Popular Czech actor dies at country house
One of the legends of Czech film, the actor Vlastimil Brodsky, died on Saturday at the age of 81. He was loved by three generations of Czechs, and, as Alena Skodova reports, his unforgettable voice will be deeply missed.
Vlastimil Brodsky was born in 1920 in Hrusov near the North Moravian town of Ostrava, and his mother wanted him to become a secondary school teacher. But the young Vlastimil soon moved to Prague and spent his spare time going to theatres - he himself recalled recently that back then he saw many plays five or six times. After performing in several smaller theatres, in 1948 he signed a contract with the Vinohrady Theatre in Prague, where he acted regularly till 1984. In the 1950s he started his career as a film actor, and his roles very often depicted deeply human, tragicomic characters. Especially fruitful was his cooperation with the director Jiri Menzel: he played an SS officer in Menzel's 'Closely Observed Trains', which won the Oscar for the best non-English language film in 1968.
In recent years Brodsky had often joked about death, with the black humour that characterised his whole acting career. His family have not commented on how he died - at his country cottage in North Bohemia - but Monday's newspapers did not rule out the possibility of suicide.