Photo: wikipedia

Veteran actress Mari Torocsik dies at 85

Celebrated actress Mari Torocsik, Actress of the Nation, holder of two Kossuth prizes, the Kossuth Grand Prize and winner of the Prize for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, has died at 85, the National Theatre said on Friday.
16. April 2021 12:54

Torocsik was born in 1935 in Pely in northern Hungary, and got her first internationally acclaimed role in Zoltan Fabri’s Merry-Go-Round (Korhinta) as a first-year student of the University of Theatre and Film Arts.

During her carreer spanning half a century, Torocsik played in films with almost all important Hungarian directors including Miklos Jancso, Karoly Makk, Peter Gardos, Peter Timar and Marta Meszaros.

She won the Prize for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976 for her performance in Gyula Maar’s “Mrs Dery where are you?”.

She played at the National Theatre between 1958 and 1978, and from 2002 until her retirement. She also performed at theatres in Gyor, Kaposvar and Szolnok.

Torocsik was also a holder of the Prima Primissima Prize, the Balazs Bela award, the Grand Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and many other prizes.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban marked Torocsik’s passing on his Facebook page, in a post that said “Dear Mari! So you have left us. We have soared, Mari, we soared! God bless!”

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Facebook that “although ranking is pointless in arts, there can be no doubt that one of the greatest has passed away.” Torocsik “knew everything an actor could know and more, and … she had an impact on everyone,” Karacsony said. Her long and substantial life was filled with the love from her audiences, in addition to state awards and an honorary citizenship of Budapest, Karacsony said.

Attila Vidnyanszky, the director of the Hungarian National Theatre where Torocsik played for altogether more than three decades, praised her as an actress for whom “theatre meant life”. Torocsik played without interruption from her debut in 1956, in 132 plays and 174 films, he said. Almost half of her stage roles, or 66, were performed in the National Theatre, he said.

“However, the value of this long career is measured in the quality of those performances” rather than in numbers, Vidnyanszky said. “We are grateful for her many performances, the happy moments, the love, and the example she set, teaching us all humility to the creative process and in theatre. We have lost an irreplacable personality of Hungarian theatre,” he said.

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