Rafał Cieszyński was born on 10th June 1976, in Rypin. He is an actor on television, and in theatre and film. He became a recognisable actor in Poland thanks to his role in the Ojciec Mateusz TV series, where he portrays Przemysław Gibalski, a friendly police officer working in a police precinct in Sandomierz.
He started his education in a secondary school in Bydgoszcz, but moved to Bydgoszcz before finishing it. In 2002, he graduated from the Łódź Film School, with a distinction. In addition, he enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Studio in Los Angeles to study acting.
He first appeared on TV, when he was only 18, as the host of Młodzieżowe Studio Poetyckie TV programme (1994), and then in Magazyn Młodzieżowy Raj, made for TVP1. He was also the host in the thematic channels Tylko Muzyka and Muzyczna winda (Polsat TV).
In 2000, he made his theatre début on the stage of Teatr Zwierciadło in Łódź. He also performed on stages in the Studio and Komedia theatres in Warsaw.
His début in a TV series came in 1997, in Klan, where he played Marcin, an activist in an ecological movement, and a friend of Agnieszka Lubicz. The year 1999 marked his first appearance in a full-length film. In Ogniem i mieczem/With Fire and Sword (1999) by Jerzy Hoffman, he played the episodic role of Subagazi, the chief commander of the Khan’s army. The film was partly made in the region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie, i.e. in the archaeological open-air museum of Biskupin.
In 2000, Rafał Cieszyński played his first leading role in a full-feature film. It was To my/It’s Us by Waldemar Szarek, in which he and Marta Dąbrowa, a student of English and a cinema novice, created a duo of secondary-school graduates Agata and Widelec. In addition, he played in Job, czyli ostatnia szara komórka/Yob, or The Last Brain Cell by Konrad Niewolski, in which he partnered Borys Szyc, in Szatan z siódmej klasy/The Devil from Seventh Grade by Kazimierz Tarnas, which was a new adaptation of the novel by Kornel Makuszyński under the same title. In 2008, he partnered Izabela Kuba, Edyta Olszówka, Magdalena Różczka, Anna Dereszowska, and Robert Więckiewicz, and a whole galaxy of Polish film stars, in the blockbuster Lejdis. In the same year, he was cast in the romantic comedy Nie kłam kochanie/Don’t Lie Darling by Piotr Wereśniak. In 2009, he played in Balladyna/The Bait by Dariusz Zawiślak, which was an adaptation of The Epoch of Romanticism – Balladyna – the poem by Juliusz Słowacki.
In the film 1920. Bitwa Warszawska/Battle of Warsaw 1920 by Jerzy Hoffman (2011), he played Lieutenant Jan Kowalewski, head of the Department of Ciphering.
In 2001, he made his first appearance in the TV series Na dobre i na złe/For better and for worse, as Kostek Mikuła. In the same year, he was also featured in the psychological drama Listy miłosne by Sławomir Kryński. The film was made in memory of Wojciech Jerzy Has, telling a story about an attempt at sorting one’s life out, when it is too late for that. It touches on and develops the mystery behind the influence of the unsolved problems from the past on our present life.
Later, his professional portfolio was dominated by TV series. To this day, he has played in the following TV film series: Komisarz Alex, Zbrodnia Season 2, Fenomen, Hotel 52, Barwy szczęścia, Tylko miłość, Daleko od noszy, Fala zbrodni, Hela w opałach, Plebania, Anioł Stróż, Bulionerzy, Pensjonat pod różą, Świat wg Kiepskich, Na wspólnej, Kasia i Tomek, Samo życie, and Pierwsza miłość.