Acting great and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová dies at 92

The renowned Czech actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová has died at the age of 92. Chramostová appeared in the classic 1969 film The Cremator, the 1990s movie Sekal Has to Die and in Václav Havel’s film adaptation of his own play Leaving, among other screen roles. The news of her death was announced on Sunday by the Czech National Theatre, where she was a member of the cast for many years.

Vlasta Chramostová was banned from appearing on screen, on TV or on radio following her rejection of the Soviet occupation that began in August 1968. After some short theatre engagements she was restricted to acting in underground productions, often in private apartments, until the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Chramostová was active in the anti-Communist dissent and samizdat publication and was an early signatory of the Charter 77 protest document. In early 1989 she was convicted over her opposition activities.

She said that she had lived three lives: an acting life, a dissident life and a time of returns.

In 1998 President Václav Havel bestowed the Order of T.G. Masaryk on the acting legend for her contribution to human rights and democracy.

Author: Ian Willoughby