitchhikers, 1979). Here she for the first time appeared together with Jana Nagyová (who was also murdered, by the way). During the same time they went through an actor's recruitment for a new fairy-tale serial Arabela. It was allegedly a coincidence that Dagmar Patrasová and Jana Nagyová again met here and got roles of royal sisters. Director Vorlíček once said that Dagmar was quite a clear candidate for the role of bad Xenie, while Jana Nagyová had it more complicated. After this (very probably life's) role she appeared as exotic Manuela tempting Dalibor Vrána in Vrchní, prchni (Run, Waiter, Run, 1980) and in minor roles of a director's assistant in a musical Trhák (The Hit, 1980) and as a shop assistant in the TV serial about Lucie (1981). Another top of her film career came in 1983, when she was casted into one of title roles (Emilia Fernandez/Káťa Jandová) in a sci-fi serial Návštěvníci (The Visitors, 1983) that was successful even abroad (as well as Arabela). At that time her career reached its top and she also acted in East German projects. From the 80's I must also list a TV fairy-tale O princezně, která ráčkovala (About A Burring Princess, 1988) that belongs to the most popular TV fairy tales until today.

I have heard that just the role of a princess in this funny fairy-tale started her career as a singer and moderator of TV programmes for children (Listen here to the most known song from this fairy tale :))). The female voice belongs to Iva Janžurová, not to Dáda.) Her husband (see below) encouraged her to making songs for children and so far she has published about 20 CD'S and has sold 1 million copies! After 1989 she began to publish her own magazine called "Dáda" and the "Dáda-business" soon reached a cultic dimension. Today she is busy with children's programmes on TV (Pohádková neděle/Fairytale Sunday on ČT 1) and also with organizing various actions, from concerts of classical music to theatre performances for children. I know that some people don't like her because of it and accuse her of "abusing little children", but I won't comment it here. (I think that if she did it only because of money, she couldn't continue in it so long. By the way, she even refused an offer from Walt Disney, who wanted to buy her "mascot", worm Julie.) Yet the engagment in this area had a big consequence for her actor's career: directors ceased to cast her. Her last remarkable role was again Xenie in the new series of Arabela (1994) that was, unfortunately, only a shadow of the original serial. Quite recently, she took a role of a murderer in a bizarre black comedy Choking Hazard (2004) - for a symbolic pay 1,00 Czech crown.

Since 1983 Dagmar Patrasová has been married for saxophone-player Felix Slováček, a very respected artist and one of Karel Gott's favourite collaborators. Although Slováček is 13 years older, it has allegedly never had any bad influence on their relationship. In fact, during the 80's they had to overcome very serious problems, when their life changed into hell thanks to intriques of Slováček's former wife. Dagmar subsequently miscarried for several times and suffered from serious health troubles. It was also allegedly one of the impulses that brought her to working with children. Felix and Dagmar have two children, son Felix, who is about 18 years old, and daughter Anna (7 years) (spring 2003). I should also remark that she still looks incredibly well, although she is over 50 years old (well, she allegedly gained some kilos recently.) She behaves like a young girl and wears jeans and tight T-shirts.


Ivana Chýlková (1963)

Ivana Chýlková was born in Prague, but grew up in Frýdek-Místek (northern Moravia).  She graduated at the conservatoire in Ostrava and then was received at the dramatic academy in Prague. As early as during the study she was  casted into a little role in Chytilová's Faunovo velmi pozdní odpoledne (Faun's very late afternoon, 1983). Since the middle of the 80's she became one of the most popular Czech actresses. I would especially list her (largely nude) part of a model in Dobré světlo (The Good Light, 1986). In 1989 she got her (probably) life's role of a greasy intriguer in the film debut of director Irena Pavlásková Čas sluhů (The Time of Servants). She also acted in a lot of TV serials, including O zvířatech a lidech (About Animals And People), where she performed a young veterinary, and above all Přítelkyně z domu smutku (The Girl-friends from the House of Sadness, 1992), a serial about a communistic prisoner based on a true story. For this role  she subsequently received the Golden Palm at the festival in Cannes. I can say that at that time her popularity peaked and she was perhaps the most popular actress in the country. In 1994 she got another big chance in a film biography of Halina Pavlovská Díky za každé dobré ráno (Thanks For Every Good Morning), for which she got the Czech Lion. However, from some reason that is unknown for me, the number of her big film opportunities began to decrease, although she hasn't disappeared. Recently she could be seen in a comedy Musím tě svést (I must seduce you) inspired by a real story from France about a husband, who wants to discredite his politically engaged woman. In 2005 she appeared in title roles of two new serials (Hop nebo trop; On je žena!/He Is A Woman!), so the return of her popularity from mid 90's isn't unlikely.

For ten years Ivana Chýlková has lived with actor Karel Roden, but now she has a new partner, actor and moderator Jan Kraus, with whom she has one son Jáchym (1998). During the 80's she also sang with a band Žentour. She acted in a lot of theatres: Sklep in Prague, Činoherní studio in Ústí nad Labem (1988-1991), Divadlo Na Zábradlí in Prague (1991-1993) and Činoherní klub in Prague (1993-).




