17 November 2020

IVAN BEKJAREV DIES (1946 – 2020)


In Belgrade last night died Ivan Bekjarev, member of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre ensemble between
1968 and 2001.

Graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Belgrade. Bekjarev appeared in over 150 theatre roles of
which around 50 were in the YDT productions during his 33 years with our ensemble. Some of the
productions in which he appeared include: Branislav Nušić Favouritism (Mladen Đurić), Dragoslav
Mihajlović When Pumpkins Blossomed (Mita Majmun), F. M. Dostoyevsky A Raw Youth (Stebelkov),
Marin Držić Dundo Maroje (Maro), Branislav Nušić Offing (Doctor Ružić), Richard Lortz Three Sons
(Sol Nathan), Milivoj S. Predić The Golgotha (Trajko Tušević), I.E. Babel Sunset (Boyarsky), A.P.
Chekhov Three Sisters (Solyony), F.M. Dostoyevsky Demons (Lebyadkin), Eugene O’Neill Long Day’s
Journey into Night (James Tyrone Jr.), Eugène Ionesco Jack, or the Submission (Father Jack), Georges
Feydeau The Road Race (Rudebeuf), Thomas Mann Mario and the Magician (Cipolla), Branislav Nušić
Never Despair (Marcel Chabanon), Carlo Goldoni The Merchants (Pancratio). Bekjarev was particularly
well known for his portrayal of characters from plays by Nušić, as well as for his role in Le Tourniquet, a
two-hander by Victor Lanoux, directed by Radoslav Dorić, where he played opposite Mihailo Janketić.
Appeared in various productions in a number of Belgrade theatres as well as in theatres around Serbia.

Recipient of numerous awards including the City of Belgrade October Award in 1994 (for his portrayal of
Jordan in the National Theatre production of Blood Brother and Pancratio in the Yugoslav Drama Theatre
production of The Merchants), two Yugoslav Drama Theatre Annual Awards for his performances in
Tonight is a Night (1982, for his performance in this production he also received the Drama Artists’
Association of Yugoslavia Award) and Mario and the Magician (1992), the Branislav Nušić Life
Achievement Award at Nušić’s Days theatre festival in Smederevo (1996), he Golden Turkey Life
Achievement Award at the Days of Comedy theatre festival in Jagodina, the Golden Laugh award at Days
of Satire festival in Zagreb (1984) …

His first appearance on film was in 1967 in Boxers Go to Heaven. He appeared in over 50 films. Elected
to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2012 Bekjarev was presented with an award by
the Yugoslav Cinematheque for his contribution to the art of motion pictures.
Appeared in a number of television dramas and series (Better Life, Happy People, Otpisani, Više od Igre,
End of the Obrenović Dynasty …). In 1984 he was nominated Yugoslavia’s Person of the Year due to his
role in the television series Banjica.

Ivan Bekjarev worked as a full time professor of acting at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade. Over a period
of 16 year he served as the artistic director and was on the selection committee of the International
Festival of Monodrama and Mime in Zemun. His artistic work was celebrated in a special edition entitled
Ivan Bekjarev and published in 2004 by the Drama Artists’ Association of Serbia on the occasion of his
40th work anniversary. The Ivan Bekjarev legacy is kept by Aldigat Association for Culture, Art and
International Cooperation in Belgrade. Bekjarev also worked as radio and television presenter and author.
A memorial event will be held at the Yugoslav Drama Theatre as soon as it becomes possible in view of
the current epidemiological situation.