Rade Šerbedžija

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Rade Šerbedžija
Rade Serbedzija.jpg
Šerbedžija at the 12th annual Satellite Awards in the LA district of Century City in December 2007.
Born (1946-07-27) 27 July 1946 (age 68)
Bunić, PR Croatia,
FPR Yugoslavia
Residence Rijeka, Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia
Belgrade, Serbia
London, England
Hollywood, California, USA
Occupation Film and theatre actor
Spouse(s) Ivanka Cerovac (?–1987)
Lenka Udovički (1991–present)
Children Danilo Šerbedžija
Lucija Šerbedžija
Nina Šerbedžija
Vanja Šerbedžija
Mimi Šerbedžija
Awards Vladimir Nazor Award

Rade Šerbedžija (born 27 July 1946), occasionally credited as Rade Sherbedgia in some English-language productions, is a Croatian actor, director and musician of Serb ethnicity. He is known for his portrayals of imposing figures on both sides of the law. He was one of the most popular Yugoslav actors in the 1970s and 1980s. He is internationally known mainly for his supporting roles in Hollywood films such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, X-Men: First Class, The Saint and Mission: Impossible II, and for his recurring role as former Soviet Army General Dmitri Gredenko in the sixth season of TV action series 24.

Early life and career in Yugoslavia[edit]

Šerbedžija was born in the village of Bunić within Lika region, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia.[1] He is an ethnic Serb from Croatia.[2][3] In 1969, he graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts of the University of Zagreb and then worked as a theatre actor in the City Drama Theatre Gavella and at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.[4] While still a student, Šerbedžija started to play leading roles in films and theater productions. He is remembered as an outstanding Peer Gynt, Don Juan, Melkior Tresić, Oedipus, Hamlet, Leone Glembay and Richard III. Šerbedžija was among the top actors in the former Yugoslavia, as well as an esteemed acting teacher at the Universities of Zagreb and Novi Sad.[5]

In 1964 he first visited the USA, where he enrolled in drama school. Small parts on stage followed for many years until his 1974 breakthrough performance as "Hamlet" at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival made him a star. Although he continued to appear in theatrical productions (notably, "Peer Gynt" and "Oedipus Rex"), Šerbedžija broke into films around the same time. Although many of the more than 40 features he has made in the 70s and 80s have been little-seen outside of Yugoslavia, a handful have received widespread distribution. His early work included the starring role in "The Republic of Užice" (1974).[5]

He had various notable roles in Yugoslav film, among others in U gori raste zelen bor (1971), Variola Vera (1981), Kiklop (1982), Život je lep (1985). He was also among the leading actors in several TV series, such as in Prosjaci i sinovi (1971), U registraturi (1976), Nikola Tesla (1977), Putovanje u Vučjak (1986).

Rade founded the Ulysses Theater with Borislav Vujčić on the Brijuni islands, where he also directs and acts in most plays. The theater was founded in 2000 and has been very successful so far.

International career[edit]

It was probably not until his turn as the captain interrogating a woman who rescued hundreds of children from the Holocaust in "Hanna's War" (1988) that he was noticed in the West.[5]

In the early 1990s, during the course of the Yugoslav wars, he acted in a few films from various parts of the former Yugoslavia, including the Macedonian film Before the Rain in 1994. With the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, he and his family moved to Ljubljana, Slovenia to avoid the war.[5] Šerbedžija then also acted in various western European films before he emigrated to the United States.

He is perhaps most often recognized by world audiences for his supporting roles in Hollywood films such as Mission: Impossible II, Mighty Joe Young, The Saint, Eyes Wide Shut, Snatch, EuroTrip, The Quiet American (2002), Shooter and a cameo in Batman Begins, often varying between sinister villains or trusting friends. He was offered to reprise his cameo role in The Dark Knight but opted not to.

In 2001, he starred in a television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical South Pacific in the role of the French plantation owner, Emile de Becque. He was also involved in the BBC Television production of the spy-thriller show Spooks for one episode as a villain. In autumn of 2005, Šerbedžija had a supporting role in the NBC science fiction series Surface. His most recent role is in Jeremy Podeswa's feature film adaptation of Anne Michaels' novel Fugitive Pieces, where he plays the character Athos Roussos. His most recent successful role is that of Captain Blake in Rupert Wainwright's remake of The Fog.

