Beata Poźniak

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Beata Poźniak Daniels
Beata Poźniak by Kris Seklecki.tiff
Beata Poźniak Daniels in 2013
Beata Poźniak

(1960-04-30) 30 April 1960 (age 58)
EducationMaster's Degree (High Honors)
Alma materŁódź Film School
OccupationActress, director, producer, writer, artist, activist

Beata Poźniak Daniels (Polish pronunciation: [bɛˈat̪a pɔʑˈɲak]; born 30 April 1960) is an actress, film director, painter, writer and activist.

Early life[edit]

Poźniak was born in Gdańsk, Poland. Her mother was born in Wilno, Lithuania. She passed her entrance exam to the National Film School in Łódź PWSFTViT with the highest score in the country, and received a master's degree with High Honors at age 22.

Her very first film role, while still in high school, was as an extra in the Academy Award winning film The Tin Drum which happened to be filming near her home. She later made many film appearances and worked as a fashion model and was the calendar girl for Poland's national soccer team.


Film and television work[edit]

Pozniak was discovered by the U.S. audiences when Oliver Stone cast her in JFK as Marina Oswald. This memorable role in an Academy Award-nominated film was her U.S. feature debut and it led to her appearances in over 30 film and TV projects worldwide. She soon became known for playing intense, edgy characters like the first female President of the World, Earth Alliance President Susanna Luchenko in “Babylon 5”, a fiery young revolutionary in George Lucas’ “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”, as well as a sharp scientist Ludmilla in “Dark Skies” and as Eva in “Pensacola”. Other “gutsy” roles have included Paramount’s "JAG" where she appeared as an exotic Israeli spy, a double agent working for the Mossad and CIA. In the television series "Melrose Place" she created a ground-breaking character, Dr. Katya Fielding, a "straight" woman and mother who decides to marry a gay man - the role that is still very much talked about, making Pozniak one of the show's most popular former cast members. Her other diverse roles include Masha in "Mad About You", Raisa on “The Drew Carey Show” and Tambor, the Japanese nanny in Oliver Stone's "Wild Palms" miniseries. In the CBS movie of the week "A Mother's Gift" she was seen as a character that aged thirty years, whereas in a World War II drama entitled “Miriam” she played a Catholic woman who risks her life to save a Jewish girl from the Nazis. She also stars as Laina in the interactive movie/video game Psychic Detective, released in 1995 and premiered at Sundance Film Festival as the first video game in the New Media category.

Theatre and Performance Art[edit]

Seeking a new voice for herself in a uniquely contemporary style that declares "anything is possible," she founded Theater Discordia. Creating performance-art pieces that have been part of the L.A. Theatre Festival, and the L.A. Poetry Festival, she directed and wrote "Poeticus Umbilicus", "Poetry Discordia", "Return of Umbilicus", "We & They" and "Changing Flags."[1] Her Theater Discordia evolved, with the participation of Peter Sellars, into a celebrated venue for experimental theater works.


Pozniak is also a painter, and continues to work in film, often appearing in experimental and independent productions, several of which she has also directed. In her directorial debut which was a short film “Mnemosyne” she used several art pieces made by her. Praised by F.X. Feeney LA Weekly: “the multitalented Pozniak rapidly intercuts news footage of violence with live models and her own sensual sculptures to express a fierce moral sense. ”Through her art Pozniak often explores what it is to be a woman in today’s world with recurring themes of women's rights, social justice and women's history. Her artworks combine the choreographic traditions of theater with symbolic and surreal imagery of painting and sculpture. In her early mask series, Pozniak connects an ancient and mythological theatrical device with the surrealism of Man Ray to produce a stunning range of fantastical masks made from feathers and other found objects. Her more recent paintings and sculptures explore the collision of ancient myths and the modern world. By combining imagery reminiscent of surrealist dreamscapes with found objects these works challenge our notions of continuity between past and present. Pozniak says: “Surrealism is a lens through which I view many of the events and circumstances occurring in the world today. Whether it is the horrors of war or inspirational insights found in ancient mythology, I am constantly exploring fantastical juxtapositions that express something about the experience of being a woman. That is why my paintings and sculptures are often surreal and full of symbolism. Feministic, poetical, and political.” [2]