Lukáš Vaculík (8. 6. 1962)


Lukáš Vaculík was born in Prague. During his childhood he often spent holidays at the dam lake Slapy and in summer 1976, when director Karel Kachyňa filmed some movie here, he was attracted by acting and one year later, he was received at the actor's conservatoire in Prague. Two years later director Kachyňa "rediscovered" him, when he sought a teenage-boy for his drama Lásky mezi kapkami deště (Loves Among Tear Drops, 1979). Here he performed a maturing son of an unsuccessful shoemaker, who meets his first love in pre-war Prague. In 1982 he got another chance in Soukup's bitter comedy Vítr v kapse (Wind in the pocket), which was a story about two youngsters, who get hard life lessons in their first job in a factory. The movie had big success and the performers of the title roles - Lukáš Vaculík and Sagvan Tofi - won huge popularity among teenage girls. In the same year Vaculík acted in a TV serial Dobrá voda about breeders of horses. After a role of a king in a Slovak fairy-tale he was casted into a new Soukup's spectacle Láska z pasáže (The Love From the Passage, 1984), a dramatic story with a tragic end about a youngster, who collaborates with a gang of thieves, but then he falls in love with a girl and unsuccessfully tries to break ties with his former "colleagues". Personally I think that this is his best movie ever. The success of Láska z pasáže (1,75 million spectators) even overcame Vítr v kapse and Vaculík became the most popular young actor of that time. Soon after he got a role of a young master builder in a TV serial Třetí patro (The Fourth Ground), which was a critical sond into the life of contemporary teenagers.

From the end of the eighties I must list another Kachyňa's drama Oznamuje se láskám vašim (The Report For Your Loves, 1988) about a tragic love of a young Czech sailor and a German girl during World War II. In the same year Vaculík again met Sagvan Tofi in a comedy Kamarád do deště (The Friend In The Rain) about two friends, who must help each other in a combat with cheaters and thieves. The movie was actually a free continuation of Vítr v kapse with similar actors, but since Tofi had died in it, here their names and the setting must have been changed. The film was well accepted and in 1992 director Soukup filmed the second part Kamarád do deště II: Příběh z Brooklynu (The Friend In The Rain II: The Story From Brooklyn). In the meantime (1991) Vaculík performed a title role in the first Czech non-state movie Tankový prapor (The Tank Battalion), but this is really no artistic piece worth commenting. In 1993 Vaculík appeared in Renč's criminal drama Válka barev (The War of Colours), which was again no miracle, and in Olmer's not too successful attempt at an action movie Nahota na prodej (Nakedness for Sale). Although his filmography lists new film titles almost every year, since that time he has almost disappeared from more important projects and title roles. As late as recently he performed a couple of roles in TV movies and serials. His most important opportunity was a friend of the young king in Troška's fairy-tale Z pekla štěstí (Devil's Own Luck, 1999). Currently he appeared a TV serial about supernatural sources Strážce duší (The Guard of Souls, 2005), which was to be something like a Czech copy of X-files. Unfortunately, this serial experiment ended as a big failure.

During 90's Vaculík lived with some (closely unknown) older woman, and cared of her two children. This relationship ended after 8 years. Now he lives with another woman (Petra Křížová), who is 14 years younger. Together they own an agency called Good Bed Agency providing accomodation for foreign filmmakers. They also have a son (*2003). Vaculík's colleagues speak about him only in superlatives and praise his modest and serious character. Obviously, his former popularity has had no harmful effect.





Lukáš Vaculík and Sagvan Tofi - the girls' idols of 80's - in Vítr v kapse (or in Kamarád do deště?)




Marek Vašut (5. 5. 1960)


Marek Vašut was born in Prague. As a 5 years old child he was casted in the first full-length picture of Věra Plívová-Šimková Káťa a krokodýl (Káťa and a crocodile, 1965). In the 70's he performed less roles in two more children's movies. After graduating at the dramatical academy in Prague and then played in the State theatre in Brno (1983-1984) and in the National theatre in Prague (1985-1990, 1992). His first adult film roles were episodes like a housebreaker in Soukup's Láska z pasáže (The Love from the Passage, 1984). However, in 1986 he got a big opportunity in a pre-war drama Pěsti ve tmě (Fists in darkness), where he performed boxer Vilda Jakub, who calls out a German champion. Another title role followed in 1987, when he acted in a critical drama Hauři about a young constructor, who learns suspicious practics in a successful agricultural cooperative. In 1990 Vašut decided to study at the actor's school of Lee Strasberg in New York and win recognition in Hollywood, but he was not too successful (largely because of persisting intonation) and after two years returned home. Despite that this experience gave him a certain basis for his later performances in a couple of episode roles in foreign movies and serials, i. e. in the serial Fatherland (1994), Young Ivanhoe (1995) etc.

