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© Film Polski

Legendary Polish actress
Dies at 72

New York, NY



1938 - 2010

With great sorrow, we bid farewell to one of the brightest stars of Polish cinema: Elzbieta Czyzewska. She passed away in New York on Wednesday, June 17th, after a long illness.

From 1960 to 1966 Czyzewska's popularity in Poland was unprecedented: she starred in over 25 movies, including The Saragossa Manuscript by Wojciech Has, Giuseppe in Warsaw by Stanislaw Lenartowicz and Identification Marks: None and Walkover by Jerzy Skolimowski. In 1968 she brilliantly played Ela in Andrzej Wajda's Everything for Sale.

In 1966, Czyzewska left Poland to follow her husband, American author David Halberstam, to New York. She continued her acting career here, most notably in theater, winning an Obie and a New York Critics Award for her performance in Crowbar by Mac Wellman in 1990.

She appeared in numerous film and TV productions - from Costa-Gavras's Music Box and Sydney Lumet's Running on Empty, to episodes of Law & Order and Sex and the City.

Elzbieta Czyzewska was also the pillar of many events of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York. It will be hard to imagine another Polish poetry reading without her, hard to imagine an opening or reception without her, and hard to imagine New York - a city she deeply loved - without Elzbieta.

For those of us who saw her as a dear friend, Elzbieta's independence, keen intelligence, wit, and courage will remain forever in our hearts.

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