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Irena Kwiatkowska

This page was created thanks to cooperation with The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw.

The text below thank the courtesy of The Academy and Dr Paweł Płoński.

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Irena Kwiatkowska 1912-2011


Born on 17 September 1912 in Warsaw, died on 3 March 2011 in Konstancin-Jeziorna.

One of the most prominent Polish comedic actresses. She achieved success in every field – theatre, cabaret, stage performances, film, and television.

She received her acting diploma in 1935. Her short pre-war career was enough to earn her recognition for authentic comedic flair and, as critics wrote, “inborn humour”. She survived the Second World War in Warsaw.

Afterward, she built her position as a comedic actress year after year. As early as 1946, she became the star of the Seven Cats cabaret in Krakow, with texts written specifically for her by the great poet Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński.

Any theatrical play with her name on the poster was guaranteed to be a success. Radio listeners adored her role as Euphemia in the Eterek Theatre, as well as her reading of novels – from school readings through popular romances to masterful interpretations of children's literature.

She was the star of famous cabarets: the Elderly Gentlemen's Cabaret (aired on TV from 1958 to 1966), where she sang several evergreen songs, and the stage Dudek Cabaret, where she used poetic stylisation in her monologues, cabaret scenes, and songs, but at the same time was able to add an almost caricature touch to her characters, starting with insightful psychological observation.

In films and TV shows, she became famous for her supporting roles. She was fortunate to play memorable characters in TV series that are still enjoyed today – the ever-concerned mother in “Civil War” or the famous working woman in the TV series "The Forty-Year-Old" (her on-screen catchphrase has become part of the Polish language: “I am a working woman, not afraid of any work”).

With an acting career spanning nearly 75 years, she was invariably cherished by audiences.

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