He portrayed the part of Dmitri Gredenko on the sixth season of the hit Fox show 24.

On May 26, 2009, Šerbedžija announced that he had been cast in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 as the famous foreign wandmaker Gregorovitch, a 'brief but very important' role. He began filming in November 2009. He announced his casting at a press conference for Fugitive Pieces, and he added that he knew he had the role six months before.

Other work[edit]

Šerbedžija is also known for his poetry readings and has released four albums. On the London stage, he won critical praise for his work in Colin Redgrave's Moving Theatre Company staging of "Brecht in Hollywood" (1994).[5]

Personal life[edit]

Šerbedžija was married to Ivanka Cerovac, but they divorced in 1987. They have a son, film director Danilo Šerbedžija (b. 1971) and a daughter, actress Lucija (b. 1973). Šerbedžija met his second wife, Lenka Udovički, the sister of Serbian politician Kori Udovički, in Subotica in 1990 and they married in 1991.[6]

Together with his current wife, Lenka Šerbedžija, he has three daughters: Nina the oldest, Vanja, the middle child, and Mimi the youngest. Nina is now attending college and the younger two are in high school. The children grew up in London for their early lives, then moved to California because of Rade's acting career.

His parents left Vinkovci for Belgrade in 1991. His mother died in 1997,[7] while his father still lives in Belgrade.

In 1992, while at a club in Belgrade, an intoxicated youth swore at him, calling him "Serb traitor", then shot his gun in the air.[8] The youth himself was from Lika, as was Šerbedžija.[8] He then took his wife and at the time, only daughter Nina, and left Zagreb and Belgrade, and settled in Ljubljana, Slovenia.[2][7]

Šerbedžija has called himself "Yugo-nostalgic",[3] and in 2011, he said that times were better in Socialist Yugoslavia than now.[8] Rade has displayed his national/ethnic neutrality by publicly showing support for Croatian athletes.[9]

Among his family's addresses are: London, England; Hollywood, California; Zagreb, Croatia; Belgrade, Serbia; while he currently lives in Rijeka, Croatia (as of January 2011).[7]


