Born in 1945. One of the leading European film and theatre actors of his generation. He has played in over 180 cinema and TV films, working with leading Polish and international directors including Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Hoffman, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Filip Bajon, Claude Lelouche, Nikita Mikhalkov, Volker Schlöndorff, Miklós Jancsó, Margarethe von Trotta and Joseph Losey. Five of his films were nominated for Academy Awards with two winning it: Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum and Richard Dembo’s Dangerous Moves.
He started a career in film at the age of 16. He has starred thirteen times in the movies of Andrzej Wajda, becoming the director’s favourite actor. He is also renowned for his theatre role, including a cult interpretation of Hamlet directed by Adam Hanuszkiewicz, Macbeth and Othello for Polish TV Theatre, and Lear with Andrei Konchalovsky. He has also played in French theatres, including Rhett Butler’s Gone With the Wind at Paris’ Théâtre Marigny.
Known for his physical prowess, he has mastered many sports and never agreed to be doubled in stunts. He remains an avid boxer and horse rider. His awards include the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et de Lettres, Polish Polonia Restituta and Gloria Artis awards, the Cross of Merit from the President of the Republic of Germany, and the Pushkin Medal from the President of Russia.