After his return he got a part in another Soukup's movie Kamarád do deště II (1992) and started to frequently appear both in TV and movies, mostly as a butch and lady-killer. The most known TV serial figure that he created is detective Martin Tomsa. His film roles include a righteous officer in a historical drama Řád (The Order, 1994), a parodic musical Mňága - Happy end (1996) and recently a romantic historical drama Andělská tvář (The Angelic Face, 2002). Vašut is a notorious inventary (a "mascot", as one film critic recently said) of almost all foreign movies shot in Czech republic - among his "most famous" I can list a drunked agent on the Prague embankment in Mission: Impossible I. Perhaps his most exclusive foreign role is a Nazi officer stripping Leelee Sobieski in The Uprising (2001). He also has a good sense of humour and acts in TV comedial sketches. Due to his progressing baldness he recently shortened his hair and looks like Inspector Kojak. He is a very complicated personality; he allegedly suffers from depressions and in 2000 survived an unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide.




Tomáš Töpfer (10. 1. 1951)


Tomáš Töpfer was born in Prague, close to the theatre Na vinohradech, which also influenced ideas about his future job. After some experience from radio he was received at the conservatoire in Brno and finished his actor's study at the dramatic academy in Prague (1972). At first he got an engagment in Ostrava and then changed several theatres in several different cities. In 1984 he eventually moved to Prague (the theatre of E. F. Burian and subsequently the theatre Na Vinohradech). In theatre he also oftens turns to direction.

Töpfer began to appear in movies and on TV during the seventies, but his roles were not important. As he himself says, he is not photogenic and his image of a "goodhearted bear" limited the number of his opportunities. I can list, for example, Vorlíček's tragicomedy Dva muži hlásí příchod (Two Men Report Their Arrival, 1975) or TV serial Kamenný řád (The Stone Order). One of his more noticeable appearances was a doctor in the second part of Klein's poetic trilogy Jak básníkům chutná život (How Poets Enjoy Life, 1984). However, the top of his career came as late as in the middle of the 90's, when he got a title role of dentist Král, who has problems to find adequate living conditions for his family and eventualy inherites a castle, in a TV serial Život na zámku (Life At The Palace, 1995-1999) written by beginning screenwriter J. Míka. The serial had unexpected success and became the most successful TV project of the 90's. In the end it got 52 parts, which is the longest serial that has ever been produced in the Czech republic. Töpfer subsequently got another serial chance in Moskalyk's Četnické humoresky (The Gendarmery Stories), a nostalgic humorous serial about a gendarmery station in Brno during the 30's. Again this role meant a big success for him and we can expect that other good opportunities will follow.

Töpfer now lives with his second wife and her daughter that he adopted. His first wife emmigrated to the United States with his two daughters during the 80's and Töpfer sees them only occassionally. He dreams of buying a house in Florida, where he would spend the end of his life. It is a big change of his plans, because two years ago he proclaimed that he would want to buy a cottage near Prague, where he would build a plaster landscape and devoted his time to playing with model trains.




Tomáš Hanák (27. 3. 1957)


Tomáš Hanák currently belongs to the most popular Czech actors. However, he is a surprisingly late discovery of Czech cinema. He was born in Slovakia (in Kremnica) and in 1967 his family moved to Prague. Here, ten years later, young Tomáš met a group of friends, who became the founders of the so-called Sklep theatre. Due to engagment in this amateur theatre - that was originally situated in a cellar (sklep) - he didn't finish university. He was also keen on rowing. I don't know, what he actually did during the 80's, but according to one source, his life was quite wild - he was twice married and twice divorced and changed several occupations (including a worker in fishing industry).

Thanks to his acting in Sklep (that became a cultic theatre in Prague) he soon started to be casted in movies. lists as his first film role Troška's début Poklad hraběte Chamaré (The Treasure of the Earl Chamaré, 1984), but I have never seen this movie and I doubt that his role was anyhow remarkable. His first real film "strike" was a member of a trafficker gang in Olmer's criminal drama Bony a klid (1987). One year later, director Chytilová casted him into her bitter morality Kopytem sem, kopytem tam (1988). However, he was still relatively unknown - until 1989, when he performed a title (mute) role of a tramp in a parodic sketch Na brigádě (On a voluntary work), which was one of five stories contained in a narrative movie Pražská pětka (The Prague Five). This title, showing work of five little Prague theatres, was very successful among young people, and began a successful film career of Hanák and his colleagues from Sklep. From his roles in early 90's I must list Renč's Válka barev (The War of Colours, 1993), a drama about a group of bored snobs, who play a doubtful game with false dyeing guns. During this time Hanák suffered from heavy alcoholism and his second wife left him because of it. He was forced to undergo medical treatment and in 1995 his "alcoholic era" officially ended. Since that time he is an exemplary husband of his third wife and drinks only tea and mineral water.

