MOVIE NEWS – After a long and dignified illness, Péter Haumann, Kossuth and Jászai Mari Prize-winning actor, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and actor of the nation, has died at the age of 81.
Péter Haumann has died. It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that the Hungarian acting world has lost one of its most famous faces (and voices). Few people in the country could not recall his figure, who would not have fond memories of one or two of his performances. Allow me this time to give you one – or even two – personal examples. One of the defining experiences of my childhood was the youth adventure film/TV series Keménykalap és krumpliorr (“Bowler-hat and Potato Nose” – yes, it’s about the circus), in which he had a relatively minor role as the zoo director, yet he ‘stole the show’ in every scene he appeared in.
His other relatively early film role, which I think many will remember, is in Indul a bakterház (official English title is The Stationmaster Meets His Match), a brilliant adaptation of the satirical novel by Sándor Rideg.
Who doesn’t remember the hilariously obnoxious yet somehow deeply pathetic character of the jockey “The Hoof”…
Péter Haumann joined the Madách Theatre in 1973, where he played several important roles as the company’s leading artist. In 1988, he moved to the National Theatre, then to the Arizona Theatre, then to the Radnóti Theatre for a year, and from 1994 to 2016, he was a member of the Katona József Theatre.
The Kossuth Prize-winning actor was seen by viewers in pieces such as Socrates ’Defensive Speech, The Miser, The Broken Jar, The Death of the Agent, The Crazy Women Cage, and Cats. He played in the III. He has worked with Richard, Woyzeck, Passion, Twilight, Starting the Bacterial House or Adventurers, and has collaborated with directors such as Ottó Ádám, Tamás Ascher, György Fehér, János Dömölky and Kornél Mundruczó.
As a dubbing actor, his performances are just as memorable. To give just one example, he was the Hungarian voice of Gargamel in The Smurfs – another life-defining experience for many, linked to Péter Haumann.
His artistic work was recognized with the Mari Jászai Prize in 1970 and 1972, the title of Meritorious Artist in 1980, and the Kossuth Prize in 1985.
He became a member of the Society of the Immortals in 1997, in 2006 he received the Medal Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary with the star, in 2009 he was awarded the Prima Primissima Award, and in 2010 he was elected actor of the nation.
(Lead photo by MTI/Peter Haumann’s family/MTI/MTVA)