Fatma Gadri as Gulbahar (play "My mother's book" by Jalil Mamedkulizade)
|Born||Fatma Gadir qizi Gadri
April 1, 1907
Odessa, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||February 29, 1968
Fatma Gadri was born to a poor family of a merchant acolyte in Odessa (present-day Ukraine). At age 9, she started earning money by working as a full-time nanny for a child from a rich family. At her mother's insistence, she enrolled in a local madrasah (religious school) to receive primary education. In 1922, she was admitted to two post-secondary institutions simultaneously: the Azerbaijan Theatre School and a teachers college, from both of which she graduated in 1926. Choosing the artistic path as her future career, Gadri started working as an actress at the Turkic Labour Theatre in Baku and Ganja. After an unsuccessful surgery on her neck, she was allowed to quit her job at the theatre in order to recover.
After a brief period of acting at the Baku Russian Theatre, she was hired to the Azerbaijan State Drama Theatre in 1935, where she worked for the next 24 years. Soon she was also elected to the Baku City Council and started teaching at the Azerbaijan Theatre School and at a music school in Baku. In 1943, she became People's Artist of Azerbaijan. Physically weak and exposed to illnesses, she often acted out her roles despite bodily pain. This led to emaciation in 1958, when Fatma Gadri suddenly fell unconscious at the Pushkin Moscow Drama Theatre, right before her final act in War and Peace by Sergei Prokofiev, during the troupe's tour in Moscow. After receiving medical treatment for seven months, the doctors forbade her from going up on stage again fearing for her health.
Off stage, Fatma Gadri lived a difficult life. Her first marriage in the early 1920s did not last long, and her only son died in his teenage years. Gadri's second husband died of pneumonia in 1932. These tragic events added to her unstable health and psychological condition. Unable to get over severe depression after being forbidden to perform in theatres, 60-year-old Gadri died by committing suicide in her apartment in 1968.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fatma Gadri.|
- Fatma Gadri: The Aftermath and the Eternal Silence by Z.Farajova. EL Jurnali. January 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2007