In late 90's director Chytilová again casted him in her new comedy Pasti, pasti, pastičky (Traps, traps, little traps, 1997), which was one of his memorable comedial performances (although the movie is no wonder). Here he performed a cynical man, who together with his friend, a corrupt state officer, rapes a young veterinary, who subsequently gets rid them of their male character. In 2000, he performed a computer worker, who wants to return to nature, in Cesta z města (The Way From The City). My favourite out of all his film roles is a father of Tereza in a musical Rebelové (The Rebels, 2001). Recently he also appeared in a TV serial Místo nahoře (The Place Above, 2003) depicting life of inhabitants of a new satellite, and in a comedy Mazaný Filip (Smart Filip, 2003), a parody on movies about detective Marlowe.

Today Hanák carefully builds a picture of a model husband and father and he even engages in projects supporting disabled and seriously ill people. His "Greek profile" also won him big popularity among women.




Vilma Cibulková (25. 3. 1963)


Vilma Cibulková was born in Ostrov nad Ohří (western Bohemia) as the last out of three sisters. At first she studied paedagogic faculty and then DAMU (Theatre Academy) in Prague, where she graduated in 1985. As early as during the studies she acted in the theatre "Na Zábradlí", but because of some (love+alcohol?) affairs she had to leave it. Subsequently she was invited to the National theatre - where she allegedly mistook renowned actresses with cleanwomen -, and soon they fired her again...because of drinking. Her love to alcohol was so strong that she was also fired from the filming of Jindřich Polák's fairy-tale (1992). From this time I remember her role of a prostitute in a TV serial Přítelkyně z domu smutku (Girlfriends From The House Of Sadness, 1992), a prison drama that was based on the biography of a Czechoslovak disident. After a three years' pause (biographies don't list, where she spent that time - perhaps in some sanatorium?) they took her into their favour in the theatre "Pod Palmovkou", where she withstood hard beginnings and gradually won big respect. After many film bits, she eventually got a big role in a TV serial Konec velkých prázdnin (The End Of Big Holidays, 1996) relating about fates of Czechoslovak emmigrants in Austria. Together with Martin Dejdar they performed a married couple that loses a heavy-ill son during a flee across the Yugoslavian-Austrian border. I think that I can consider this role as the fundamental break in her actor's life, because soon she began to get many important opportunities both on TV and in movies. Since 1997 she has been regularly acting in 2-3 movies a year and currently belongs to the most popular Czech actresses.

From the many recent film opportunities I must especially emphasize a Nazi doctor in Der Lebensborn (2000) relating about special German institutions "producing" high-quality Nordic children. And, of course, the part of an artistic critic in Pupendo (2003), where she runs on the scene completely nude. She also acted in a new successful TV serial Dobrá čtvrť (Good Quarter, 2005), where she performed an unsuccessful actress, almost permanently drunked mother of one of the title heroes, who eventually finds the sense of life in the work for mentally-retarded children. By the way, her husband, actor Miroslav Etzler, also had problems with alcohol. But their recent actor's success suggests that they won't return to a glass anymore.



Ondřej Vetchý (16. 5. 1962)

Ondřej Vetchý - not enough information about his bio


Ondřej Vetchý is currently one of the most frequently casted Czech actors. His career began in the beginning of the 80's. The list of his film roles from that time is quite rich, but it were mostly minor parts or episodes. From the more remarkable opportunities I shouldn't forget a boy in a bitter comedy Sestřičky (The Nurses, 1983) or a student in a TV serial Studentská balada (The Student's Balad, 1986). From memory I can also list a title role of a devil in a fairy-tale S čerty nejsou žerty (Don't Joke With Devils, 1984) or a foppish brother in a drama Dům pro dva (A House For Two, 1988). However, he was practically unknown until the beginning of the 90's, when he gradually won big respect and was even nominated for the European film award (but I don't remember for what a role, perhaps Martha et moi/Martha And I, 1990?). During the 90's he went from movie to movie: a young soldier working in the communistic "reeducation camp" in Černí baroni (The Black Barons, 1992), a poor Jewish father in Golet v údolí (Golet In The Valley, 1995), a calculating youngster, who offers musician Louka to close a marriage with a Russian woman in Kolja (1996), a father in Báječná léta pod psa (Wonderful Years That Sucked, 1997), the emperor Josef II. in a fairy-tale Císař a tambor (The Emperor And The Drummer, 1998), or recently a Czechoslovak pilot fighting in Britain during the WW II in Svěrák's Tmavomodrý svět (The Dark Blue World, 2001) and a son, who wants his father to get rid of his house in a bitter comedy Babí léto (The Autumn Summer, 2001). He also got a big serial opportunity as a private detective during the First Republic in Případy detektivní kanceláře Ostrozrak (The Cases Of The Detective Agency Ostrozrak, 2000).





