Relja Bašić

Actor and director

Croatia

The Croatian actor Relja Bašić was born in Zagreb in 1930 , where he studied at the Academy of Dramatic Art. As an actor he has played leading roles in some 3000 theatre performances and more than 120 films and television series at home and abroad. He has also directed numerous plays. His theatre debut was in Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, where he performed from 1956 to 1968. He left the National Theatre, creating numerous outstanding roles. In the wish to have more freedom in choosing roles and working in different media, he spent several years as a free-lance actor and director in theatre, film and television, becoming one of the most popular actors in former Yugoslavia. In 1974 he founded, with a group of fellow actors, the first Croatian touring theatre "Teatar u gostima" ("Visiting Theatre") , of which he was manager (as well as actor and director) until 2005. The Visiting Theatre played 4200 performances in Croatia and some 500 performances abroad.

Fluent in five foreign languages, Mr Bašić has played in 127 films (57 Croatian and ex-Yugoslav and 70 foreign productions). His most widely known film role was that of "Mr Fulir" – who has entered modern urban folklore as an almost legendary figure – in the greatest Croatian box office success "Those Who Sing Mean No Harm" directed by Krešo Golik.

Relja Bašić also served many years as the representative of the Croatian Actors' Society in the International Federation of Actors. His political career was marked by a four-year term (1994-1997) as member of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia. Since the nineties he also took part in numerous humanitarian campaigns launched by Croatian non-governmental organizations.

He is now bord member of the Croatian National Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.

After fifty years of work as an actor, director and artistic manager, Relja Bašić emerges as an outstanding and many-faceted personality whose achievement has been of great importance for Croatian culture. On the other hand, he does not believe that "theatre can change the world", but that "its present role is to bring people closer together". He considers theatre to be "like a temple in which we are all equal". In becoming a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Mr Bašić is committed to cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, art and creativity as high goals on the list of international political priorities, particularly in the post-transitional countries of South-East Europe (S.E.E.)..

Biography

Mr Bašić was born in Zagreb in 1930

Mr Bašić's theatre and film career:

1974-present: founder, artistic manager, actor and theatre director of the first travelling theatre in Croatia, Teatar u gostima (Visiting Theatre)

1969-1974: free-lance actor and theatre director

1956-1968: member of the repertory company of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

1950- present: theatre actor with some 4200 performances in plays, many of which he directed himself, as well as film actor with 127 films, along with numerous TV-films and serials.

Awards

Plays:

  • Best Actor Award for radio play One Rainy Day in Siena (2002)
  • European Circle Prize awarded by the European Movement for the promotion of European standards in culture (2001)
  • Vladimir Nazor Award for life achievement, the highest Croatian state prize for the performing arts
  • Croatian Theatre Award for outstanding artistic achievement
  • half a dozen other awards for theatre acting or directing at festivals in Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Zagreb etc.

Films and TV productions:

  • 7 actor's awards, among which the most prominent are
  • Best Yugoslav Film Actor award ( in Rondo directed by Zvonimir Berković) at Pula Film Festival (1966)
  • Special award for Fifty Years' Work in Croatian Film at Motovun Film Festival (2003).

Public functions

since 2004 member of the Board, Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights

1990-2003: member of the Central Board of the Croatian Branch of the European Movement

1990-1997: representative of Croatia in the International Federation of Actors (FIA)

1993-1997: served as MP in Croatian Parliament, elected on the ticket of the Croatian Social-Liberal Party

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