Year Title Country of filming Role
1967 Iluzija Yugoslavia - Croatia
1967 Black Birds (Crne ptice) Yugoslavia - Croatia
1968 Osveta Yugoslavia - Croatia
1968 Seansa Yugoslavia - Serbia
1968 Maratonci Yugoslavia - Croatia
1968 Gravitacija ili fantastična mladost činovnika Borisa Horvata Yugoslavia - Croatia Boris Horvat
1969 Dio è con noi Italy/Yugoslavia
1969 Sedmina - Pozdravi Marijo Yugoslavia - Slovenia Niko
1969 Meteor Yugoslavia - Croatia
1969 Čamac za kron-princa Yugoslavia - Croatia
1970 Sam čovjek Yugoslavia - Croatia
1970 Papagaj Yugoslavia - Serbia Mladić
1970 Passing Days (Idu dani) Yugoslavia - Serbia
1970 Red Wheat (Rdeče klasje) Yugoslavia - Slovenia Južek Hedl
1970 Kainov znak Yugoslavia - Croatia Milan
1971 Pine Tree in the Mountain, TheThe Pine Tree in the Mountain Yugoslavia - Croatia Domobran kicoš
1971 Prosjaci i sinovi Yugoslavia - Croatia Matan Potrka
1971 Putovanje na mjesto nesreće Yugoslavia - Croatia Vlatko
1972 Poslijepodne jednog fazana Yugoslavia - Croatia Obijesni mladić
1972 Rođendan male Mire Yugoslavia - Croatia
1972 Zvezde su oči ratnika Yugoslavia - Serbia Učitelj Rade
1973 Pelikani Yugoslavia - Serbia
1973 Živjeti od ljubavi Yugoslavia - Croatia Davor
1973 Begunec Yugoslavia - Slovenia Ivan
1974 Acting Hamlet in the Village of Mrdusa Donja Yugoslavia - Serbia Hamlet
1974 Tojota Korola 1000 Yugoslavia - Serbia
1974 Obešenjak Yugoslavia - Serbia
1974 Nocturno Yugoslavia - Croatia Lucio
1974 Obraz uz obraz Yugoslavia - Serbia Himself
1974 Republic of Užice, TheThe Republic of Užice Yugoslavia - Serbia Četnički oficir Kosta Parac
1974 U registraturi Yugoslavia - Croatia Ivica Kicmanović
1975 Pesma Yugoslavia - Serbia Mića Ranović
1976 Republic of Užice, TheThe Republic of Užice (TV Series) Yugoslavia - Serbia Četnički oficir Kosta Parac
1977 Noćna skela Yugoslavia - Serbia
1977 Hajka Yugoslavia - Serbia Lado
1977 Nikola Tesla (TV Series) Yugoslavia - Serbia Nikola Tesla
1978 Bombaški proces Yugoslavia - Croatia Josip Broz Tito
1978 Bravo maestro Yugoslavia - Serbia Vitomir Bezjak
1979 Journalist (Novinar) Yugoslavia - Croatia Vlado Kovač
1979 Živi bili pa vidjeli Yugoslavia - Croatia
1979 Povratak Yugoslavia - Croatia Komandir milicije
1979 Usijanje Yugoslavia - Serbia Tomo
1979 Ivan Goran Kovačić Yugoslavia - Serbia Ivan Goran Kovačić
1980 Sedam plus sedam Yugoslavia - Serbia Himself
1980 Gospodjica Yugoslavia - Serbia
1981 Tuga Yugoslavia - Serbia
1981 Duvanski put Yugoslavia - Serbia Tomo
1981 Banović Strahinja Yugoslavia - Serbia/West Germany Abdulah
1982 Variola Vera Yugoslavia - Serbia Doktor Grujić
1982 Cyclops Yugoslavia - Croatia Ugo
1982 13. jul Yugoslavia - Montenegro Kapetan Mitrović
1982 Tamburaši Yugoslavia - Croatia
1982 Nepokoreni grad Yugoslavia - Croatia
1982 Život i priča Yugoslavia - Serbia
1983 Zadah tela Yugoslavia - Serbia Pančo Vila
1983 Kiklop (TV series) Yugoslavia - Croatia Ugo
1983 Kvit posao Yugoslavia - Croatia Jozo
1983 Noć poslije smrti Yugoslavia - Croatia Lucio Klarić
1984 In the Jaws of Life Yugoslavia - Serbia/Croatia Intelektualac
1984 Pejzaži u magli Yugoslavia - Serbia Lelin otac
1984 Una Yugoslavia - Serbia Professor Mišel Babić
1985 Život je lep Yugoslavia - Serbia Harmonikaš
1985 Horvatov izbor Yugoslavia - Croatia Krešimir Horvat
1986 San o ruži Yugoslavia - Croatia Valent
1986 Večernja zvona Yugoslavia - Serbia Tomislav K. Burbonski
1986 Putovanje u Vučjak (TV series) Yugoslavia - Croatia Krešimir Horvat
1987 Die Verliebten West Germany/Yugoslavia Dušan
1987 Hudodelci Yugoslavia - Slovenia Raka
1988 Zagrljaj Yugoslavia - Croatia
1988 Tartif Yugoslavia - Serbia
1988 Manifesto United States Emile
1988 Hanna's War United States Captain Ivan
1989 Čovjek koji je volio sprovode Yugoslavia - Croatia Hinko
1989 Seobe II Yugoslavia/France De Ronkali
1990 Karneval, anđeo i prah Yugoslavia - Croatia
1990 Majstori mraka Yugoslavia - Bosnia and Herzegovina
1992 Dezerter FRY Pavle Trušić
1993 Kontesa Dora Croatia Karlo Armano
1994 Magareće godine Bosnia and Herzegovina/France Narrator
1994 Before the Rain Macedonia/France/United Kingdom Alexandar
1995 Urnebesna tragedija FRY/Bulgaria/France Kosta
1995 Two Deaths United Kingdom Colonel George Lapadus
1995 Belma Denmark/Sweden Josip Papac
1996 Memento Denmark/Canada The Officer
1996 Broken English New Zealand Ivan
1997 Nečista krv FRY Gazda Marko
1997 Balkan Island: The Last Story of the Century Czech Republic/Germany/Austria/France/Monaco Rusty
