Zoltán Várkonyi (actor)


May 19, 2022

Zoltán Várkonyi (Budapest, May 13, 1912 - Budapest, April 10, 1979) is a two-time Kossuth Prize-winning Hungarian actor, film director, theater director, worthy and outstanding artist.


He excelled as a child with his excellent acting talent. He graduated from the National Hungarian Academy of Drama in 1934 and began his career at the National Theater. After the acting school, he starred in several films. From 1941 to 1944 he was a member of the Madách Theater led by Andor Pünkösti. He escaped the Holocaust by staying in Budapest and obtaining asylum. From 1945 he was director of the Artist Theater. He taught at the College of Theater and Film Arts from 1949, of which he was rector from 1972 until his death. From 1950 to 1962, he was an artist at the National Theater. From 1951 to 1953 he was the chief director of the Hungarian People's Army Theater. From 1962 he was the chief director of the Comedy Theater, and from 1971 until his death he was its director. He took pleasure in sharing his knowledge with others and starting others on the field. Artists such as Sándor Pécsi, István Rozsos, György Pálos, Vera Sennyei, Rudolf Somogyvári, Rita Békés or Zoltán Latinovits learned from him. He also discovered the actor György Bárdy while visiting the Gödör restaurant in Kispest. As a director, he was present not only in the theater and film factory, but was also one of the pioneering artists in start-up television. In 1957, he co-directed his first New Year's TV show with Tivadar Horváth.


He came from Jewish parents. His father is Titusz Várkonyi (1882–1954) and his mother is Julianna Grosz (1884–1962). Two sisters were born, Noémi Apor (originally Noémi Várkonyi), through whom she was the brother-in-law of Zoltán Fábri and Katalin Várkonyi. He had his first marriage with his classmate, Dóra Fáykiss, a year after their graduation, on March 23, 1935. However, their relationship ended in divorce in 1945. In 1946 he married the actress Vera Szemere. The following year, their son, Gábor Várkonyi, director, screenwriter and producer, was born on July 20, 1947. Her son's widow is Éva Várkonyi (aka Farkas), who is the mother of her only granddaughter, Gáspár Várkonyi, who was born in 1974. Every year, the bride and granddaughter present the Zoltán Várkonyi Memorial Award, created by Zoltán Várkonyi's widow, Vera Szemere.


1934: Academy of Performing Arts 1934–: National Theater 1941–1944: Madách Theater 1945–1950: Theater of the Artist 1950–: National Theater 1952–1960: Theater of the Hungarian People's Army 1962–: Comedy TheaterThe number of performances registered in the theater database - actor: 43. - director: 69. It can also be seen in eighty-five theatrical photographs.

Theatrical roles

Theater arrangements

Your film productions


Six Weeks of Happiness (1939) That is why I remain (1944) co-writer with István Békeffi, following Lajos Bíró He writes for Hot Fields (1948) following Zsigmond Móricz Western Area (1951) Following the translation of György Dandin, or the mocked husband (1955), co-authored with Tamás Fejér, Gyula Molière-Illyés Three Star (1960)


Feature Films

TV Movies

Conquest 1-3. (1963) The One Hundred Senator (1967) We lived in an age (1967) Knights of the Golden Glove (1968) The Old Summer (1970) Three Affair - Card Affair in Ladies Circles (1972) Viva, Benyovszky! 1-13. (1975)

Awards, recognitions

Kossuth Prize (1953, 1956) Worthy Artist (1955) Outstanding Artist (1962) Gold Degree of Order of Merit (1970) Budapest II. Honorary Citizen of the District (2014) / Posthumous /

Zoltán Várkonyi Memorial Award

The prize was founded by his widow, Vera Szemere, in 1984 and awarded to an employee of the Comedy Theater.