Karel Roden (18. 5. 1962)

Karel Roden was born in České Budějovice (southern Bohemia). His father was an actor, his mother worked in a medicine laboratory. Young Roden at first studied ceramic school and subseqeuntly was received at the actor's academy in Prague. In 1984 he created his first big role, a student of medicine with phenomenal photographic memory, in the second part of Klein's poetic pentalogy Jak básníci přicházejí o iluze (How Poets Lose Their Illusions, 1984). He also started to work in TV. In 1987 he got another big film chance, when he performed captain Tůma in a very successful comedy Copak je to za vojáka? (Who is the soldier?). In the same year he acted in the third part of the poetic pentalogy (Jak básníkům chutná život/How Poets Enjoy Life). After several minor roles (e. g. Pan Tau/Mr. Tau), he got one of his biggest opportunities in Pavlásková's drama Čas sluhů (The Time Of Servants, 1989), a critical view of the late 80's, where he performed an unmanly husband of a calculating woman (Ivana Chýlková), who ruthlessly manipulates with her enviroment. A free continuation of this movie called Corpus delicti (1991) was not too well accepted. One year later (1992) he acted in a fuzzy "artistic" phantasmagory Don Gio and in an Italian fairy-tale The Princess Fantaghiro. Except an unsuccessful attempt at a crazy comedy called Kanárská spojka, he appeared in another artistic piece exuberating by insane dialogues Hrad z písku (The Castle Of Sand, 1994). In 1996, he performed captain Obruba in a satirical movie Král Ubu (The King Ubu) and bad magician Skeleton in Vorlíček's coproduction piece Pták Ohnivák (The Firebird). In 1998 he appeared in Pavlásková's Čas dluhů (The Time Of Debts), another free continuatuion of Čas sluhů. From his recent roles I must mention a movie Kuře melancholik (The Chicken Melancholic, 1999) and Kytice (The Flowers, 2000). For the role in the former he was nominated on the Czech Lion. Oh, and I can't forget the role of a doctor in Chytilová's Pasti, pasti, pastičky (Traps, Traps, Little Traps, 1998).


Since finishing the academy Roden has changed many theatres. Between 1993-1994 he went to the Great Britain, where he practised his English and visited actor's courses. Eventually it paid off, because he went through tough competition in Hollywood and got a title role in an American thriller 15 minutes (2001), where he performed Czech criminal Emil Slovák, who eventually kills an American detective (Robert de Niro) because of doubtful "15 minutes" of medial fame. Although the movie was rather average, it was a good start in America. Those who said that the role in 15 minutes was his first and last one were wrong. Subsequently he got another offers, although it is true that they were not too sophisticated (e. g. Blade 2, Bulletproof Monk). On the other hand, he acted besides Hollywood stars like Wesley Snipes and Chow Yun-Fat and he himself says that he is not willing to accept everything and go below a certain standard. I think that his choice is reasonable, because he must use at least something of what they offer to him. In any case, it seems that he will become a performer of bad, diabolic characters. After a lawyer, who serves to a vampire clan in Blade 2 (2002), he performed a crazy Nazi in Bulletproof Monk (2003) and director Marhoul currently casted him into his film debut Mazaný Filip (Foxy Filip, 2003), where he got a role...of a Nazi. Recently Roden was to be casted into another American movie, a comics story called Hellboy, where he will perform Grigoriy Rasputin. All in all, Karel Roden is still the only Czech actor, who started a promising career in Hollywood. We must wish him good luck.


Just a note: Roden lived with actress Ivana Chýlková (see above), but currently changed her for actress Jana Krausová. I say explicitly "changed", because Krausová was a wife of actor Kraus, who simultaneously began to live with Chýlková. Thus it is a very interesting partner's exchange.



Miroslav Donutil (7. 2. 1951)

Miroslav Donutil was born in Třebíč and grew up in Brno. Since his childhood he acted in amateur performances and after graduating at high school he decided for studying at the dramatic academy in Brno. Since 1973 he acted in the theatre Husa na provázku in Brno. His film start was promising: in 1978 he got a leading role in a musical Balada pro banditu (A Ballad for the bandit), where he performed a Carpathian bandit Nikola Šuhaj. However, then he disappeared and since that time he appeared only in episodes (Postřižiny 1980; Outsider 1986) and in TV fairy-tales or TV plays. A dramatic change in his life came in 1990, when he moved to Prague and got engagment in the National theatre. Here he soon became one of the most casted actors and subsequently got big opportunities in the cinema: his idiotic lieutenant Růžička in Tankový prapor (The Tank Batallion, 1991), a parody of the Czechoslovak army of the 50's, was performed so amazingly that other big comedial chances followed and Donutil's popularity quickly raised. In 1992 he performed another role of an imbecile communistic officer in Černí baroni (Black barons), a lawyer Ulrich in Dědictví aneb Kurvahoši gutntag (The Inheritance or Fuckoffguysgoodbye, 1992), then a returning emmigrant in Hotýlek v srdci Evropy (A little hotel in the heart of Europe, 1993) or an emasculated member of the parliament in Pasti, pasti, pastičky (Traps, traps, little traps, 1998). Among his recent roles I can list a postman demanding restitution of a hotel in a TV serial Hotel Herbich (1999), a priest in a drama Fany, and especially a communistic father in a very successful comedy Pelíšky (Cosy Dens, 1999).


