Acclaimed actor Franciszek Pieczka dies at 94

Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński

Franciszek Pieczka, an outstanding theatre and film actor and the recipient of the Order of the White Eagle, has died at 94 years old. He played several memorable roles in over a hundred Polish and foreign movies.

In the memory of spectators, he went down as one of the most important characters in productions such as “The Promised Land”, “The Deluge”, “Quo Vadis”, “Johnnie Waterman” and many others. He gained a lot of popularity and sympathy thanks to the role of the tankist Gustlik in the 1966 series “Four Tank-Men and a Dog”, as well as new productions such as the series “Ranczo” (Ranch).

He also worked with some of the best theatre directors, performing, among others, at the Stary Teatr in Kraków, the Dramatic Theatre and the National Theatre. For more than half a century he was associated with the Polish Radio Theatre, where he recorded many radio plays and adaptations of Polish literature.

Franciszek Pieczka was the recipient of many prestigious awards for his work in film and theatre, including the Polish Film Award for Life Achievements, the Polish Radio Theatre’s Great Splendour Award, the Grand Prize of the Two Theatres Festival in Sopot, the Silesian Cultural Award, awarded by the government of Lower Saxony for the popularisation of Silesian culture.

He was honoured with the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis’. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Order of the White Eagle by President Andrzej Duda, in recognition of his contribution to Polish culture and for his contribution to the art of theatre and film.