Liviu Ciulei, the director of the world-renowned film Forest of the Hanged, an outstanding master of Romanian theatre, says this about the then drama student and her actor colleagues:

"The Hungarian roles are played by Hungarian actors from Romania - György Kovács plays the Colonel, László Kiss from Târgu Mures is great as Ilona's father, and András Csiky, who plays Varga, will have a great film career (...) And this little one (points to the picture of Anna Széles), well, she impressed us all. She is so talented, so sensitive and so understanding, a great rarity."

Born in Oradea, Anna Széles joined her classmates - Magda Stief, Imre Higyed, Pál Mihály and Dezső Nagy - at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj in 1965, where she was a leading artist until 1989, also due to her film successes.

At the beginning of her career, the question arose whether the girl who had made a name for herself in films could hold her own on stage.

" can be a newbie movie star, but you might not win the battle on stage at home. But Anna Széles has won - and if we don't want to spoil her, let's say: she won her first battle. Because the battle for the audience's heart lasts as long as one is performing theatre on stage. You have to start over and over again, forever. Since her start as Ilona Dorián, no one has enchanted us from this stage with so much childlike purity and human sensitivity alluding at great mysteries, as this young artist", wrote Péter Marosi about her first stage performance, the role of Emily in Our Little Town, directed by József Szabó in 1966.

All this happened 56 years ago, and since then we can say with certainty, as countless critics and memories of her performances testify, that Anna Széles has won the battle on the stage of the Cluj theatre as well as in the movies with every single one of her performances – with approximately 50 different stage roles - and to this day her radiant personality is characterized by humility, modesty, openness, attentiveness, love of people and life alike.

In lieu of a bouquet of flowers, we recall the important moments of her stage career with pictures of her in the company of her illustrious colleagues.

Happy Birthday to Anna Széles, our 80-year-old Lifetime member! May she live a long and healthy life!

(Source of quotations: Éva Medgyessy: Széles Anna. Az örök Anikó. [Széles Anna. The Eternal Anikó]. Polis Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca, 2016.)


Photo index:

1. Portraying Emily with Endre Senkálszky, Sándor Héjja (Thornton Niven Wilder: Out Town, directed by József Szabó, 1966.)
2. In the role of Matryona with János Márton (Lev Tolstoy: The Power of Darkness, directed by Ottó Rappaport, 1966)
3. Portraying Zsuzsika with Zoltán Vadász and Zsófia Koós (György Méhes: 33 Anonymous Letters, directed by József Szabó, 1966)
4. As part of the chorus, in the middle of the image. In the foreground János Pászor and Paula Krasznai (Euripides-Jean Paul Satre: Trojan Women, directed by József Szabó, 1967.)
5. Portraying Judith with Dezső Nagy, Sándor Héjja and Éva Katona (Mária Földes: The Legacy, directed by József Szabó, 1968)
6. As Magdó with György Barkó, Márton Andrási, János Márton (Áron Tamási: Songbird, directed by János Márton, 1968)
7. Portraying Margaret with Dezső Nagy (George Benard Shaw: Fanny's First Play, directed by József Szabó, 1969.)
8. As Perdita, with Ilona Dorián, Gerő László and Sándor Héjja (William Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, directed by Tamás Major, 1969)
9. As Cecily with Pál Mihály, Magda Stief and Dezső Nagy (Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest), directed by Béla Horváth, 1970)
10. Portraying Karola with Endre Senkálszky in the foreground (Miklós Gyárfás: Mouse Road, directed by János Márton, 1971)
11. As Doina with Gerő László (Sergiu Fărcășan: The Soveja Case, directed by Ottó Rappaport, 1971)
12. As Katica with Lajos Kozma (György Méhes: What's the story of the beetle?, directed by Béla Horváth, 1972)
13. As Ágnes, with Ferenc Bencze and Levente Bíró (Jean Baptiste Moliėre: The School for Wives: Critique of the School for Wives, directed by János Márton, 1974)
14. Portraying Sári with Ilona Szalay, Zsófia Koós, Paula Krasznai, Gyula Péterffy, Erzsébet Lázár and Ilona Dorián (Jenő Heltai: Girls of the Fairyland, directed by Béla Horváth, 1969).
15. As Frida with Ilona Dorián (Luigi Pirandello: Henry IV, directed by György Kovács, 1977)
16. Portraying Edit with László Czikéli (Mór Jókai: Sons of the Man with a Heart of Stone, directed by Gábor Dehel, 1978)
17. As Corie Bratter with Dezső Nagy (Neil Simon: Barefoot in the Park, directed by János Márton, 1978)
18. Portraying the Blonde Woman with László Czikéli, Levente Bíró, György Barkó, Julia Berecky and Julia Albert (Ödön von Horváth: Men for Selisty, directed by János Márton, 1978)
19. As Dufy with András Csíky (Paul Everac: The Fifth Swan, directed by Béla Horváth, 1979)
20. As Etelka with Gábor Dehel, Ilona Á. Toszó and Arpád Sata (Ede Szigligeti: The Umbrella is up, no carriage, directed by Béla Horváth, 1981)
21. As Fiorella with Árpád Sata (Giulio Scarnici-Renzo Tarabusi: Caviar and Lentils, directed by Victor Tudor Popa, 1983)
22. As Boriska with Ille Ferenc (Ede Tóth: The Village Villain, directed by: János Márton, 1985)