About us
Croatian film

Fabijan Šovagović (1932. - 2001.)

Fabijan Šovagović and Film

Born on January 4, 1932 in Vladimirevci, a village near Osijek in Croatia, Fabijan Šovagović was a child of Slavonian plains. Every inch of his being and whatever he did, whether as actor or writer, was always rooted in his elementary peasant background. His first entry on the theatrical stage was at the age of 17, but he enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Arts only in 1953, after having graduated from the school of engineering with several years of amateur acting behind him.

After having graduated from the Academy, this exceptional actor of great talent and inexhaustible creative and life force created an extremely rich variety of theatrical roles playing in almost all leading theatres of Zagreb, at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and with many travelling theatrical companies: Tartuffe, Stavrogin, Beckett’s Estragon, Claudius and Julius Cesar, to Držić’s Skup, Dundo Maroje and Negromant, Krleža’s Lenbach, Matković’s Gašpar Alapić and Šime in his own autobiographical drama The Falcon Didn’t Like Him. His best performance was in Ivan Kozarac’s monodrama Ð uka Begović, edited by Miroslav Maðer. He performed it more than 500 times wherever he could find several square meters of space to put up a stage. This legendary drama united all important components of his persona: echoes of childhood in relieving the passions of a Slavonian peasant and exquisite theatrical mastery grounded in his abundant experience strongly marked by his distinctive creative energy to which no one could not resist.

In film too, Šovagović has performed some brilliant roles. His filmography (which includes only his roles in Croatian films and other Yugoslav cinemas of the time, as well as in short films) shows that he has played in 65 motion pictures, among which were some of the best works of Croatian film art. He has played in films from 1957 (Master of My Own Body) till 1991 (Ð uka Begović), and at the same time he has also played a series of important roles in some of the most popular Croatian serials such as Where Do Wild Boars Go (Ivo Štivèić, directed by Ivan Hetrich), Sons and Beggars (after the novel and screenplay by Ivan Raos, directed by Antun Vrdoljak), Velo Misto and In the Registry Office (directed by Joakim Marušić).

He was equally remarkable in main and supporting parts, and has left the stamp of his talent on over 30 television dramas working with various directors, who all wanted Fabijan Šovagović in their cast, since he made the character interesting even if the role was badly written.

He summed up enormous actor’s experience in his book Actor’s Notes, while the excellent drama The Falcon Didn’t Like Him also proved him to be a talented drama author. To the list of his achievements he also added three film screenplays: the screen version of his drama The Falcon Didn’t Like Him (Branko Schmidt, 1988), and the drama Ð uka Begović(Branko Schmidt, 1991), whereas he was the coauthor of the screenplay for the film about the recent war The Price of Life (Bogdan Žižić, 1994).

Ivo Škrabalo


View other articles in this edition...


new edition

Web Statistics