Kadri ROSHI died today. I feel as if another icon tumbled from the Altar of the Theater, another miracle ceased happening, another story was left in half. I know he was old, I know his memory will linger on, I know that younger geniuses will make me shiver with their voices again.
Rationally, intellectually I know that this was a man who had a chance to unfold his talent and fully develop his genius, a man who was responsible for bringing to life a whole crew of characters, and influencing the dreams of several generations of Albanians, a man who took the staff from the kings of Theatre (Aleksander Moisiu, Naim Frasheri) and ran forward, never once dropping it to the ground.
He was the Charming Villain, the one you almost loved to hate and cheered for despite yourself and the Correct Party Line. He was the tempter, he was as close to the Devil and Mephisto as Comrade Enver allowed people to be, he was the wise man of ancient times, and the one who made people fall in love because of the voice and talent, and because he gave so much.
Yet, I feel tearful and helpless, that sometimes there is no way to stop time from passing, and furious that I am reminded of it.
May his soul rest in Heaven, even if he did not believe in it.
The following heavily based on http://www.artistetshqiptare.com, and enriched with details from other sites.
Born in Mallakaster në 1924-Passed Away Feb 6, 2007
Kadri ROSHI – Short biography
He started as a ticket seller in “Gloria” theatre, became a prompter, and then an Actor of the National Theatre of Tirana.
He applied in 1944 and again in 1946 in the Dramatic School affiliated with the People’s Theatre, but his stutter forbid him from being accepted. However, in 1948 he was addmited in the Acting School of Zagreb and later graduated at the Prague Academy. In 1952, he was accepted by the People’s Theatre ( National Theatre today) and starred as Osipp in the “Revizor”, Gogol’s play. a role that showed his dramatic range and his “albanianness” quality if you will, was the role of Jonuz Bruga in the “Familja e peshkatarit (The fisherman’s family )” play (1956).
Hamlet showcased his ability at wordplays, veiling and unveiling poetry, hints, and the philosopy of life. As Yago (1959) he played the cynical, hypocrite, intrigant, envious and treacherous villain so well, he was forever seen afterwards as a “villain”
In 1961, he reached one of his highest artistical points with the role of Esop in the play “Dhelpra dhe rrushtë (the Fox and the Grapes)” of Guilherme Figueredo. To bring the Ancient Philosopher and Fabulist to life as authentically as possible, the actor tried on at least 30 different makeup versions, and used numerous other acting elements, giving us a clear dramatic and poetical view of the genial philosof and slave who was an epitome of folk wisdom.
His Arturo Ui in the play of the same name by B. Brehtit (1971) is another high point of the Albanian Acting History.
He also starred in more than 30 films, and numerous plays throughout his prolific career. He was a character actor, a master of human psyche, realism, hidden meanings. He was at his best portraying the simple but wise folk man, roles that hide layers of meaning underneath their simplicity and uncomplicateness. His mastery of makeup, body play and facial features, helped him slip into diametrically different roles almost seamlessly and deliver very authentic and realistic acting.
Kadri Roshi gave his precious contribution to many young actors during his many years as a Acting Skills professor. He was accorded a Life Achievement Award in 1995, Greatest Honor Award in the 38th International Film Festival in Salonikki in 1997, and the highest Title, Honor of the Nation in 1998. He was also made Actor of the People, the equivalent of Oscar in Albania.