Fanny Mikey

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Fanny Mikey
Black and white photograph of Fanny Mikey on stage greeting the audience in 2006
Fanny Mikey onstage in 2006
Fanny Elisa Mikey Orlanszky

c. 1930
Died(2008-08-16)16 August 2008
OccupationActor, Theatre producer
Years active1958–2008
Known forFounder and organizer of the Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá
Spouse(s)Gastón Djian (divorced)
Partner(s)Enrique Álvarez (deceased)
ChildrenDaniel Álvarez Mikey
Parent(s)José Mikeaj
Celia Orlanszky

Fanny Elisa Mikey Orlanszky (c. 1930 – 16 August 2008) was an Argentine-born Colombian actress, theatre producer and entrepreneur. She lived and worked in Colombia from 1959 until her death and was the creator and organizer of the Bogotá Iberoamerican Theatre Festival, known as the biggest theatre festival in the world.

In 1976, she moved to Bogotá, when she created the Fundación Teatro Nacional (National Theatre Foundation), an organization to promote the arts in Colombia and that featured adaptations of famous plays (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, The Vagina Monologues, and Closer) among others.

Personal life[edit]

Born to a Lithuanian Jewish family who emigrated to Argentina following czarist anti-Semitism sentiment in the Russian Empire, Fanny Elisa was the eldest of six children of José Mikeaj (or Mikey, as the immigration officials changed it to upon arrival to Argentina[1][2]) and Celia Orlanszky.[3] She married at a young age to Gastón Dijan, a young man with a Sephardic Jewish background, but the fruitless relation soon ended because of their cultural differences, and her husband's inability to accept her acting career.[4] In 1958, she left Argentina to follow the man she loved, Pedro I. Martínez, arriving in Buenaventura by ferry and settling in Santiago de Cali; but once again this relation did not work out given religious differences.[5] In 1976, Mikey and her then love partner Enrique Álvarez adopted a newborn whom they would call Daniel.


At the age of 78, Fanny Mikey died due to complications of renal failure on Saturday 16 August 2008 in Cali, Colombia, where she had travelled to earlier that month to present her latest play, Perfume de arrabal y tango.[6] Her body was transported to Bogotá that same day and taken to the National Theatre, where she lay in repose to a gathering of family, friends, and colleagues. The next morning, her casket was transported in a motorcade to the National Capitol and draped with the flag of Colombia; it was then placed in the Elliptical Chamber of the Capitol where she lay in state for a public viewing.[7] Outside the Capitol, on Bolívar Square, the Bogotá Philharmonic performed Astor Piazzolla's Tangazo and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 as she had requested, followed by a cappella performances by her friends the bass Valeriano Lanchas, and singers César Mora, Yuri Buenaventura, and Lety Santamaría.[8] Thousands of people went in droves to say their final goodbyes; the event was attended by many celebrities and had the participation of Bogotá's Mayor Samuel Moreno Rojas and Minister of the Interior and Justice, Fabio Valencia Cossio, present on behalf of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who was overseas at the time; President Uribe in turn, upon his arrival passed a Presidential Decree honouring her memory and legacy, exalting her as a model citizen and her great contribution to the country.[9]

The next day, her body was taken to Chapinero Cemetery where her remains were cremated; in fulfilment of her wishes, half were sent to Argentina to be given to her family for safekeeping, the other half was scattered at the Islas del Rosario where she owned an island and had a house.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fanny 'all star'". Semana (in Spanish): 4. 2004-11-04. ISSN 0124-5473. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  2. ^ Vélez, Sergio Esteban. "A Fanny lo que es de Fanny" [To Fanny what is Fanny's]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  3. ^ Mikey, Fanny; Dorado, Humberto (2000). Fanny Mikey, "Por el Placer de Vivir": Confesiones de Camerino con Humberto Dorado [Fanny Mikey, "For The Pleasure of Living": Backstage Confessions with Humberto Dorado] (in Spanish). Bogotá: Planeta. p. 105. ISBN 978-958-614-818-4. OCLC 47001951.
  4. ^ Moyano Ortiz, Juan Carlos (November 2008). Pulecio Mariño, Enrique, ed. "Fanny: Para Siempre" [Fanny: Forever] (PDF). Teatros (in Spanish). Asociación de Salas Concertadas de Bogotá (11): 9–16. ISSN 1900-3005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  5. ^ Rueda, María Isabel (2008-03-08). "¿Cómo llegar a los 76 años con esa cantidad de energía tan vital?" [How to reach 76 years of age with that much vitality?] (interview). Semana (in Spanish): 2. ISSN 0124-5473. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  6. ^ The Associated Press (2008-08-18). "Creator of Colombian theater festival dies". Daily News. Bogotá. OCLC 9541172. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  7. ^ "Miles de personas despiden a Fanny Mikey en el Capitolio" [Thousands of people say their goodbyes to Fanny Mikey in the Capitol]. Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  8. ^ a b "Cenizas de Fanny Mikey reposarán en Islas del Rosario y Buenos Aires" [Fanny Mikey's ashes will be spread in Islas del Rosario and Buenos Aires] (in Spanish). Estereofonica. 2008-08-18. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  9. ^ President of Colombia, the (2008-08-22). "Decreto No. 3119 del 2008: Por el cual se honra la memoria de la maestra Fanny Mikey" [Decree No 3119 of 2008: By which [the Government] honours the memory of master Fanny Mikey] (PDF) (in Spanish). Press Office of the President of Colombia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-04-02.