Jiří Bartoška: When my wife first brought me home, my grandmother uttered a memorable sentence

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Jiří Bartoška’s children’s hobby was painting, which he enjoyed so much that he wanted to become an art historian. However, he was not accepted to the university where he applied at the time, so he was soon caught up in compulsory military service. He did not approach anti-aircraft artillery with joy, but in retrospect he admits that he has already pushed the bad out of his memories and recalls only merry stories, some of which would not even be publishable.

The unit with which Jiří served was in Brno, and thanks to the actress Jana Švandová, the young soldier found himself at the entrance exams to the local JAMU. “Jana and Eliška Balzerová studied in the first year. Švandovka attracted me to their party, where Bolek Polívka was also, we knew each other from Pardubice, we were classmates at the gymnasium. At that time, they asked me from the forum what I wanted to do, and since I didn’t really know it, it was the sixties, I planned to go out after the war, they sent me an application for acting. And I got a summons for talent. I took it as a chance to get out of the war for two days. Bolek was preparing me, “Jiří Bartoška confided after years and admitted that he got to college by mistake.

And also thanks to luck, which, according to him, is even more important than talent in the acting industry. His classmates at the JAMU in Brno also included Karel Heřmánek and Pavel Zedníček, with whom he had wonderful student years and was also involved in the birth of the now legendary Goose on a String Theater.

Beloved woman

Not only study and theater, but also privacy are tied to the Moravian metropolis and Jiří’s former classmates. It was here that the charismatic actor accidentally, but fatally, met his future wife. When Bolek Polívka and I were walking around the city once, they were fascinated by two nice girls. After a quick consultation, they gathered their courage, addressed the girls, and while Stanislav was the first of Bolek Polívka’s five wives, Andree and Jiří have survived to this day.

“As the Brňáci say, we have been grilled since 1976,” the actor reveals with a smile. However, he does not have a recipe for a happy marriage. “Don’t ask me to advise anyone on how to do it. We’ve never dealt with it in particular. Rather from the beginning, when Andrea began studying archeology and announced at home that she was dating an actor, I had to try to defend myself in front of my family. When she introduced me, her grandmother sighed: “If only he were a dentist!” Jiří recalled.

But in the end, time has shown that a doctor is not necessarily the right partner for life. Mrs. Andrea Bartošková has developed into a respected archaeologist, she has published several professional and successful books, and neither she nor her husband have changed much. They just live less hectic than before, also thanks to the fact that their children Janek and Kateřina are already adults. “For a few days we can leave Prague for friends, for example, which we used to do once a year,” Jiří confided four years ago.

Idol i prezident

The list of serial, film and theatrical roles includes perhaps no type of character or genre in the forty-seven-year career of a charismatic actor. He starred in comedies, detective stories and dramas. He was a lover, a villain, but also a God. But it was not the theater as it is, but the television and film roles that made it an idol of women and girls of all ages. When the offer came in 1994 to head one of the oldest film festivals on the European continent in Karlovy Vary, he did not hesitate and added the position of president to his acting duties.

With his collaborators, he was able to bring the festival to the top of the world within a few years, and the Karlovy Vary IFF is now one of the most prestigious in the world. “We call the festival a ‘snowball’, which we let down at the turn of June and July, then it rolls and you don’t do anything. And only when this ball rolls down into the valley will it be known what it has wrapped on itself. Fortunately, I usually find out that she didn’t pack any fatal things on herself, which means that the team worked well all year round, “Jiří Bartoška told Czech Television.

The traditional film festival was to take place in Karlovy Vary this year as well. In the end, however, the 55th year will not take place and will be moved to July next year.

Insidious disease

Jiří Bartoška is a renowned smoker and a few years ago he confided in the MF Dnes Magazine that he set himself on fire for the first time, even at the age of fourteen. “Really, I went to school and bought a box at the newsagent’s from Mrs. Beránek.” This vice had accompanied him all his life, and a few years ago he had consumed about sixty cigarettes a day. Probably a not very exemplary way of life in the form of an irregular diet that accompanies actors on their travels, and almost zero sports activities led to Jiří’s serious health problems six years ago.

The actors were diagnosed with lymph node cancer. “It simply came to our notice then. For my health sins, I have never been sick. But he makes cancer too big a scarecrow. It is a serious disease, but not a mystery. And the more you think about her, the worse. If, on the other hand, you try to ignore it, it can take offense and go away, “he told Blesk zdraví magazine. He successfully defeated the insidious disease with the help of chemotherapy, radiation and his approach, but he did not want to give up cigarettes. However, he reduced smoking and was even seen several times with an electronic substitute.

Will he still play?

After the great success of the comedy Theory of the Tiger, which he shot just a few months after recovering from a serious illness, Jiří Bartoška decided to slow down, at least in part. “As you know, I became ill, interrupted my work, returned, my body reconstructed. I’m shooting, it’s all true, I’m just trying to slow down the pace I’ve set in recent years, “the acting bard confided. After his illness, he starred in several series, but as far as the film world is concerned, he makes a maximum of one film a year. But it’s not that he’s holding back. Rather, high-quality scenarios are under-the-counter goods.

“Today, films are being made for women in their thirties and men in their forties. So there is not much to choose from, the guardrails are very narrow. A few years ago, I was very lucky that Radek Bajgar filmed the Tiger Theory with me, which was a beautiful role for an older man who balances his life. That was a really interesting character. But otherwise the offers are not anything. Mostly these are offers of the type – the father of the protagonist, the grandfather of the protagonist’s children… These roles are quite uninteresting and you don’t even feel like going into them. I just recently returned about two or three scenarios that took place in this spirit. I feel like I’ve already turned my back on. And God forbid, ”said Jiří Bartoška for Blesk magazine at the beginning of the year.

But film fans hope the opposite. They do not want to retire their favorite yet and believe in a good screenplay, thanks to which one of the most prominent actors in Czech cinema will once again take on the lead role in front of the cameras.

Rich career
Jiří Bartoška, ​​nicknamed Barťák, started at the Goose on a String Theater in Brno, from where he went to the Drama Theater in Ústí nad Labem. After moving to Prague, he worked at the Na Zábradlí Theater since 1978. In the eighties, the series Ambulance and We All Compulsory to School brought him popularity. He holds two Czech Lion awards. He has been the head of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for 26 years. He and his wife Andrea, with whom they have two children, will celebrate forty-four years of marriage this year.

The daughter Kateřina and the son Jan rarely accompany their father to the company. The siblings do not care about media attention, moreover, they are both adults and live their own lives. Thanks to this, the Bartošeks have significantly more free time. “For a few days, we can leave Prague for friends, for example, which we used to do once a year,” the actor revealed.



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