Grażyna Barszczewska

A stage and screen actress of surprisingly broad employ, ranging from lyrical lovers to characteristic "monsters". “A beauty with a bit of spice”, as one of the leading film directors, called her.

Her achievements include over 150 dramatic and comic leading parts in the theatre, film and television, performances in the "Dudek" cabaret, and on the show stage, numerous recitals and recorded albums.
Her characteristic, intriguing voice is well known to the listeners of the Polish Radio. She has worked with many outstanding directors in Poland and abroad. She speaks English and Russian. She plays the piano. Since 1983 she has been working in Teatr Polski in Warsaw.

Born in Warsaw, 1st May 1947, she received musical education, and graduated from PWST (State High School of Theatre) in Cracow. She made her stage debut as Nina Zarieczna in Sea Gull by A. Czechow at Teatr Ludowy in Nowa Huta. After two busy theatre seasons she obtained an engagement at Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw, where she played lyrical, dramatic and comic parts for ten years (including Klara in Śluby panieńskie, Stella in Fantazy, Andżelika in Bal Manekinów). She surprised critics and the audience with brave interpretations (e.g. Vixen Ciągutka in The Threepenny Opera).

In Warsaw she started working for the television theatre (Maria Stuart by J. Słowacki) as well as film. Leading parts in TV series brought her enormous popularity (unforgettable Nina Ponimirska in Kariera Nikodema Dyzmy, Agata in SOS, Marta in Trzecia granica).

In 1982, after the success as Gizela in Two on the See-saw (directed by K. Kutz), she was engaged by K. Dejmek to play Olivia in Twelfth Night in Teatr Polski.

For many theatrical seasons she has been playing classical repertoire (including Porcia in The Merchant of Venice, Magdalena in Pierścień Wielkiej Damy, Elwira in Tartuffe).

The two-season collaboration with Teatr Współczesny in Wrocław (1995-1996) brought her two major parts – sister Ratched in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Raniewska in The Cherry Orchard.

Apart from working in Teatr Polski, she has been a guest star in other Warsaw theatres ("Roma", "Ateneum", "Komedia", "Kwadrat", "Nowy") and in other cities (Cracow, Kalisz, Tarnów, Wrocław). In 2004, she directed Jealousy by Esther Vilar in Teatr Tarnowski.

She published pieces of reportage from her film journeys in Twój Styl magazine and the daily Rzeczpospolita. Now she writes features for the montly Warsaw Point.

For her outstanding achievements, Radio and Television Committee honoured her with the first prize in 1984 and 1988. She was also given a prestiguous radio award Wielki Splendor (in 1999), and an important Polish State medal, Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Odrodzenia Polski (in 2003), as well as individual
awards for theatre performances in Szczecin and Wrocław.

For her charity work connected with a play Duet for One, she was awarded with Motyl 2001 and an honorary membership of the Association for People Suffering from SM.

She has a grown up son, Jarosław Szmidt, a cinematographer.

Grażyna Barszczewska