Yvonne Přenosilová: Singing star whose career was cut short by 1968 invasion

Yvonne Přenosilová

Yvonne Přenosilová, a popular 1960s Czechoslovak singing star who later became a radio presenter, sadly passed away last week.

Yvonne Přenosilová in 1964 | Photo: Czech Television

The dark-haired Yvonne Přenosilová appeared as a teenage singer in Miloš Foman’s 1963 film Audition and a couple of years later became a bona fide pop star.

Her best-loved songs include Czech versions of US hits, such as Roň slzy (based on Brenda Lee’s I’m Sorry), Zlý znamení (Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On) and Boty proti lásce (Lee Hazelwood’s These Boots Were Made for Walking, made famous by Nancy Sinatra).

During a short stay in the UK she even released a single in English, When My Baby Cries, and appeared on groundbreaking music TV show Ready, Steady, Go! with The Rolling Stones.

However the Soviet-led invasion of August 1968, when Přenosilová had just turned 21, cut short her singing career. After emigrating she lived in Germany’s Munich, where she was unable to get suitable bookings. Instead she worked as a stewardess for British Airways before finding a role presenting a music show on Radio Free Europe, where she worked with another musical exile, Karel Kryl.

In 1994 she returned to Prague and was a presenter on a Czech Radio-run station that succeeded the Czech service of Radio Free Europe. She also performed concerts and appeared in musicals.

Yvonne Přenosilová, who had been beset by health problems, died on September 11 at the age of 76.

Author: Ian Willoughby
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