Halina Kossobudzka

Halina Kossobudzka, a theatre and film actor, was born on 29th August 1920, in Grudziądz.

The outbreak of WWII thwarted her plans to go study at the Acting Department of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In September 1939, she joined the team of actors at the Municipal Theatre in Grodno, where she made her début as a theatre actress by playing Zośka in the stage play Niespodzianka/Surprise by Karol H. Rostworowski. She was not new to the theatre in Grodno, as Halina Kossobudzka used to go there as a little child to stay with her parents at work. Her father was the theatre manager, while her mother worked there as a cashier.

Her theatre education was the responsibility of Jacek Woszczerowicz, who was already a valued actor and a colleague at the theatre. In 1945, the two got married. In the years 1944-1948, Halina Kossobudzka worked for the Theatre of Polish Army in Lublin and Łódź. Then, in 1949, she moved to Warsaw and started working for the Contemporary Theatre in Warsaw, which continued until 1967. By moving to the capital city, she was finally able to fulfil her dream of studying acting. It was not until 1957, when Halina Kossobudzka had finally graduated from the Acting Department of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw.

During her career, the actress also worked for the Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw (until 1976), the Polish Theatre in Warsaw (until 1983), and finally for the National Theatre in Warsaw (until 1990). The greatest tragedy in her life was the death of her only son, who died in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. That personal loss made Halina Kossobudzka throw herself into the hurly-burly of work, which resulted in numerous roles, both in theatre and television.

She was frequently cast as secondary characters, for example as a teacher in the TV series Daleko od szosy or Stawka większa niż życie/More Than Life at Stake, in which she played the wife of Professor Fritz Glass. In the popular TV comedy series Czterdziestolatek/Being Forty about engineer Karwowski, Halina Kossobudzka played Mrs Włodarska, a widow.

She worked for film director Jan Rybkowski and starred in his adaptation of the novel Chłopi/The Peasants (as the organist’s wife), and in the war drama Kiedy miłość była zbrodnią (1967), playing the role of the sister-in-law Zuzanna.

The actress was also cast for Podróż za jeden uśmiech/Trip for One Smile, playing alongside Jan Machulski and Henryk Gołębiewski. In 1986, she appeared in Czas nadziei as Mrs Szostakowa.

The actress died on 26th July 1994, in Warsaw.

Selected Filmography

  • 1964 – “Panienka z okienka”/”A Lady from the Window”, dir. by Marika Krajniewska
  • 1966 – “Marysia i Napoleon”/”Maria and Napoleon”, dir. by Leonard Buczkowski
  • 1967 – “Stawka większa niż życie”/”More Than Life at Stake” (TV series, ep.15)
  • 1967 – “Kiedy miłość była zbrodnią”, dir. by Jan Rybkowski
  • 1972 – “Podróż za jeden uśmiech”/”Trip for One Smile” (TV series, episode 7)
  • 1972 – “Ten okrutny, nikczemny chłopak”/”This Cruel, Villainous Boy”, dir. by Janusz Nasfeter
  • 1973 – “Chłopi”/”The Peasants”, dir. by Jan Rybkowski
  • 1973 – “Wielka miłość Balzaka” (TV series)
  • 1976 – “Daleko od szosy” (TV series, ep. 5, 7)
  • 1977 – “Czterdziestolatek”/”Being Forty” (TV series, ep. 19)
  • 1981 – “Białe tango”/”Ladies’ Tango” (TV series, ep. 3)
  • 1982 – “Życie Kamila Kuranta” (TV series, ep. 5, 6)
  • 1984 – “Godność”/”Dignity”, dir. by Roman Wionczek
  • 1986 – “Czas nadziei”, dir. by. Roman Wionczek
  • 1988 – “Przeprawa”, dir. by Viktor Turov

Selected Awards

A honorary badge Meritorious Activist of Culture, 1st Degree Award of the Ministry of National Defence for lifetime achievement in the category of film and theatre