Prof. Mgr. Art. Božidara Turzonovová (Slovak: [ˈboʒɪdara ˈturzonovovaː]; born on May 28, 1942) is a Slovak film and stage actress of Bulgarian origins, often referred to as The First Lady of Slovak Theater and Film.
The former chairman of the Art Film Fest (AFF) in Trenčianske Teplice, nowadays the president of the International Film Festival Cinematik (IFFC) held in Piešťany (from 2006), Turzonovová is also known as the first dean of the Faculty of Drama at the Academy of Performing Arts in Banská Bystrica (1999–2002), co-established by herself. Since 2009, she occupies the Managing Board of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and, simultaneously, lectures at the Faculty of Mass Media Communication at the University of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Trnava.
In terms of artistic achievements, the actress is most notable for her portrayal of Emmy Destinn in a Jiří Krejčík's motion picture entitled The Divine Emma (1979). The movie was submitted for the 54th Academy Awards in 1982 in the category Best Foreign Language Film. Most currently, the actress was cast in the Palm Springs International ShortFest-winning film The Lunchbox (2009), which also scored a bronze medal in the narrative category at the 37th Annual Student Academy Awards competition, in 2010.
1942-60: Early life and education
Božidara Turzonovová is a daughter of a female medician from Serbia and a reputable architect with origins in Macedonia (near Thessaloniki). As the oldest of three descendents, she was born in the Kingdom of Bulgaria. After thirteen months spent in Sofia, her mother followed the spouse to Bratislava, where he worked since 1939. From 1943, Turzonovová was therefore raised in Slovakia. According to the actress, she was often called "that Bulgarian" at that time that led her to a state of feeling rather humbled (as she recollected for the Czech Television in 2011). Although, she originally planned to study art history at the Palacký University of Olomouc in western part of then-Czechoslovakia, for which she would also apply, Turzonovová continued with drama eventually at the Slovak Academy of Performing Arts. While one of her classmates was Emília Vášáryová, her teacher became Ján Borodáč who taught the Stanislavski's method. However, as the artist later disclosed, she found difficult to couple with partners on the scene, and wanted to abandon the college. In 2012 for SME she said: "For me 'partnering stuff' has always been a problem in acting, especially when I was yet a student."
1961-69: Career beginnings and the National Theater
The actress made her official debut on the screen in black-and-white movie entitled Most na tú stranu (English: A Bridge to the Other Side) by Vladislav Pavlovič, to be premiered in January the following year. The psychological drama starred Jozef Adamovič; a three years older actor whom Turzonovová would marry. Her initial appearance for television came along with Ján Klimo's Mladé letá (English: Young Ages, 1962), another drama based on an autobiographical novel by Martin Kukučín. While on college, she was cast in two plays at a chamber theatre of the Slovak National Theater, called Malá scéna (English: Small Stage). Following her graduating in September 1963, the actress signed a contract with the professional ensemble while being pregnant. As a result, she was accused of cheating as revealed. After return from parental leave, Turzonovová was cast in the follow-up project by Pavlovič Senzi Mama (English: Smashing Mom, 1964), while for TV productions taking part in comedies (Charlieho teta, Dobrodružstvo pri obžinkoch, Rozmajrín). In 1969, she would join the crew of Volpone, the only directorial attempt of František Dibarbora.
1970-79: The Meritorious Artist title and The Divine Emma
The filmography of Turzonovová chronicles her work through the artist's 50 years as a film, television and stage actress. She entered film industry in 1961, and made her official cinematic debut in Vladislav Pavlovič's production of Most na tú stranu. Overall, she appeared in one-hundred-sixty-five films to date, of which thirty-four are feature, and one-hundred-thirty-one television films or series. While on stage, Turzonovová was cast in one-hundred plays or musicals, eight of which have been also televised.
|Year||Title||Role||Awards and nominations|
|1961||Most na tú stranu||Eva||Film debut|
|1971||Hájnikova žena†||Hanka (title role)||Golden Croc[A] for Best Female Performance in a TV Movie|
|1977||Penelopa||Eva Kamenická||Film a Divadlo Award[B] for Best Actress|
|Bludička||Katarína (title role)||Film a Divadlo Award[B] for Most Popular Actress|
|1979||Božská Ema||Emmy Destinn (title role)||Submitted—Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|1980||Odveta||Kučerová||Film a Divadlo Award[B] for Best Actress|
|1983||Anděl s ďáblem v těle||Mme Gábi Stolařová||Banská Bystrica Film Festival Award for Best Actress|
|1997||Orbis Pictus||Marta||Nominated—Czech Lion for Best Supporting Actress |
Submitted—Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
|2009||The Lunch Box‡ |
|Ružena Stoláriková||ShortFest Award for Best Live Action over 15 Minutes |
Student Academy Award for Narrative Film (Bronze medal)
|2013||Kovář z Podlesí||Shopkeeper||Last feature film to date|
|"†" denotes a TV film / "‡" denotes a short film.|
- A ^ The original show ran until 1989. (Simultaneously, a similar pool called Television Bells ran in the Czechoslovakia since 1985. In 1990, the Golden Croc was replaced by I Like; for the only year, eventually. Starting 1991 TýTý Awards is effective in the Czech Republic, while OTO Awards was founded in Slovakia in 2000).
- B ^ The winners of the 77' edition were awarded in 1979.
Božidara Turzonovová has received a number of awards and accolades in recognition of her success in the film industry. As of 2014, she has accumulated a total of 23 awards out of 27 nominations.