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Barbara Połomska died – the outstanding actress was connected with Powszechny Theatre in Łódź for 64 years

-I have just received a very sad news that Barbara (Basia) Połomska has gone. She was on outstanding person of the Polish film and theatre. It is unbelievable. She was one of the symbols of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. She was always present in my private and professional life. 

A beautiful, talented, young blonde girl was called by the critics “the Polish Briggite Bardot”. After she had graduated the Cracow Theatre School she started working in Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. She made her debut as Eliza in G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. She chose Łódź and stayed faithful to the city. As an actress she divided her life between film and theatre. Basia built the Polish film history, she travelled around the world, she was the star of festivals in Argentina and Europe. But she always returned to Łódź.     

She was always full of energy, she was open to new artistic challenges. It was not so long ago that our audience could see her in “Brunch” by Juliusz Machulski and in “A Song Factory” where there was a special plot devoted to her and to Michał Szewczyk – two actors who made the Łódź film legend.

We lived closed to each other, we used to meet and walk together in the # of May Park and we talked a lot. Basia was a wonderful, intelligent, charismatic person  with an extraordinary intuition. She had her values and principles, she was honest and loyal. She never sided with those who were stronger, she always took the side of those who sought truth and honesty.

It has been a very sad year. First we bid farewell to Michał Szewczyk, now we say good-bye to Barbara Połomska – two outstanding persons, symbols of Powszechny Theatre, people who dedicated their lives to Łódź. We will always remember you while passing by your stars in the Łódź Walk of Fame (Piotrkowska Street).

I am so sad, Basia, thank you for our meeting, for our Theatre. We will always keep you in our hearts and in our memory.

Ewa Pilawska and the Powszechny Theatre members

Barbara Połomska (9 January, 1934 – 28 July, 2021) was an undisputed star of the Polish cinema in the sixties and the seventies. Her international triumphs were widely described by newspapers. She got leading roles in “Eroica”, “Zezowate szczęście” and “Inspekcja pana Anatola”. She made her film debut while still a student in “Opowieść atlantycka” by Wanda Jakubowska and “Godzina nadziei” by Jan Rybkowski. In 1956, after she had graduated The State Theatre School in Cracow, she started working in P0wszechny Theatre in Łódź where she spent 64 years of her professional career. She made her debut in 1957 as Eliza in  G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. The role of Eliza was also her great success in “My Fair Lady” directed by Roman Sykała.

She played many roles  in Powszechny Theatre and the audience and the critics loved her. In 1971 she received The Golden Mask, in 1961 and 1965 she won the audience plebiscite for the most loved actors, for her role of Anikijewa in “Garage” (prepared for her 30th anniversary of artistic work) she was awarded with The Silver Ring – for the best artistic achievement of 1986/87 season in Łódź.

Barbara Połomska was a versatile actress. She played in theatre, film and TV series. She worked with many outstanding Polish film and theatre directors, of different generation and different aesthetics. The spectators could see her not long ago in “Brunch” by Juliusz Machulski (directed by Michał Siegoczyński). She also took part in a special series  “Masters of Łódź stages” in which she talked about her artistic way and shared some anecdotes connected with her profession.

In 2020, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, Barbara Połomska was awarded with  Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis.