Skotniki, Leszyca, Poland
Claim to Fame
role of Kama in Faraon (1966)
Profile Bio Text
Barbara Brylska is a Polish actress who starred in films made in Poland, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
She was born on June 5, 1941, in Skotniki, near Lodz, Poland. Her early childhood was marked by the trauma of survival under the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War. She made her film debut at age 15, in a small role in Kalosze szczescia (1958). She studied acting at Lodz Theatre School, then studied at Warsaw School of Theatre, Cinema and Television, graduating in 1964 as an actress.
Barbara Brylska shot to fame with her supporting role as Kama in Faraon (1966), an Oscar nominated period drama by director Jerzy Kawalerowicz. Then she played a supporting role as Krzysia Drohojowska in Pan Wolodyjowski (1969), a period film by director Jerzy Hoffman. Brylska established herself as a fine actress, she was busy in East European cinema during the 60s and 70s.
In 1975 Brylska received a phone call from Moscow director Eldar Ryazanov, that forever changed her life and acting career, and brought her fame and jealousy. She brilliantly played the role of Nadia, a female lead opposite Andrei Miagkov in the cult Soviet TV movie _Ironiya sudby, ili S lyogkim parom! (1975) (TV)_. Her performance was enhanced by collaboration with popular singer Alla Pugacheva who delivered enchanting rendition of love songs for Brylska`s character. In 1976 Brylska was elected the most popular actress in Russia according to several polls, she also won the State Prize of the USSR (1977).
At the same time Brylska experienced ostracism in her own country, Poland, where she was criticized for her acceptance of the state Prize of the USSR. However, Brylska was critical about the rigid political and cultural atmosphere in the Soviet Union. She put her popularity at risk for saying some tough truth about the Soviet regime, albeit the wide Russian audiences were sympathizing with her criticism and understanding of how people were suffering under domination of the Soviet Communist Party. Brylska stated later that she was caught in political tensions between Poland and the Soviet Union, and her success in Russia caused jealousy and was largely ignored by the film community in Poland; also the Russian cult movie did not become as popular there, because some Russian traditions did not resonate with European audiences. However, in 2000, after a long hiatus, Brylska played a supporting role in a grotesque film Down House (2000), then made her stage debut in Moscow, in popular play `Quartet` opposite Svetlana Kryuchkova among other Russian actors.
Barbara Brylska has been highly regarded for her classic noblesse, beauty, intelligence, and effortless style. She enjoyed a steady popularity with the Russian-speaking audiences mainly due to her stellar performance in Ironiya sudby, ili S lyogkim parom! (1975) (TV). For two seasons from 2000-2002 she returned to the Polish audiences as Barbara Burska, a recurring character in popular Polish TV series `Na dobre i na zle`. In 2003 she starred in a Russian comedy Casus belli (2003) by director Igor Ugolnikov. In 2006 Brylska starred as Olga Samoilova, a wealthy lady who was forced into a retirement home by her money hungry relatives, in Ukrainian comedy `Strannoe Rozhdestvo` (aka.. Strange Christmas) by director Maksim Papernik, reuniting with her fellow actress Liya Akhedzhakova. Brylska is cast as Nadia in the upcoming sequel to her most popular film, titled `Ironiya sudby 2`, by director Timur Bekmambetov, filmed at locations in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, and scheduled for release in 2008.
Barbara Brylska has been married several times, and had a daughter, Barbara (born in 1973), and a son, Ludwig (born in 1983). Her son, Ludwig, has been studying management and economy at Warsaw School of Economics. Her daughter, Barbara, was a model in Paris. After the tragic death of her 20-year-old model daughter in a car accident, and a burglary of her apartment in Warsaw, Brylska suffered from a nervous breakdown, however she continued her acting career. Barbara Brylska is currently sharing time between her apartment in Warsaw, Poland, and her summer cottage in the village of Gulchevo, near Warsaw; she also makes regular visits to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, where she has been enjoying a steady success. She is more popular in Russia and Ukraine than in her native Poland.
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Barbara Brylska (born 5 June 1941) is a Polish actress who was also featured in numerous films throughout the countries of the Warsaw Pact including the Soviet Union. She is noted especially for her role as Nadya in the 1975 Soviet comedy film Irony of Fate.
Barbara Kosmal (daughter) (actress)
National Film School in Łódź, Warsaw School of Theatre, Film and Television (1967)
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