Yıldız Kenter

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Yıldız Kenter
Ayşe Yıldız Kenter

(1928-10-11)11 October 1928
Died17 November 2019(2019-11-17) (aged 91)
Istanbul, Turkey
Resting placeAşiyan Asri Cemetery
Alma materAnkara State Conservatory
Years active1949–2019
Nihat Akçan
(m. 1951; div. 1958)

Şükran Güngör
(m. 1965; died 2002)
RelativesMüşfik Kenter (brother)

Ayşe Yıldız Kenter (11 October 1928 – 17 November 2019)[1] was a Turkish actress and lecturer, who was of English descent from her maternal side.[2] Kenter was also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Turkey.[3]

Early years[edit]

Ayşe Yıldız Kenter was born to diplomat Ahmet Naci Kenter and his wife Nadide, née Olga Cynthia, in Istanbul on 11 October 1928. Her mother was naturalized after her marriage to Ahmet Naci and move to Turkey, changing her given name to Nadide. She graduated from Ankara State Conservatory.

Acting career[edit]

She worked for eleven years at the Ankara State Theatre. She obtained a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, and went to the United States, where she attended American Theatre Wing, Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and Actors Studio to study advanced drama education. After returning home, she was appointed instructor at the Ankara State Conservatory. On 1959, she resigned from her post at the State Theatre.[4]

After working one year with Muhsin Ertuğrul, she co-founded the "Kent Theatre Company" with her brother Müşfik Kenter and husband Şükran Güngör. In later years, she conducted studies on "Changing Education Methods" and "Acting Methods" in the U.S. and United Kingdom.[4]

The construction of the Kenter Theatre building in Istanbul was completed in 1968. She played in English and Turkish language in the Soviet Union, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Yugoslavia and Cyprus.[4]

She staged and played more than hundred works of foreign playwrights such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht, Ionesco, Pinter, Albee, Tennessee Williams, Alan Ayckbourn, Arthur Miller, Brian Friel, Neil Simon, Athol Fugard, Sergei Kokovkin and also of Turkish dramatists like Melih Cevdet Anday, Necati Cumalı, Güner Sümer, Adalet Ağaoğlu, Zeki Özturanlı, Güngör Dilmen, Muzaffer İzgü.[4]

She served 37 years as a professor of stage acting.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1951, Yıldız Kenter married to Nihat Akçan, the brother of singer Nesrin Sipahi. One year later, she gave birth to a daughter Leyla. The marriage lasted seven years. She began her second marriage to Şükran Güngör in 1965. Her husband died in 2002.[4]

Yıldız Kenter died at the age of 91 on 17 November 2019 in the intensive care station of a private hospital in Istanbul, where she was brought two days before. She was interred at the Aşiyan Asri Cemetery following a memorial ceremony held at the Kenter Theatre and the religious funeral service at Afet Yolal Mosque in Levent.[5][6] She was survived by duaghter Leyla Tepedelen and her adoptive daughter Esma Uzun.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

On 1962, Kenter was honored wit the "Woman of the Year Award" for her service in theatre. She received three times the Golden Orange Award for "Best Supporing Actress". In 1984, the Italian Cultural Institute in Rome awarded her the "Adelaide Ristori Prize". For her role in the Turkish drama movie Hanım, she received the "Best Actress Award" at the "1989 Bastia Film Festival" in Corsica. The Lions Clubs International honored her in 1991 for her service to theatre art with the "Melvin Jones Award". She received twice the "Ulvi Uraz Best Actress Award" and three times the " Avni Dilligil Award" in the same category. The 1World Women Organization of Finland" named her one of the "Most Successful 100 Women of the Century". In 1995, Kenter was awarded the "Honor" title by the Ministry of Culture for her contribution to the theatre art. The same year, she received the "Brotherhood and Peace Award of Mevlana". In 1996, the "Tabloid Journalists Association" (Turkish: Magazin Gazetecikeri Derneği) awarded her the "Best Actress Prize" for her role as "Jülide" in the theatre play "Ramiz ile Jülide" ("Ramiz and Jülide"). She received the "Lifelong Achievement in Theatre Award" of the International Istanbul Festival in 1997, bestowed by Dame Diana Rigg. In 1998, she was named the "Best Actress of the Year" by Ankara Culture Society, she received the "Lifelong Achievement in Theatre Prize of Muhsin Ertuğrul" and she was honored with the "Presidential Grand Culture and Arts Award". The next year, she received the "Best Actress Prize" of "Afife Jale Drama Awards" for her role as Madame Arcadina in The Seagull.[4]


  • Vatan İçin (1951)
  • Ağaçlar Ayakta Ölür (1964)
  • Anneler ve Kızları (1971)
  • Pembe Kadın (1966)
  • İsyancılar (1966)
  • Yaşlı Gözler (1967)
  • Fatma Bacı (1972)
  • Ablam (1973)
  • Kızım Ayşe (1974)
  • Çöl Faresi (1977)
  • Hanım (1988)
  • The Raindrop (2000)
  • Big Man, Little Love (2001)
  • Aşk ve Gurur (2002) (TV series)
  • Saklambaç (2005) (TV series)
  • Whatever You Wish (2005)
  • Balıketi (2007) (TV)
  • The White Angel (2007)


  1. ^ "Yıldız Kenter kimdir kaç yaşındadır? İşte 100'ün üstünde oyun sergileyen Yıldız Kenter'in hayatı ve biyografisi". Hürriyet. 17 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Kenter, Yildiz". encyclopedia.jrank. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ "İyi Niyet Elçilerimiz". UNICEF Turkey. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Yılduz Kenter son yolculuğuna uğurlandı". Habertürk (in Turkish). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Usta oyuncu Yıldız Kenter son yolculuğuna uğurlandı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Yıldız Kenter'in cenazesi Kenter Tiyatrosu'na getirildi". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 19 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Golden Orange Award for
Best Supporting Actress

for Ağaçlar Ayakta Ölür
Succeeded by
Aliye Rona
Preceded by
Aliye Rona
Golden Orange Award for
Best Supporting Actress

for İsyancılar
Succeeded by
Aliye Rona
Preceded by
Semra Sar
Golden Orange Award for
Best Supporting Actress

for Kızım Ayşe
Succeeded by
Seden Kızıltunç