1997 Saint, TheThe Saint United States Ivan Tretiak
1997 Truce, TheThe Truce Italy/France/Germany/Switzerland Mardenou the Greek
1998 Mighty Joe Young United States Andrei Strasser
1998 Polish Wedding United States Roman
1998 Prague Duet United States/Czech Republic/Germany Jiri Kolmar
1999 Eyes Wide Shut United Kingdom/United States Mr. Milich
1999 The Sweet Sounds of Life Italy Bruno Maier
1999 Stigmata United States Fr. Marion Petrocelli
2000 Space Cowboys United States/Australia General Vostow
2000 Mission: Impossible II United States/Germany Dr. Nekhorvich
2000 Snatch United Kingdom/United States Boris 'The Blade' Yurinov
2000 Je li jasno prijatelju? Croatia Milan Rajić
2001 South Pacific United States Emile De Becque
2002 Quiet American, TheThe Quiet American Germany/United States/United Kingdom/Australia/France Inspector Vigot
2003 Quicksand France/United Kingdom/Germany Oleg Butraskaya
2003 The Cruelest Day Italy Miran Hrovatin
2003 Spooks 2.4: Blood and Money United Kingdom Viktor Schvitkoy
2004 EuroTrip United States Tibor
2004 Golemata voda Macedonia/Czech Republic/United States/Germany Old Lem
2004 Rade Šerbedžija Live in Budva FRY Himself
2004 Fever, TheThe Fever United States/United Kingdom Diplomat
2005 Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam, TheThe Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam United States Imam Muaffak
2005 Surface United States Dr. Aleksander Cirko
2005 Batman Begins United States/United Kingdom Homeless Man
2005 Fog, TheThe Fog United States/France Captain William Blake
2005 Short Order Ireland/Germany/United Kingdom Paulo
2005 Go West Bosnia and Herzegovina Ljubo
2006 Moscow Zero United States/Spain/United Kingdom Sergei
2006 Elder Son, TheThe Elder Son United States Maxim Sarafanov
2007 Balkanski sindrom Bosnia and Herzegovina Old Alen
2007 Hermano Italy Carlos Avileda
2007 Tesla Croatia Narrator
2007 Shooter United States Michailo Sczerbiak
2007 Fugitive Pieces Canada/Greece Athos Roussos
2007 Battle in Seattle Canada/United States/Germany Dr. Marić
2007 24 United States Dmitri Gredenko
2007 Say It in Russian United States/France Raf Larin
2007 Pravo čudo Croatia Toma
2007 L... Kot ljubezen Slovenia Big Daddy
2007 Fallen (TV miniseries) United States Dr. Lukas Grasic
2007 Love Life (Liebesleben) Israel/Germany Arie
2008 My Own Worst Enemy United States Yuri Volkalov
2008 Quarantine United States Yuri Ivanov
2008 Eye, TheThe Eye United States/Canada Simon McCullough
2009 Middle Men United States Nikita Sokoloff
2009 CSI: Miami United States Alexander Sharova
2009 Thick as Thieves United States/Germany Nicky/Victor
2010 Lonesdale Australia
2010 Kao Rani Mraz Serbia Stari Vasa Ladački
2010 Sedamdeset i dva dana (72 Days) Croatia/Serbia Mane Paripović
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 United Kingdom/United States Gregorovitch
2011 5 Days of War United States Col. Demidov
2011 Tatanka Italy Vinko
2011 X-Men: First Class United States Russian General
2011 Shun Li and the Poet Italy/France Bepi
2011 In the Land of Blood and Honey United States Gen. Nebojsa Vukojevich
2012 Fourth State, TheThe Fourth State Germany Onjegin
2012 Taken 2 Turkey Murad
2012 Third Half, TheThe Third Half Macedonia Don Rafael Cohen
2012 Ustanicka ulica Serbia Vraneš
2013 Cry of the Butterfly United States of America Ray
2013 The Double (2013 film) United Kingdom Frightening Old Man
2014 Hercules: The Legend Begins United States Chiron
2014 Downton Abbey United Kingdom/United States Kuragin
2014 Sparrows Iceland/Denmark
2014 Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge United States/Thailand The Minister


Year Group Award Result Notes
1994 Venice Film Festival Best actor Won Before the Rain (1994 film)
1996 New Zealand Film and TV Awards Best Foreign Performer Won Broken English (1996 film)
2006 Monaco International Film Festival Best Actor Won Short Order
2007 Rome Film Fest Best actor Won Fugitive Pieces (film)
2008 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated Fugitive Pieces (film)
2008 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film Nominated Fugitive Pieces (film)
2009 Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated Fugitive Pieces (film)
2012 Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival Best actor Won Io sono Li


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