Josef Kobr
(9 September 1920, Kladno – 10 May 1999, Ostrava)

One of the greatest comedians and most popular actors of his times was born on 9 September 1920 in Kladno. After passing the school-leaving exam, Josef Kobr applied for the Czech Technical University in Prague, but his studies were interrupted by the occupation, and he was forced to leave. Josef Kobr decided to become an actor though, for which the Ostrava audience gained an unforgettable personality of musical theatre. His first acting experience was gained on the road—together with Zdenka Sulanová and Rudolf Hrušínský, they travelled through the country in 1940, bringing theatre joy to the people in wartime. It was the production Kotrmelce mládí in which Josef Kobr appeared for the first time an in which he alternated with Rudolf Hrušínský. Nevertheless, he left for an engagement in Ostrava just a year later. Need to say that Ostrava was not the only city where he gained an engagement; it was also in Praha-Holešovice, Kladno, Brno, and Jablonec na Nisou where he performed during 1943–1947. In 1947, Josef Kobr settled in Ostrava permanently.

He spent almost half a century in the Ostrava theatre since 1947, and though he also performed in drama and musical productions, he devoted his life to operetta. He portrayed over two hundred roles, mainly comic ones, so it is not surprising that he is most often remembered as the garbage collector Alfred Doolittle in the musical My Fair Lady (1967 and 1990), the water goblin Čochtan in the Finian’s Rainbow (1949 and 1979, a Czech adaptation by Voskovec and Werich), the shoemaker's journeyman Kneipp in the farce Lumpacivagabundus (1982), and perhaps most of all Svejk in the production of the same name (1976). Also, there were fifteen productions he directed in total—coincidentally, his first and last production was The Gypsy Baron by Strauss (1950 and 1988).

Josef Kobr was one of the most popular actors of his time and was given a great sense of humour and storytelling talent. He performed on television, radio and movies. New Year's Eve entertainments and other TV programming did not happen to be without him when being in his heyday. Josef Kobr’s first movie part was a race car driver in Dědeček automobil (1956), but his greatest popularity came due to his comic portrayal of the quirky brass band leader Leopold Juřica in Dietl's Dispečer (1971). The last movie in which Josef Kobr acted was the occupation comedy Stůj, nebo se netrefím (1998). He travelled across the country to entertain audiences with his own variety ensemble. He was an excellent emcee and entertainer. During years 1981–1987, Josef Kobr served as the artistic director of the operetta ensemble. He was officially engaged until 1989, but he was cast in supporting roles as an emeritus member for several more years. His last role was the theatre servant Weigl in the operetta Two Hearts in Three Quarter Time (1995).

In 2000, Josef Kobr planned to do a public variety show in cooperation with his friend and fellow performer Kosťa Holubář on a square in Ostrava. Unfortunately, this never happened as Josef Kobr died after a serious illness on 10 May 1999 at the age of 78.

Články z webu

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1995)
(1. 9. 1995)

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1994)
(1. 9. 1994)

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1992)
(1. 9. 1992)

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1990)
(1. 9. 1990)

ZPRAVODAJ (12/1989)
(1. 12. 1989)

ZPRAVODAJ (11/1989)
(1. 11. 1989)

ZPRAVODAJ (12/1985)
(1. 12. 1985)

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1983)
(1. 9. 1983)

(12. 6. 1981)

KLAUN-recenze (přepis)
(1. 5. 1981)

ZPRAVODAJ (09/1980)
(1. 9. 1980)

ZPRAVODAJ (06-07/1979)
(1. 6. 1979)

(16. 3. 1957)