Beginning in the late 1980s, soon after her arrival in America, Pozniak began a campaign to get the US Government to recognize International Women's Day. She was very successful, and she accomplished the introduction of the first bill[3] in the history of the U.S. Congress for national recognition of the holiday (H.J. Res. 316) designating March 8 as International Women’s Day occurred on March 8, 1994.[4] She made the headlines of Los Angeles Times who hailed her as "Taking the Banner For Women Everywhere"[5]. Furthermore, Pozniak established a non-profit educational organization Women’s Day USA,[6] which aims to raise a public awareness of women’s inspirational achievements all over the world. She is currently working on other projects through her non-profit organization that help bring awareness to third world issues.


Acknowledged with a bronze handprint at Festiwal Gwiazd, Poland's "Hollywood Walk of Fame." Past honorees include: Volker Schlöndorff, Peter Greenaway, David Lynch, Faye Dunaway, Ian Gillan, Anna Paquin among others.

bronze handprint at Festiwal Gwiazd


List of acting credits in film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2019 Mr. Jones Rhea Clyman Based on a true story of Gareth Jones (journalist)
2018 Scenes in a Mind Katrina Farnwald Based on a true story
2016 All These Voices Beata Won, Student Academy Awards
2015 An Unknown Country Co-producer, documentary Nominated, 2018 Emmy Award
2014 People on the Bridge portrayed poet Wislawa Szymborska Also directed
2010 The Officer's Wife Officer's Wife (Cecylia) documentary, Narrator
2010 Ojciec Mateusz Ewa Pol TV series
2009 On Profiles in Courage Host Also directed
2007 Zlotopolscy Helena TV series (46 episodes)
2006 Cyxork 7 Jacey Anderson
2006 Miriam Margritas Based on a true story
2004 Freedom from Despair Narrator Award-winning documentary
2002 The Drew Carey Show Raisa TV series
2002 Philly TV series
2002 Mnemosyne Director
2001 Family Law (TV series) Mary Kobish TV series CBS
2001 Mixed Signals Erica Chamberlain
1999 Enemy Action Fatima
1998 Women's Day: The Making of a Bill Host
1997 Pensacola: Wings of Gold Eva Terenco
1997 Babylon 5 ep "Rising Star" President Susanna Luchenko
1997 Dark Skies Ludmila TV series
1997 JAG Malka Dayan TV series
1995 War & Love Ingrid Steiner aka "Heaven's Tears"
1995 A Mother's Gift Kristine Reinmuller
1995 Psychic Detective Laina Pozok Screened at the Sundance Film Festival
1993 Melrose Place Dr. Katya Petrova Fielding TV series
1993 Wild Palms Tambor
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' Irene
1993 Mad About You Masha TV series
1992 At Night the Sun Shines Anabelle Supervising prod. Robert Wise
1991 Ferdydurke Flora Gente Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
1991 Ramona! Ms. White
1991 JFK Marina Oswald 8 Nominations Oscars, 2 Wins
1989 Stan wewnętrzny Woman in Black
1989 White in Bad Light Narrator
1987 Vie en Images Alicja Eber Based on a true story
1986 A Chronicle of Amorous Accidents Zosia Andrzej Wajda
1985 Hamlet in the Middle of Nowhere Ophelia
1985 Rozrywka po staropolsku
1982 Kłamczucha uczennica
1981 Man of Iron Dir. Andrzej Wajda
1980 Pierścień w świńskim ryju
1980 Tango ptaka Karolinka
1979 The Tin Drum Dir. Volker Schlöndorff


  • 2019: "Libretto for the Desert" by Sona Van. Poems dedicated to all the Victims of Genocide and War.
  • 2019: "Chwile zamyślenia"
  • 2015: "The Tsar of Love and Techno" Penguin Random House - selected by Washington Post as the Best Audiobook of the Year 2015
  • 2014: "Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great" (19-hour audio book) published by Random House
  • 2012: "The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great" (19-hour audio book) published by Random House


  1. ^ "Beata Pozniak". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Featured Artist: Rennaisance Woman". Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  3. ^ "First bill in the U.S." HuffPost. 2015-03-07. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Taking the Banner For Women Everywhere". Los Angeles Times. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  6. ^

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