Profile: Kadri Roshi, the icon of Albanian theater and cinematography

Kadri Roshi was born on 4 January 1924 in the town of Ballsh. As a small child he lost his parents, he was 2 years old when he lost his mother, and 12 years old when his father passed away, A�and so he had to earn his own daily bread. He traveled around Albania, working as a dock worker in Durres harbor, selling cinema ticked in Tirana, etc . During the Second World War, he demonstrated his anti-fascist ideas and for that he was even incarcerated. Even though many of his relatives were well educated, Roshi could attend only 4 years of school.

Since young age, Kadri Roshi would attract the attention of his teachers, amazing them with his reciting and acting skills, interpreting poetry from the famous Albanian writers, Migjeni and Naim Frasheri.

In 1945 he made the first contacts with the stage art. In the same year, an art school was opened in Tirana and he was accepted. Two years later, he began studying in former Yugoslavia, and after the relations between Albania and Yugoslavia broke up , he continued and completed his studies in Czechoslovakia. After graduation, he returned to Albania and began work in the Albanian National Theater, where he offered the Albanian audience beautiful roles for 60 years. Kadri Roshi has played roles of Albanian and world literature, such as Otello by Shakespeare or Arturo Ui by Brecht.A� His first role was that of Osip, at the Government Inspector of Nikolai Gogol.A� The show had a tremendous success, and afterwards Gogol became a very close figure for the young actor.

Upon his return in Albania, after competing his studies in Prague, his first role would interestingly be Osip of Gogol.

Once again, the success was guaranteed.

Kadri Roshi is referred to as a sacred icon of Albanian art. All his roles are clearly different and this shows his talent and his extensive knowledge. He is not only a famous actor, but also a school for the young generations of actors who have learned from him not only the beautiful, contrasting plastic, but also the excellent play with his voice.

In Albanian cinematography A�he has played both positive and negative roles, the villain and the hero. Some of his famous quotes are still used nowadays, that makes movies such as a�?a��Poppies on the walla��a�� and a�?a�� The man with the cannona��a�� everlasting.

For his contribution to the theater and film industry Kadri Roshi has received numerous prizes and awards . But two orders make him immortal: artists of the people and honor of the nation.

I am satisfied with my life, but I still have an unfulfilled wish – Kadri Roshi once explained to journalists. I once wanted to play Ali Pasha Tepelena, the great pasha of Ioannina A�and southern Albania. This is a great personality in Albanian history and I wanted to document this personality in a movie – tells the actor.

At an 80th birthday ceremony, Roshi said, “I hope I made a modest contribution to the Albanian theater and film industry.” And his contribution is not as modest as he said modestly. His contribution includes 30 roles in the film industry and 100 roles in the theater. And always he is characterized by a brilliant play . For each role, I gave a piece of my life and soul – Kadri Roshi once said.

Kadri Roshi got married when he was 23 years old, with the beautiful girl from Gjakova, Drita Taho. An actress herself, Taho would spend 60 years beside the famous Albanian actor. From this marriage 2 children were born, Ermira and Kliti, that followed the artistic steps of their parents.

Kadri Roshi passed away on 6 February 2007, leaving behind a great heritage of Albanian culture and interpretation skills.


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