25 August 2021

MILAN GUTOVIĆ DIES

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Milan Gutović, one of the most renowned Serbian actors and member of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre ensemble from 1967 until 2002, died today in Belgrade.

Milan Lane Gutović was born on 11th August 1946 in Umka, near Belgrade. He graduated from the Academy of Film, Radio and Television in Belgrade in 1967 under the mentorship of Professor Milenko Maričić. That same year, Bojan Stupica, the then director of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, decided to bring some new blood to the ensemble and a group of young actors, Gutović among them, joined the YDT. This group of young actors became known as ‘Bojan’s Babies’ and included Gojko Šantić, Tanasije Uzunović, Dušan Đurić, Mirjana Vukojčić, Ivan Bekjarev, Đurđija Cvetić, Josif Tatić, Svetlana Bojković and Branko Cvejić.

Very quickly Milan Gutović began to display his particular acting talent and appear in leading roles. He remained with the YDT until 2002 and appeared in a number of productions including The Death of Uros V (Nikola), Juno and the Paycock (Irregular), Fire of Passion (Ada), The Silly Lady/La Dama Boba/ (Leandro), Favouritism (Svetislav), Kraljević Marko (Christian Emissary), When the Pumpkins Blossomed (Draganče Stojiljković), Pygmalion (Freddy), Omer and Merima (Omer), Hamlet (Rosencrantz), Saved (Fred), Jelisaveta, Pricess of Montenegro (Boško), For Whom the Bell Tolls (Rafael), White Rockets Fly Towards Amsterdam (Brumen), That Championship Season (Phil Romano), The Front Page (Hildy Johnson), Offing (Vladimir Nedeljković), Othello (Iago – alternation), The Holiday Trilogy (Guglielmo), Sunset (Benya), Tonight is a Night (Gembeš), The Battle of Kolubara (Krsta Smiljanić), The Little Prince (King, Narcissistic Man, Drunkard, Businessman, Geographer, Lamplighter), The Travelling Troupe Šopalović (Filip Trnavac), Cabaret, The Patriots (Smrdić), The Government Inspector (Khristian Ivanovich), Spitting the Nation in Two Parts (Uča), The Valjevo Hospital (Gavrilo Stanković), In the Search of Marcel Proust, A Member of Parliament (Sekulić), Fake Emperor Šćepan Mali (General Prince Dolgorukov – alternation), The Cabinet Minister’s Wife (Uncle Panta), Dead Souls (Plyushkin). He is still remembered for his portrayal of Camille Chandebise in the original cast of A Flea in Her Ear. The last YDT production Gutović appeared in was The Travelling Troupe Šopalović by Ljubomir Simović, directed by Jagoš Marković. The production opened in March, 2020.

Gutović felt the need to work in other fields, in addition to acting. Thus, during the 1980s, he reintroduced the cabaret form back to our theatres (YDT – Cabaret 1986; The Slavija Theatre – An Ordinary Evening 2002, The Lost Form, 2005, Spice, 2009; TV series Video Cabaret – The Oral Age, 2008).

He also appeared in other theatre productions around Belgrade and Serbia. The National Theatre in Belgrade (belonged to the National Theatre ensemble from 2006 until 2011 when he retired), the Zvezdara Theatre, the Kult Theatre, the Slavija Theatre, the Bitef Theatre, The National Theatre of Montenegro, The Kruševac Theatre, Atelje 212, the National Theatre Timočka Krajina, the Belgrade Drama Theatre, ‘Vuk’ Theatre.

He worked with some of the leading theatre directors such as Miroslav Belović, Bora Drašković, Bojan Stupica, Mata Milošević, Arsenije Jovanović, Ljubiša Ristić, Jerzy Jarocki, Stevo Žigon, Dimitrije Jovanović, Jagoš Marković, and he was inevitably cast in all productions directed by Dejan Mijač.

Milan Gutović’s filomography includes The Pals, Berlin Kaputt, Povratak otpisanih, Happy Family, Erogenous Zone, Just This Once, The Battle of Kosovo, Majstor i Šampita, A Spy in Heels, Suck-Up, Seven and a Half, A Small World. In 1981, for the purposes of A Great Guy at Heart, he created the character of Šojić which he continued to develop in the film anthology of Tight Skin 1 – 4.

He appeared in hundreds of TV dramas and series (The Graduates, The Seven Secretaries of SKOJ, Better Life). The best remembered ones among them are his roles in Open Doors (Dragoslav Jakovljević), Broom without a Handle (Ognjen Lepšanović), as well as the character of Adventurer in the TV programme Good Evening, Children.

For his performance in Offing, directed by Dejan Mijač, he received the Sterijino Pozorje award, the Golden Turkey award at the Days of Comedy theatre festival in Jagodina (aka Svetozarevo) and the YDT Annual Award. For his performance in Spitting the Nation in Two Parts Gutović received the Zoran Radmilović award and the Raša Plaović award for his portrayal of Sir John Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor. He also received two lifetime achievement awards – Golden Turkey (2019) and the Nušić Award.

Gutović also received the Emperor Constantine award for his performances in films Claused Freedom and Seven and a Half.

In 2014, Gutović became a recipient of the Backstage TV magazine award for his portrayal of Srećko Šojić in Tight Skin as the most shown foreign film in Macedonia and absolute favourite among Macedonian audiences.

In the period between 2006-2008, Gutović served as president of the Drama Artists’ Association of Serbia.