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Rade Šerbedžija

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Rade Šerbedžija
Rade Serbedzija.jpg
Šerbedžija at the 12th Satellite Awards in December 2007
Born (1946-07-27) 27 July 1946 (age 73)
ResidenceRijeka, Croatia
Other namesRade Sherbedgia
CitizenshipCroatia, North Macedonia, Slovenia,[1] Serbia[2]
Years active1967–present
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Ivanka Cerovac
(m. 1969; div. 1987)

Lenka Udovički
(m. 1991)
Children5, including Danilo and Lucija
AwardsVladimir Nazor Award

Rade Šerbedžija (Serbian Cyrillic: Раде Шербеџија, Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [rǎːde ʃerbědʒija]; born 27 July 1946), occasionally credited as Rade Sherbedgia in some English-language productions, is a Croatian actor, director and musician. 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, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Mission: Impossible 2; his role as Boris the Blade in Snatch; and for his recurring role as former Soviet Army General Dmitri Gredenko in Season 6 of TV action series 24.

Early life and career in Yugoslavia[edit]

Šerbedžija was born into an ethnic Serb family in the village of Bunić in the Lika region of Croatia, then part of Yugoslavia.[3] His parents fought in the Second World War as Partisans. Šerbedžija was raised an atheist.[4]

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.[citation needed] While still a student, Šerbedžija started to play leading roles in films and theatre 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 US, 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 1970s 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).

In 2000, Šerbedžija founded the Ulysses Theater with Borislav Vujčić on the Brijuni islands, where he also directs and acts in most plays.

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 recognised by world audiences for his supporting roles in Hollywood films such as Mission: Impossible 2, Mighty Joe Young, The Saint, Eyes Wide Shut, Snatch, EuroTrip, The Quiet American, Shooter, and a cameo in Batman Begins, often varying between sinister villains or trusting friends. He was asked to reprise his cameo role in The Dark Knight, but declined. He also co-starred in Space Cowboys.

In 2001, he starred in a television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical South Pacific as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. He also appeared in the BBC spy-thriller show Spooks for one episode as a villain. In 2005 he played Captain Blake in Rupert Wainwright's remake of The Fog, and had a supporting role in the NBC science fiction series Surface. In 2007 he played Athos Roussos in Jeremy Podeswa's feature film adaptation of Anne Michaels' novel Fugitive Pieces.

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

On 26 May 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.

In 2014, Šerbedžija appeared in six episodes of Downton Abbey as Prince Kuragin, a Russian exile and long-ago lover of the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith.

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 Corin Redgrave's Moving Theatre Company staging of Brecht in Hollywood in 1994.[5] In 2017, Šerbedžija has signed the Declaration on the Common Language of the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Šerbedžija married Ivanka Cerovac in 1969. They have a son, film director Danilo Šerbedžija (b. 1971), and a daughter, actress Lucija (b. 1973). The couple divorced in 1987.

Šerbedžija met his second wife, Lenka Udovički, the sister of Serbian politician Kori Udovički, in Subotica in 1990 and they married in 1991.[7] With his second wife, he has three daughters: Nina, Vanja, and Mimi. Nina is now attending college and the younger two are in high school. The girls grew up in London during their early years, then moved to California due to their father's acting career.[citation needed]

Šerbedžija's parents left Vinkovci as Serb refugees for Belgrade in 1991, due to Croatian War of Independence. His mother died in 1999,[8] while his father still lives in Belgrade.

In 1992, while at a club in Belgrade, an intoxicated youth swore at Šerbedžija, calling him "Serb traitor", then shot his gun in the air.[9] The youth himself was from Lika, as was Šerbedžija.[9] He then took his wife and at the time, only daughter Nina, and left Zagreb and Belgrade, and settled in Ljubljana, Slovenia.[10][8] Šerbedžija has called himself "Yugo-nostalgic",[11] and in 2011, said that times were better in Socialist Yugoslavia than now.[9]

