The Slovenia Times

Theatre and film actor Radko Polič - Rac dies


Ljubljana - Radko Polič - Rac, one of the finest Slovenian actors, has died aged 80, the Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists (ZDUS) said on Thursday. Polič played in more than 100 theatre productions and as many films and radio plays to create some of the most memorable roles in Slovenian history.

He established himself as a charismatic actor with a remarkable sense for playing what is often a contradictory human destiny.

ZDUS said that Rac "left an indelible mark on theatre in Slovenia. The list of roles for which he will be remembered is long and invaluable. He was also one of the most highly regarded film actors both in Slovenia and in the countries of the former Yugoslavia".

Polič received many awards, including both most prestigious ones in Slovenia, the Borštnik Ring for theatre actors in 2002 and the Prešeren Prize for artists in 2007.

When receiving the Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievement, he said his acting reminded him of a sandbox in which he was searching for a piece of truth, but otherwise, it was a perpetual "intertwining of horrible pleasure and hellish torment", with talent comprising only 10-15% of a role and the rest being "hard work".

The Borštnik Ring jury said that "he enters the stage as a completely naked and infinitely vulnerable man, handed over to fate to play with. He struggles with it, suffers and collapses. He never gives in, his struggle is passionate, uncompromising, and provokes the viewer's sympathy".

Polič was also a household name in Slovenian cinematography, having played in almost 60 feature films and 50 TV films and series, turning into a worker, Partisan, revolutionary, rebel, failed idealist, farmer, aristocrat, bureaucrat, loser, count, migrant, fool, director, defence minister or philosopher, to name but a few.

Born in Črnomelj in August 1942, he started his acting career in 1965. A graduate of the Ljubljana Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and TV, he soon joined the SNG Drama Ljubljana, the country's leading theatre.

Dramaturge Petra Pogorevc captured his life story in Rac, a 2020 biographical novel which abounds in anecdotes and interesting thoughts of his such as "theatre is so complex, worse than the world itself".

Part of his life, or his love life, was put on stage in Boris, Milena, Radko, a theatre production based on director Dušan Jovanović's play of the same title. The names in the title refer to him as well as to his ex-wife, actress Milena Zupančič, and her later husband Jovanović.


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