|Intro||Croatian journalist, producer, and television personality|
|Was||Television presenter Journalist|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism|
|Birth||28 January 1945, Zagreb, Zagreb County, Croatia|
|Death||27 February 2012, Zagreb, Zagreb County, Croatia (aged 67 years)|
Helga Vlahović (January 28, 1945 – February 27, 2012) was a Croatian journalist, producer, and television personality, whose career spanned five decades in both SFR Yugoslavia and later Croatia. She was one of the most popular television presenters in the 1980s.
Throughout her career, she was also credited as Helga Vlahović Pea and Helga Vlahović Brnobić during the times she was married.
Born in Zagreb to Hungarian father Kalman Vlahovics and Austrian mother Vera, Helga grew up speaking German with her mother while also learning English.
Vlahović started working at Zagreb Radio and Television (part of the Yugoslav Radio Television network) in 1964, while studying German, English, and art history at the University of Zagreb; with her newfound job, she left the studies and ended up not completing her degrees. By 1966, she became an anchorwoman of various entertainment and musical TV shows, putting her in charge of such popular programs as TV Magazin and musical television shows.
In 1968, she was selected to run the Sopot International Song Festival in Poland, and in 1971 she ran the song festival in Scheveningen, Netherlands. She was then placed in charge of the morning talk show Good Day, Yugoslavia (which she hosted) in 1972, as well as the music variety show Svjetla pozornice (Stage Lights) in 1977 and 1978. From 1978 to 1980, she organized the Jadranski susreti (Adriatic Reunion, a Yugoslav version of Jeux Sans Frontières).
In 1984 and 1988, Vlahović organized the programs Beč pozdravlja Zagreb, Zagreb pozdravlja Beč (Vienna Salutes Zagreb, Zagreb Salutes Vienna) and Dubrovnik-Stuttgart, which were musical and travelogue series broadcast between JRT, ORF, and ARD, respectively, geared at Yugoslav guest workers who wanted to "see home" but could not afford to make a trip there. Due to her extensive musical programming experience, as well as her proficiency in English, she was picked, along with Oliver Mlakar, to host the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 in Zagreb following Yugoslavia's win in 1989.
With the fall of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the onset of the Croatian War of Independence, Vlahović was quickly put in charge of informational television series relating to the war on the newly formed HRT channel for the independent nation of Croatia. She was head of "war information programming" until the end of war in 1995. In 1996, she started her own television series, Govorimo o zdravlju (We Talk About Health), which covered many health and wellness topics. After 42 years of working at JRT and HRT, Vlahović retired in 2006.
Vlahović had two daughters, Renee Pea (born 1975), from her ten-year marriage to Franc Pea, and Karla Brnobić (born 1982), from her marriage to neurosurgeon Miljenko Brnobić, who died in 1997. It was his influence which inspired her to start the program Govorimo o zdravlju.
In 2009 Vlahović was diagnosed with melanoma. In early 2012 it was reported her condition has worsened and she was hospitalised. She died on February 27, 2012.