Miroslav Donutil is very popular both as an actor (several times he was proclaimed as the most popular Czech actor, the first time in 1996) and a narrator of funny stories (he is even regarded as a successor of Vladimír Menšík). He has also published several CD's including his programmes and songs.




Veronika Žilková (16. 10. 1961)


Veronika Žilková was born in the family of known musician Václav Žilka. She studied the dramatic academy in Prague and after the study (1984) began to play in Městská divadla pražská (The theatres of the city of Prague). Before finishing the study she had appeared in several TV roles and movies like a comedy Když rozvod, tak rozvod (1982), but the break in her career came in 1984, when she was casted into the TV serial My všichni školou povinní (We all attending school), where she performed a young leader of a pioneer unit, who falls in love with a beginning teacher (Miroslav Vladyka). The serial was very successful and won her big popularity. She then became one of the most popular young actresses in the end of 80's. However, she almost completely disappeared from TV and movies after 1990. I suppose that the reason was her pregnancies. I even thought that she was dead, but in 1996 director Michálek had given her an important role of a woman dying of cancer in his drama Zapomenuté světlo (The Forgotten Light, 1996). This part meant another break in her life, because she got the Czech lion for it and returned on the screen. In the end of the 90's she got a lot of very good opportunities. I must especially list a title role in a very successful TV serial Šípková Růženka (The Sleeping Beauty, 2001), where she performed a wife of a rich bank manager, who cuts loose and becomes independent on her husband. She also appeared in another serial To jsem z toho jelen (2001), which was an international project maping ordinary life of families in European countries. From her recent roles I can list a mum in Švankmajer's fairy tale Otesánek (The Little Otík, 2000) about a boy made from wood, who eventually eats all his family. She also acted in Otakáro Schmidt's marijuana haze Eliška má ráda divočinu (Eliška likes running wild, 1999).

Today Veronika Žilková plays in the Činoherní klub in Prague. Her popularity is growing and in 2002 she finished 2nd in a public inquiry for the most popular Czech actress. A lot of this popularity results from her acting in a TV programme TELE TELE, sketches parodizing programmes of the parent TV Nova (she is criticized for it by many intellectuals). She has five children (two of them were adopted) and recently interrupted contacts with her husband because of her love affairs with actor Michal Suchánek (one of her colleagues from TELE TELE) and then with another actor, Martin Stropnický, with whom she lives now and has a (sixth) child. By the way, her daughter is the Vicemiss of Czech republic 2005. Globally said, Žilková is a very temperament and uncontrolled person with the soul of a teenage girl. But this also makes her considerably younger than she is (over 40).




Martin Dejdar (11. 3. 1965)


Martin Dejdar was born in Vysoké Mýto (north-east Bohemia). In 1987 he graduated at the conservatoire in Prague and began to work in the theatre Ypsilon together with his colleagues Kaiser and Lábus. Although he debuted in 1985, at first he appeared in episodes and became more known as late as during the nineties. In 1991 he got the first bigger film role as an Italian gigolo in Troška's comedy Slunce, seno, erotika (Sun, Hay, and Erotics). In the meantime he became known as a moderator of a TV programme for young people STUDIO KONTAKT. However, a break in his career came in 1993, when he got a title role of a boy called Baby in a nostalgic musical of Jan Hřebejk Šakalí léta (Jackal's Years). In 1994 he acted in Učitel tance (The Teacher of Dancing) as a teacher of dancing, who is dying of TBC. One year later he got a prestige award (the Czech lion) for the best actor's performance in this title and other chances followed. He acted in a drama Amerika (America), based on a novel of Franz Kafka, in a TV serial Zdivočelá země (The Wild Land, 1997) or in another TV serial depicting the destiny of Czech emmigrants Konec velkých prázdnin (The End of Big Holidays, 1996). In 1998 he produced an ambitious international project, a detective movie called Panství (The Manor) that cost 4 million pounds. Despite the participation of Peter O'Toole and other famous stars it ended as a failure and the echo of this flop haunts him until today. Later he also participated (both as a producent and an actor) in another failure Eliška ráda divočinu (Eliška Likes Running Wild, 1999).

Martin Dejdar is a very popular person in today's Czech republic. He moderated a lot of programmes both on radio and TV and even published a CD with his songs.  However, as stated above, some of his activities are rather doubtful. I respect him as an actor, but many times his TV moderating was very embarassing.



