Zbigniew Zapasiewicz is remembered

Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, one of the most prominent post-war Polish actors, died on July 14. He appeared in over 70 films and in 170 performances at Teatr Telewizji (Television Theatre), and made numerous stage appearances at several theatres.

His outstanding roles in films by Krzysztof Zanussi included Jan in Behind The Wall (Za ścianą) (1971), the senior lecturer Szelestowski in Camouflage (Barwy ochronne) (1976), a cynical doctor in Life As a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease (Życie jako smiertelna choroba przenoszona drogą płciową) (2000), and a disappointed and tired-of-life ambassador in Persona non grata (2005). He is remembered by cinema lovers as an example of the highest acting artistry, exhibited by only a few.

There are many other roles for which he will be remembered: Land of Promise (Ziemia obiecana) (1974), Without Anaesthesia (Bez znieczulenia) (1978), The Young Ladies of Wilko (Panny z Wilka) (1979) by Andrzej Wajda; Blind Chance (Przypadek) (1981) and A Short Film About Killing (Krótki film o zabijaniu) (1987) by Krzysztof Kieślowski, as well as Idol (1984) by Feliks Falk, Mother of Kings (Matka królów) (1982) by Janusz Zaorski, and Masquerade (Maskarada) (1989) by Janusz Kijowski.

He was not only perfect in leading roles, but even when playing peripheral roles he attracted attention, as in his portrayal of the father of the hero in Hope (Nadzieja) (2006) by Stanisław Mucha. His last role was in the not-yet-released Rewizyta by Krzysztof Zanussi.

Zapasiewicz was born on 13 September 1934 in Warsaw. A nephew of actor Jan Kreczmar and theatre director Jerzy Kreczmar, he studied chemistry at the Warsaw University of Technology. In 1956 he graduated in acting from the National Academy of Theatre in Warsaw. Twice he received the Aleksander Zelwerowicz award by “Teatr” magazine. Recently he had been co-operating with Teatr Powszechny (Popular Theatre).


Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza