“The star, which was a reference point for both young adepts and masters of this profession, has gone out in the acting firmament,” wrote President Andrzej Duda to the participants of Wiesław Gołas’ funeral ceremonies. The performer of the song “We go to Poland”, the creator of over 120 film, cabaret, theater and television roles, died at the age of 90.
Funeral ceremonies took place in the church of St. Charles Borromeo in Warsaw’s Old Powązki. By the decision of President Andrzej Duda “for outstanding contribution to culture, for a significant contribution to the development of theater and film” Wiesław Gołas was posthumously awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
On behalf of the president, the order was handed over to the deceased’s wife, Maria Krawczyk-Gołas, by Wojciech Kolarski, the secretary of state in the President’s Office.
An outstanding artist, great man, patriot
The president also sent a letter to the participants of the ceremony. “Today I say goodbye to an outstanding artist and a wonderful man with a heavy heart. Adored by the audience, critics and the whole community of theater, film, television and stage creators” – he wrote.
He emphasized that “the star, which was a reference point for both young adepts and masters of this profession, has died out in the actor’s firmament, especially in the field of the extremely difficult art of comedy”.
He pointed out that “an artist with great sensitivity and culture of spirit, faithful to the ethics of his profession, patriot and fighter for a free Poland has passed away”. “Once a soldier of the Gray Ranks, a participant in the daring actions of the independence underground and a Gestapo prisoner,” recalled the president in his letter.
He assessed that “Wiesław Gołas delighted with his unique talent, a wide range of skills and the amazing ease with which he navigated in various conventions, genres and styles of his craft”.
The president quoted Alexander Bardini, who was a friend of Golas. “When addressing his fellow directors, he would say: When it comes to Gołas, I would only have one clue – do not disturb.”
“Dozens of theatrical performances, TV and Radio Theater performances, cabaret miniatures, feature films and series were a testimony to the passion and dedication with which the artist performed his profession” – he emphasized.
“You leave professionally fulfilled, adored by crowds”
– We both came from Kielce, where Wiesław was born before the war, and I lived from the end of the war until I passed my final exams. During the occupation, Wiesław Gołas was a member of the Gray Ranks, arrested in 1944, survived a hard investigation, imprisoned in the same cell where his father had previously stayed, murdered by the Nazis – said Kumor at the actor’s funeral. He noted that “even these tragic events did not kill his sense of humor.”
– Personally, we met quite late, because it was not until martial law, when Kazimierz Dejmek engaged both of us to the Polish Theater in Warsaw. We played a few plays together and got closer as a countryman. Dejmek appreciated Gołas very much. I remember a rather unpleasant episode, when Wiesław forgot the text during the rehearsal, or when he got lost and became helpless, then one of the young actors burst out laughing. Dejmek reacted very sharply: “Please stop, some respect. You will never be an actor like Gołas” – recalled the representative of ZASP.
As he said, “Wiesiek learned the text with difficulty, but once he forged it on a plate, he remembered it for several years.” joy, and you gave people both. Thank you for everything, dear Wiesia, for your cheerfulness, your optimism, your friendship, heart and sense of humor. You leave professionally fulfilled, adored by crowds and surrounded by the love of loved ones. You will always remain with us in memories, anecdotes or fond memories, “said Kumor.
After the mass, the body of the deceased was taken to a nearby family grave.
A scout of the Gray Ranks, arrested by the Gestapo
Wiesław Gołas was born on October 9, 1930 in Kielce, although the date of October 4 was officially entered in his birth certificate. In 1943, he was joined by the Gray Ranks, where he was the youngest of the group. A year later, during one of the actions, he was arrested by the Gestapo. He was locked in a cell where his father, who had been arrested by the Germans, had previously been kept. He was tortured.
In the post-war period he was a student of the State Higher School of Theater in Warsaw. He graduated in 1954. In the same year, he made his debut at the Dolnośląski Theater in Jelenia Góra as Papkin. He also performed on the stage of the capital theaters: Dramatyczny (1955-85) and Polish (1985-92). As Gil in Jan Potocki’s “Parades”, directed at the Dramatic Theater by Ewa Bonacka, after his performance in April 1959 at the Theater of Nations in Paris, he received the following review in the French press: “one of the actors is simply sensational (his name is Wiesław Gołas) and knows how to everything: play a comedy – of course, but also sing, dance, play pantomime and duel like no one on our stages duel “.
He has created over 120 film, cabaret and television roles. He was mainly associated with comedy characters, incl. Tomek Czereśniak from “Czterech pancerni i pies”, Przemysław Stefan Waldek from “Dzięcioł”, Robert from “Wife for an Australian” – and cabaret performances. He also played important dramatic roles, including the title “Ogniomistrza Kalenia” in the film by Ewa and Czesław Petelski.
He was a co-creator of the “Koń” cabaret and – in the years 1965-74 – the star of the “Dudek” cabaret, in which he performed famous skits, incl. “Learn Jasiu” and popular songs: “Ballade about the Wild West”, “White gulls patter”, “What to play” or “We are going to Poland”. He was popular due to his appearances in the television series Kabaret Starszych Panów Jeremy Przybora and Jerzy Wasowski (1959-66) and in Divertimentach (1966-67) – there he performed, among others The songs “Weird twist”, “Kapturek 62”, “What have I done to you?”, “Wicked”.
He also starred in Aleksander Bardini’s entertainment “Read Shakespeare” in 1962, with Wanda Laskowska in the pantomime “Mandagora” (1963) and in the parody of “Hamlet” (1967) directed by Witold Filler. He took part in the spectacle of Olga Lipińska “Jadą komedianci” (songs of the “Semafor” cabaret from Prague, 1967) and in cyclical entertainment programs, including: “Mix” and “With a woman in the title” directed by Olga Lipińska (1963-66) .
In 1995, the film “100 Films with Wiesław Gołas” by Tadeusz Pawłowicz was made. In the same year, Gołas played the last role – in Jan Jakub Kolski’s “Saber from the Commandant”. In February 2015, he decided to end his acting career.
Last October, he had a stroke. Four months later, his wife Maria Krawczyk-Gołas revealed that the actor was fine, but had trouble speaking. On September 4 he was hospitalized again. He died on Thursday, September 9. He was 90 years old.
Main photo source: TVN24