Ivan Trojan (30.6. 1964)


Ivan Trojan currently belongs to the most frequently casted Czech actors, although several years ago, in 2001, he was absolutely unknown. Although he was son of respected actor Ladislav Trojan, at first he attended a sport school. Subsequently they received him at the dramatic academy in Prague and later (1988) he got engagment in several Prague theatres. Although he got a title role in TV as early as during 80's (e. g. Otravný víkend/Poisonous weekend, 1988) and featured in several other movies during 90's, his day came as late as in 2000, when he was casted into a TV serial Četnické humoresky (Gandarmery stories), where he performed a young beginning policeman. I think it might be due to his sympathetic look and a perceivable comedial talent that other opportunities quickly followed. Among others I would stress a role of an extravagant doctor, who suffers from insuppressible longing to be dressed as a plumber, in Ondříček's bitter comedy Samotáři (The Loners, 2000). In the same year, he got Thalia (the prize for the best theatre performance). In 2002, he acted in a sociological drama Smradi (The Brats) about a family nurturing Gypsy children, and in a comedy Musím tě svést (I Must Seduce You; or The Seducer). The latter title was based on a true story from France, where one man wanted to discredit his politically engaged wife, and asked his friend, if he could seduce her and help in getting image-demaging photographs. Recently he got another title role in a somewhat bizarre comedy Jedna ruka netleská (One Hand Can't Clap, 2003), where he performed a deranged man, who finds abreaction from his boring life in dressing as Adolf Hitler. I also know that he acted in an Oscar-nominated drama Želary (2003) and in a parody on criminal stories about Phil Marlowe Mazaný Filip (Smart Philip, 2003).

Globally said, Trojan belongs to my much-favoured actors, especially thanks to his comedial parts. By the way, his brother Ondřej Trojan is a well-known Czech film producer. His wife Klára (Trojanová-Pollertová) is also an actress, although she was more known as a child star (e.g. Ali in the sci-fi serial Návštěvníci/The Visitors, 1984). She is sister of Lukáš Pollert, once an Olympic winner in water slalom.


The New Generation

Actors listed below belong to the youngest generation of Czech cinema that emerged during the nineties and soon won big popularity among their contemporaries.



Klára Issová (26. 4. 1979)


Klára Issová was born in Prague. Her father (Issa) is of Syrian origin and Klára sometimes visits his family there. She graduated at conservatoire and debuted as a shy cousin of Tatiana Vilhelmová in a "little" 60 minute movie Indiánské léto (Indian Summer, 1995) directed by beginning director Saša Gedeon. The unpretending movie caught attention, Klára Issová was nominated for the Czech Lion (a Czech film award) for the best performance in the leading role and both "cousins" shortly became one of the most popular young actresses in the country. She then performed leading roles in a TV serial Lékárnikových holka (The Girl From Apothecary's), Jakubisko's drama Nejasná zpráva o konci světa (An Unclean Report On the End of the World, 1997) - where she showed a part of her lung capacity and subsequently got the Czech lion for the best minor role -, in a comedy Co chytneš v žitě (What You Can Catch In Rye, 1997) and in a drug drama Anděl Exit (The Angel Exit, 2000). She also appeared in a fairy-tale Královský slib (The King's Promise, 2001) and flashed through a coproduction historical serial Joan of Arc (1999), and a sci-fi serial Dune. Recently I saw her in a minor role of Raven, Anjelica Houston's priestess in a TV fantasy movie The Mists of Avalon (2001). After a period, during which she got no opportunities, she is just (summer 2005) engaged in three film projects. During a trip to England she also visited an actor's agency, and got a minor role of an Armenian immigrant in one episode of the TV serial Rose & Malony. She now has her own agent in England. 

Her personal page also lists roles in other foreign projects and TV movies (see the personal page of Klára Issová Today she plays in the theatre Pod Palmovkou in Prague. Her cousin Martha Issová (*1981) is also a very promising young actress.

Detailed anthropometry here




Tatiana Vilhelmová (13. 7. 1978)


Tatiana Vilhelmová was born in Prague. Today she is one of the most frequently casted actors in Czech republic. At first she wanted to become a singer or a ballet dancer, but in the end she decided for conservatoire. She debuted in a TV serial Prima sezóna (A Fine Season, 1994) and next year she got a role in Gedeon's Indiánské léto (Indian Summer, 1995), where she performed an envious cousin of Klára Issová. Both Vilhelmová and Issová soon won a huge popularity among young film spectators and featured in one movie after another. Vilhelmová may now be even more popular than Issová. She acted in another movie of Gedeon called Návrat idiota (The Return of the Idiot, 1999) that was successful even abroad (a nomination for the European film award). I can also list a teenager movie Šeptej (Whisper), a drama Čas dluhů (The Time of Debts) and not too successful Schmidt's attempt Eliška má ráda divočinu (Eliška Likes Running Wild). Recently she got a role in a social drama Divoké včely (Wild Bees, 2002) and later performed dr. Blažej's daughter in the new series of the TV serial Nemocnice na kraji města (The Hospital in the Outskirts of the Town). One of her fresh roles is a flippant aunt in a serial Josef a Ly (Josef And Ly, 2004). She has no stable engagment and plays in several theatres as a guest actor. Recently I read an article, where she talked about her effort to succeed abroad. We will see. Recently (2005) she appeared in an internationally honoured movie of director Sláma called Štěstí (Happiness).