Šerbedžija owns property in London, Hollywood, California, Rijeka, and Zagreb. As of January 2011, he reportedly spends most of his time in Rijeka together with his wife Lenka.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1967 Iluzija
1967 Black Birds
1968 Osveta
1968 Seansa
1968 Maratonci
1968 Gravitacija ili fantastična mladost činovnika Borisa Horvata Boris Horvat
1969 Dio è con noi
1969 Sedmina - Pozdravi Marijo Niko
1969 Meteor
1969 Čamac za kron-princa
1970 Sam čovjek
1970 Papagaj Mladić
1970 Passing Days
1970 Red Wheat Južek Hedl
1970 Kainov znak Milan
1971 The Pine Tree in the Mountain Domobran kicoš
1971 Prosjaci i sinovi Matan Špalatrin
1971 Putovanje na mjesto nesreće Vlatko
1972 Poslijepodne jednog fazana Obijesni mladić
1972 Rođendan male Mire
1972 Zvezde su oči ratnika Učitelj Rade
1973 Pelikani
1973 Živjeti od ljubavi Davor
1973 Begunec Ivan
1974 Acting Hamlet in the Village of Mrdusa Donja Hamlet
1974 Tojota Korola 1000
1974 Obešenjak
1974 Nocturno Lucio
1974 Obraz uz obraz Himself
1974 The Republic of Užice Četnički oficir Kosta Parac
1974 U registraturi Ivica Kicmanović
1975 Pesma Mića Ranović
1976 The Republic of Užice Četnički oficir Kosta Parac TV series
1977 Noćna skela
1977 Hajka Lado
1977 Nikola Tesla Nikola Tesla TV series
1978 Bombaški proces Josip Broz Tito
1978 Bravo maestro Vitomir Bezjak
1979 Journalist Vlado Kovač
1979 Živi bili pa vidjeli
1979 The Return Komandir milicije
1979 Usijanje Tomo
1979 Ivan Goran Kovačić Ivan Goran Kovačić
1980 Sedam plus sedam Himself
1980 Gospodjica
1981 Tuga
1981 Duvanski put Tomo
1981 Banović Strahinja Abdulah
1982 Variola Vera Doktor Grujić
1982 Cyclops Ugo
1982 13. jul Kapetan Mitrović
1982 Tamburaši
1982 Nepokoreni grad
1982 Život i priča
1983 Zadah tela Pančo Vila
1983 Kiklop Ugo TV series
1983 Kvit posao Jozo
1983 Noć poslije smrti Lucio Klarić
1984 In the Jaws of Life Intelektualac
1984 Pejzaži u magli Lelin otac
1984 Una Professor Mišel Babić
1985 Life Is Beautiful Harmonikaš
1985 Horvatov izbor Krešimir Horvat
1986 San o ruži Valent
1986 Večernja zvona Tomislav K. Burbonski
1986 Putovanje u Vučjak Krešimir Horvat TV series
1987 Die Verliebten Dušan
1987 Hudodelci Raka
1988 Zagrljaj
1988 Tartif
1988 Manifesto Emile
1988 Hanna's War Captain Ivan
1989 Čovjek koji je volio sprovode Hinko
1989 Seobe II De Ronkali
1990 Karneval, anđeo i prah
1990 Majstori mraka
1992 Dezerter Pavle Trušić
1993 Kontesa Dora Karlo Armano
1994 Magareće godine Narrator
1994 Before the Rain Alexandar
1995 Urnebesna tragedija Kosta
1995 Two Deaths Colonel George Lapadus
1995 Belma Josip Papac
1996 Memento The Officer
1996 Broken English Ivan
1997 Nečista krv Gazda Marko
1997 Balkan Island: The Last Story of the Century Rusty
1997 The Saint Ivan Tretiak
1997 The Truce Mardenou the Greek
1998 Mighty Joe Young Andrei Strasser
1998 Polish Wedding Roman
1998 Prague Duet Jiri Kolmar
1999 Eyes Wide Shut Mr. Milich
1999 The Sweet Sounds of Life Bruno Maier
1999 Stigmata Fr. Marion Petrocelli
2000 Space Cowboys General Vostow
2000 Mission: Impossible 2 Dr. Nekhorvich
2000 Snatch Boris 'The Blade' Yurinov
2000 Je li jasno prijatelju? Milan Rajić
2001 South Pacific Emile De Becque
2002 The Quiet American Inspector Vigot
2003 Quicksand Oleg Butraskaya
2003 The Cruelest Day Miran Hrovatin
2003 Spooks 2.4: Blood and Money Viktor Schvitkoy
2004 EuroTrip Tibor
2004 Golemata voda Old Lem
2004 Rade Šerbedžija Live in Budva Himself
2004 The Fever Diplomat
2005 The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam Imam Muaffak
2005 Surface Dr. Aleksander Cirko TV series
2005 Batman Begins Homeless Man
2005 The Fog Captain William Blake
2005 Short Order Paulo
2005 Go West Ljubo
2006 Moscow Zero Sergei
2006 The Elder Son Maxim Sarafanov
2007 Balkanski sindrom Old Alen
2007 Hermano Carlos Avileda
2007 Tesla Narrator
2007 Shooter Michailo Sczerbiak
2007 Fugitive Pieces Athos Roussos
2007 Battle in Seattle Dr. Marić
2007 24 Dmitri Gredenko TV series
2007 Say It in Russian Raf Larin
2007 Pravo čudo Toma
2007 L... Kot ljubezen Big Daddy
2007 Fallen Dr. Lukas Grasic TV mini-series
2007 Love Life Arie
2008 My Own Worst Enemy Yuri Volkalov TV series
2008 Quarantine Yuri Ivanov
2008 The Eye Simon McCullough
2009 Middle Men Nikita Sokoloff
2009 CSI: Miami Alexander Sharova TV series
2009 Thick as Thieves Nicky Petrovich/Victor Korolenko
2010 Lonesdale
2010 Kao Rani Mraz Stari Vasa Ladački
2010 72 Days Mane Paripović
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Gregorovitch
2011 5 Days of War Col. Demidov
2011 Tatanka Vinko
2011 X-Men: First Class Russian General
2011 Shun Li and the Poet Bepi
2011 In the Land of Blood and Honey Gen. Nebojsa Vukojevich
2012 The Fourth State Onjegin
2012 Taken 2 Murad
2012 The Third Half Don Rafael Cohen
2012 Ustanicka ulica Vraneš
2013 Cry of the Butterfly Ray
2013 The Double Frightening Old Man
2014 Hercules: The Legend Begins Chiron
2014 Downton Abbey Prince Kuragin
2014 Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge The Minister
2015 Tesla: Iznad maste Milutin Tesla
2015 Sparrows Tomislav
2016 The Porcupine Stoyo Petkanov
2016 Tesla Professor Petrov
2016 The Promise Stephan
2016 The Five Jakob Marosi
2016 The Liberation of Skopje Gjorgjija Also Director and Writer
2017 Mata Hari Emil Guimet TV series
2017 Anka Biljeznik
2017 Hedgehog's Home Narrator Short film; Serbo-Croatian version
2017 The Blacklist (TV series) Dr. Bogdan Krilov
2017 The Executrix Arthur
2017 The Last Prosecco Desiderio Ancillotto
2017 Better Things (TV series) Arnold Hall TV series
2018 Proud Mary (film) Luka
2018 Murderous Trance Dr. Dabrowski
2018 What's This Country Called Now? Ismet Tabakovic Short film
2018-2019 Strange Angel Professor Filip Mesulam TV series
2019 Caviar Pappy
2019 Fishing and Fisherman's Conversations Petar Hektorović

