|Birth name||Fereydoun Farrokhzad|
|Also known as||Farrokhzad|
October 7, 1938|
|Died||August 8, 1992
|Occupation(s)||Singer, TV/Radio Host, Entertainer, Poet, Writer, Activist, Humanitarian|
|Labels||Avang Music, Caltex Records, Taraneh Enterprises Inc, Pars Video|
|Associated acts||Mahasti, Googoosh, Sattar, Ebi, Shohreh Solati, Shahram Shabpareh|
Fereydoun Farrokhzad (Persian: فریدون فرخزاد) (October 7, 1938 – August 8, 1992) was an Iranian singer, actor, poet, TV and radio host, writer, and iconic opposition political figure. He is best known for his successful variety TV show "Mikhak-e Noghrei" (The Silver Carnation). He was the brother of the acclaimed Persian poet Forough Farrokhzad and Pooran Farrokhzad.
He was forced into exile after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and after relocating to Germany was the victim of an unsolved murder. The murder is widely believed to be the work of The Islamic Republic of Iran.
Fereydoun Farrokhzad was born in Chahar Raheh Gomrok (Gomrok Intersection), a neighborhood in Tehran, Iran. He was the fourth of seven children (Pouran, Amir(Masoud), Forough, Fereydoun, Gloria, Mehrdad, and Mehran). After graduating from high school he went to Germany and Austria for his post-secondary education. He got his Advanced Graduate degree in Political Science from Munich University.
At a young age Fereydoun had a passion for poetry and for singing. He turned that passion to reality in 1962 when he started writing poems in German which were published in two German newspapers. In 1964 he published his collection of poems called "Fasleh Deegar" (Another Season). His book was critically acclaimed and was honored by many famous German poets. Five months after the release of "Fasleh Deegar", Fereydoun Farrokhzad received the Poetry Award of Berlin. For a couple of years Farrokhzad was a member of the Munich Academy of Poetry. In 1966 he found his way to the Television and Radio of Munich. On Radio he had a comedy and music program which played middle eastern music including music from Iran. On TV he created and produced a show called خيابان های آلپ (Alpine Roads). In 1967 he returned to Iran and performed on successful radio and TV shows. His most successful and famous TV show was "Mikhakeh Noghrei" (Silver Carnation), and his radio show which aired every other Friday mornings called "Jom'eh Bazzar" (Friday Bazaar). The TV show was watched by millions of Iranians. On the show Farrokhzad introduced and discovered many famous Iranian artists including Sattar, Shohreh, Shahram Solati, Ebi, Morteza, Rouhi Savoji, Hamid Shabkhiz, Leila Forouhar, Saeed Mohammadi, and many more. After the 1979 revolution, Farrokhzad was imprisoned, then released. He escaped the country and settled in the country of his youth college years, Germany.
Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh mentioned that Farrokhzad was homosexual. He said: "His main obstacle was the homosexuality that he was not ashamed of; he knew it and he wanted people to understand it. However that time was too early for understanding that this is a genetic occurrence; for people it had other meanings. They used to think of homosexuals as passive and disreputable individuals. Farrokhzad wanted to break this taboo alone; in a culture that still has not accepted homosexuality. I asked him several times not to tell, at least for now."
Farrokhzad married and divorced twice. His first marriage took place in 1962, to a German/Polish woman named Ania Buchkowski, whom he met in Oxford. Like Farrokhzad, she had a passion for poetry and theater; it was after meeting her that Farrokhzad started writing poems. The result of this marriage was a son named Rostam. Farrokhzad and Ania later separated and got divorced. In 1974 he married an Iranian woman named Taraneh.
According to Voice of America, Farrokhzad was known by his fans as an "educated patriot" who frequently criticized the Islamic Republic and its leaders and who was present during many demonstrations against the clerical government.
Farrokhzad produced a weekly radio show for the "Voice of the Flag of Freedom Organization of Iran," the radio station of the Organization of Kaviyani Banner, an "organization of exiled supporters of the Iranian monarchy." Farrokhzad also acted in a film, I Love Vienna, which was considered by some Iranian authorities as anti-Islamic.[not in citation given]
On August 8, 1992 Farrokhzad's body was found in the kitchen of his apartment in Bonn, Germany after neighbours reported barking by his two dogs. Farrokhzad had been killed violently, having been stabbed repeatedly in the face and upper torso. Many urban legends surround Farrokhzad's death, including the widely repeated myth that he was beheaded.
Prior to his murder, Farrokzhad had been involved in producing an opposition radio program and reportedly received death threats. In his show the Royal Albert Hall in London he criticized Khomeini and made fun of Khomeini's obsession with sex in his Ressaleh book, which followed death threats and concerns for him.
According to the U.S. state-funded Voice of America (VOA), the murder was "widely believed to be the work of Iran's Islamic government".
To this day, Farrokhzad remains a significant Iranian cultural icon whose popular music and television programs continue to be circulated through various media platforms. His murder—a political assassination of a celebrity activist entertainer—is a well known and oft-cited event amongst Iranians. Farrokhzad is also remembered for being one of the very few gay public figures of his time.
- Payvand News - Dialogue of Murder
- "48 Hours remembered the great showman Fereydoun Farrokhzad". VOA News. June 23, 2008.
- "Final Report of the Special Representative". unhchr.ch.
- Manoto TV. "Manoto TV". Manoto TV.
- "Pre-Revolutionary Iranian Pop: Googoosh to Farrokhzad". Public Radio International.
- "Refworld. Chronology of Events: June 1989 -July 1994, (see: 3 August)". unhcr.org.
- Hezelayagh, Hassan (25 June 2012). "I Love Vienna (1991)". IMDb.
- "IRANIAN OPPOSITION FIGURE SLAIN IN GERMANY". Reuters News. 8 August 1992.
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