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OBITUARY: Beloved Czech actress Libuše Šafránková dies at 68

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Libuše Šafránková (7 June 1953 – 9 June 2021) was a Czech actress.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – The much-loved Czech actress Libuše Šafránková died yesterday at the age of 68, CNN Prima News reported, citing her son Josef Abrhám Jr.

Local media indicate she had undertaken an operation at the General Hospital in Prague on June 7, the date of her birthday.

Born in 1953 in Brno, in then Czechoslovakia, Ms. Šafránková completed her drama studies at the Brno Conservatory and started her career at the State Theatre in Brno. She was married to Josef Abrhám, another Czech actor with whom she frequently played on stage.

She had already undertaken a demanding operation on a benign lung tumor in 2014 and had been battling lung cancer over the past several years.

Considered one of Czechia’s most beautiful actresses, Šafránková also acted in internationally acclaimed movies, such as the 1996 Oscar winner for best foreign language film “Kolya”, as well as “The Elementary School” (Obecná škola), which received an Oscar nomination in the same category.

Arguably the most popular and beloved Czech actress known for her beauty, witty humour and incredibly diverse acting repertoire, Libuše Šafránková reached nationwide fame in 1973 with the release of Three Wishes for Cinderella (Tři oříšky pro Popelku), a Czech adaptation of the popular fairy-tale and one of the most iconic movies for generations of Czechs.

With a filmography of over 100 movies, television shows and theatre plays spanning nearly 50 years, Ms. Šafránková’s prolific career includes memorable performances in some of the most famous Czech classics, including Those Wonderful Years that Sucked (1997), 1996 Oscar laureate Kolya, The Elementary School (1991), My Sweet Little Village (1985), Run, Waiter, Run! (1981) or The Prince and the Evening Star (1979).

Heartfelt tributes to the beloved Czech actress have been pouring in since the announcement of her death.

“She was always called Libuška, never Libuše, because she was such a nice girl that you just couldn’t say otherwise,” reacted director/actor Zdeněk Svěrák. “Libuška was an incredibly talented actress, you can remember her by touching you or by making you laugh, because she performed both of these tasks perfectly.” Source

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