Krystyna Janda
Krystyna Janda (2019)
Born (1952-12-18) 18 December 1952 (age 68)
Alma materNational Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw
Years active1976–present
(m. 1981⁠–⁠2008)
(m. 1974⁠–⁠1979)
WebsiteKrystyna Janda's official website

Krystyna Jolanta Janda (born 18 December 1952) is a Polish film and theater actress best known internationally for playing leading roles in several films by Polish director Andrzej Wajda, including Man of Marble (Człowiek z marmuru, 1976) and Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza, 1981).

In 1981, Janda played in the Academy Award-winning movie Mephisto. In 1982, she played the lead character in Ryszard Bugajski's film Przesłuchanie (Interrogation), which first premiered seven years later in 1989, following the collapse of communism. Despite the film's late release, she garnered international acclaim for her performance, including winning Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival[1] and Polish Film Festival in 1990. In 1993, she was a member of the jury at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.[2]

Janda is also known for her leading role in the second episode of Dekalog series of Krzysztof Kieślowski. She is considered one of the greatest and most popular actresses in the history of Polish cinema.

Life and work

She was born on 18 December 1952 in Starachowice, Polish People's Republic. She graduated from the Wojciech Gerson State High School of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Polish: Zespół Państwowych Szkół Plastycznych im. Wojciecha Gersona w Warszawie), and in 1975 she graduated from the State Dramatic Arts College in Warsaw (currently the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy). She made her acting debut in 1974 playing the role of Maria Kulygina in Anton Chekhov's play Three Sisters, directed by Aleksander Bardini and broadcast in a Television Theatre production. In the same year, she played the role of Mannequin 34 in a street grotesque play The Ball of Mannequins by Polish futurist poet Bruno Jasieński, directed by Janusz Warmiński. In 1976, she played in the role of Dorian Gray based on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, adapted by John Osborne and directed by Andrzej Łapicki in Warsaw's "Little Theatre". In the years 1976–1987 she worked as an actress in the Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw.[3][4]

She made her film debut in 1973, when she starred in the historical-based TV series Czarne chmury ("Black Clouds"), but a turning point in her acting career came with the role of Agnieszka in Andrzej Wajda's Man of Marble (1976).[5] She became known for portraying strong and determined female characters with complex personalities in her film roles. Apart from Man of Marble, her most memorable roles include characters in critically acclaimed films like Man of Iron, Interrogation and My Mom's Lovers.[6]

She also embarked on a career as a singer and made her debut in 1977 during the 15th National Festival of Polish Song in Opole, where she sang the song Guma do żucia ("The Chewing Gum") with lyrics written by Marek Grechuta.

Krystyna Janda by artist Zbigniew Kresowaty
Krystyna Janda by artist Zbigniew Kresowaty

In the 1980s she appeared in numerous films and stage productions and started working as a film and theatre director herself. In 1995 she directed the film Pestka based on a novel by Anka Kowalska. During her professional career she has played over 60 theatre roles in virtually all the major theatre genres as well as appeared in around 100 films. Her role in Euripides's Medea is considered among her most successful ones. She is particularly known for her artistic collaboration with renowned Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrzej Wajda. She starred in six of his films altogether: Man of Marble (1976), Man of Iron (1981), Without Anesthesia (1978), The Orchestra Conductor (1980), Solidarity, Solidarity... Man of Hope (2005), and Sweet Rush (2009).

Throughout her career, she has received numerous prestigious awards, such as Best Actress at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival,[1] Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastian Film Festival for her role in Waldemar Krzystek's film Zwolnienie z życia,[7] Best Actress Award at the 1987 Montreal Film Festival for the role in Helma Sanders-Brahms's Laputa,[8] Best Actress Award at the Belgrade Film Festival for Interrogation,[9] the Zbigniew Cybulski Award for best young Polish actress, as well as 4 Golden Duck Awards. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Polish cinema and was selected in a 1998 Polityka magazine survey among the greatest actresses of the 20th century.[10]

In 2005, she established her own private "Polonia Theatre" in Warsaw.[11] She is also the founder and head of the Krystyna Janda Cultural Foundation. In 2010, her foundation opened another theatre in Warsaw – the "Och-teatr" in the district of Ochota.[12] She has also worked as a columnist in a number of magazines such as Poradnik domowy, Pani, and Uroda. She is also a member of the Supervisory Board of the Fundacja Okularnicy, which is a foundation dedicated to the promotion and popularization of Agnieszka Osiecka's poetic legacy.

In 2019, she received the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting for her role in Jacek Borcuch's film Dolce Fine Giornata at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.[13][14]


On December 30, 2020, after she reported on social media that she was vaccinated out of turn against COVID-19 at the Medical University of Warsaw, she became the central figure of the so-called vaccine scandal (in Polish: afera szczepionkowa).[15][16][17]

Personal life

In the years 1974–1979 she was married to fellow actor Andrzej Seweryn. In 1981, she again married Edward Kłosiński, who died on 5 January 2008. She has three children: daughter Maria Seweryn and two sons Adam and Jędrzej Kłosiński. She is Lutheran. Janda currently lives in Milanówek near Warsaw.

Selected filmography

Television series

Krystyna Janda (middle), Jan Englert and Joanna Szczepkowska, Warsaw, 2019
Krystyna Janda (middle), Jan Englert and Joanna Szczepkowska, Warsaw, 2019

Discography (guest performances)

Honors and awards

Krystyna Janda's star on the Łódź Walk of Fame
Krystyna Janda's star on the Łódź Walk of Fame

Other awards

See also


  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Interrogation". Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1993 Juries". Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Krystyna Janda". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Krystyna Janda". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Wykuwanie "Człowieka z marmuru". Rozmowa z Krystyną". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Krystyna Janda CV English". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  7. ^ "40 edition 1992 Awards". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  8. ^ "AWARDS OF THE MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL - 1986". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Interrogation". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  10. ^ "KRYSTYNA JANDA - WOMAN OF IRON". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Teatr Polonia". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Och-Teatr". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  13. ^ "2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS ANNOUNCED". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Well done, Ma'am! Dame of Polish cinema gets best actress award at Sundance". Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Afera szczepionkowa: wszystkie wersje wydarzeń wg Krystyny Jandy". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Szczepienia gwiazd. Ujawniono treść e-maila, którego miała rozsyłać fundacja Krystyny Jandy". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Krystyna Janda przeprasza rektora WUM. "Wprowadziłam w błąd opinię publiczną"". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  18. ^ Toronto Public Library, Originally published as Eine blaßblaue Frauenschrift by Franz Werfel; translated from the German by James Reidel.