An unofficial web site devoted to Tatiana Vilhelmová:


Anna ("Aňa") Geislerová (17. 4. 1976)

It would be unfair to omit one of the most important persona of Czech cinema, although I am doing it unwillingly because of my fairly strong antipathy against her. 


Anna Geislerová was born in a highly educated family in Prague. Her first film role was a minor part in Jan Hřebejk's director's début Pějme píseň dohola (untranslatable; 1991). Yet very soon after she got a really big title role in another director's début of Filip Renč, a dramatic story Requiem pro panenku (Requiem for a Maiden, 1991), where she performed a girl from an unstable family, who is mistakenly placed in a home for mentally affected and witnesses brutal practices of ruthless nurses. (This movie was based on a true story, but ironically, about ten years later it turned out that in reality it happened differently and the worst wrongdoers were actually victims of a tragedy that lead to the fire of the home and the death of several immates.) The performance of young Anna (or "Aňa", if you want) was really very good and impressive. This, together with the fact that she also appeared naked here, was probably the reason, why the director Renč fell in love with her and they lived together for several years. I think that this relationship made the beginning of her film career much easier and she subsequently went from role to role (both in Czech republic and abroad). For example, she appeared in the Italian fairy-tale serial The Princess Fantaghiro (1991-1993), in an internationally honoured TV serial Přítelkyně z domu smutku (Girl-friends From The Home Of Sadness, 1992) or in another Renč's drama Válka barev (The War of Colours, 1993). However, I think that the real break in her career came in 1994, when Jan Svěrák casted her in his "cheap one-million" movie Jízda (The Ride, 1994). Personally I don't see anything spectacular on this movie and in fact, I was very disappointed when I saw it for the first time, but it is also possible that I expected too much being influenced by the ballyhoo advertisement that surrounded it. This movie also started my personal antipathy against Geislerová, because besides the bad impression of the movie, I was really disgusted by one scene, where the filmmakers let her piss on the road (well, it was behind a car, but the urine was visible). My aversion reached its top in 1997, when she appeared in the title role of Výchova dívek v Čechách (Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia, 1997). Here she performed a spoiled daughter from a snobbish family, who is to be "educated" by a successful writer. Again, she appeared naked here, and her skinny body with neglectable breasts and visible ribs really didn't correspond with the nimbus of a "Czech beauty" that started to explode at that time. I think that some people must be crazy, because I wouldn't call this red skeleton a beautiful woman, not speaking about calling her one of the most beautiful Czech actresses. But it obviously didn't made any difference to musician Roman Holý, who changed Renč in her bed then.


Another roles for Geislerová came in 1999; first, a minor part in Gedeon's highly overrated "masterpiece" Návrat idiota (The Return Of The Idiot) and then a big title role in a drama Kuře melancholik (The Melancholic Chicken). For Návrat idiota she got the Czech Lion for the best women's minor role of the year. From her recent appearences I must list Kytice (The Flowers), a story movie based on epic ballads of K. J. Erben, and especially an Oscar-nominated Želary (2003) that brought her film career on a higher level.


By the way, Geislerová is a good friend of Tatiana Wilhelmová. Anna's sister Ester (Geislerová) is also a promising young actress.



Pavel Liška (17. 4. 1976)

"The idiot of Czech cinema" studied Janáček's academy in Brno and later acted here in the theatre "HaDivadlo". He was absolutely unknown until 1999, when director Saša Gedeon casted him into his psychological movie Návrat idiota (The Return of the Idiot) based on the well-known Dostojevskiy's novel. The movie got many prizes from critics and was also successful in Czech theatres, but personally it didn't impress me much. In any case, Liška's cast was really a very good choice, because he looks like a typical idiot :) I read that he was rather a shy boy and was afraid of castings. Yet this movie meant a big break in his life, because his performance was nominated for the Czech Lion (he eventually didn't get it, however) and since that time, he went from role to role and soon became a very popular person. After Chytilová's not too well-made a comedy Vyhnání z ráje (The Expulsion From The Paradise, 2001), he starred in a drama Divoké včely (Wild Bees, 2001), for which he was again nominated for the Czech Lion,  and subsequently parodized Michael Jackson in Hřebejk's Pupendo (2003). A double role in Marhoul's desperate attempt at a film parody Mazaný Filip (Smart Filip, 2003) was not just the best of his filmography, but his career successfully continued. From his recent appearances I must list a psychological drama Štěstí (Happiness, 2005).

Liška is currently married and has a child. For some time he lived with his partner from the "Idiot", Tatiana Vilhelmová, but their relationship crashed, very probably because of the distance between Brno and Prague. However, Liška recently (2003) moved to Prague and acts in the theatre "Na Zábradlí".





The Official Scientific Page > The history of Czech cinema