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Group Award Result Notes
1979 Pula Film Festival Best Actor Won Bravo maestro
1986 Pula Film Festival Best Actor Won Evening Bells
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


  1. ^ "Rade Šerbedžija dobio makedonsko državljanstvo". 25 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Šerbedžija: Misliš stvari se menjaju, a onda te mlatne malj". 26 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Rade Šerbedžija Biography (1946–)". NetIndustries, LLC. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  4. ^ Petrov, Sergej (27 December 2013). "Rade Šerbedžija".
  5. ^ a b c d e "Rade Serbedzija Biography". Fancast. Retrieved 2010-08-31.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Derk, Denis (28 March 2017). "Donosi se Deklaracija o zajedničkom jeziku Hrvata, Srba, Bošnjaka i Crnogoraca" [A Declaration on the Common Language of Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins is About to Appear] (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb: Večernji list. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0350-5006. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2011-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b c Jovanka Simic (4 January 2011). "Rade Šerbedžija: Sve mi naše tamo nedostaje" (in Croatian). Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Vreme 1064 - Intervju – Rade Serbedzija: Oprostio sam svima". Nedeljnik Vreme.
  10. ^ "B.Katić: Ko je pucao na Šerbedžiju?". B92.
  11. ^ "SAM arhiva broj 1 - : SAM 17/12/95 - Intervju: Rade Serbedzija, glumac u emigraciji".

External links[edit]