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He was the star of Stake More Than Life.  His death still remains a mystery

He was the star of Stake More Than Life. His death still remains a mystery

He was the star of Stake More Than Life.  His death still remains a mystery

For years, Leszek Herdegen was considered a “master of the background”. He stole the heart not only in “Stakes larger than life” or on the stage of theaters. The audience adored him, but he kept a secret. He struggled with alcohol addiction for a long time. He died suddenly, and the cause has not been clarified to this day.

Leszek Herdegen was born on May 28, 1929. He spent the war together with his parents, first in Kraków, then in Warsaw. As a 15-year-old he took part in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, he settled in Kraków. He wrote poems, published his first literary reviews in the press, shone at school academies, and although he was considered an exemplary student, he passed his final exams only in the third year of his studies at the Acting Department in Kraków.

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Women threw flowers to him on stage. The audience loved him, he was surprised by the popularity

During his studies in Kraków, Herdegen met Sławomir Mrożek, with whom he became friends for years. He quickly established himself as a charismatic and memorable actor. He performed on the stages of Krakow’s theaters, and enchanted spectators allegedly threw bouquets of flowers at him after performances. Like Sławomir Mrożek, Herdegen, however, was “rather afraid of women”.

On the screens, he appeared mainly in supporting roles. In Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s “Pharaoh” he played the priest Pentuer, in “” directed by Jerzy Hoffman – Jan Sakowicz. It was from his lips in the series “”, in which he played Lieutenant von Vormann, that the already cult line was uttered: “In Paris, the best chestnuts are on Pigalle Square.” The series is still available on the TVP VOD platform. It was he who also performed the song “Song of the Little Knight”, which could be heard in the opening credits of the series “Przygody pana Michała”.

Viewers loved Herdegen, but he himself seemed very surprised. – This popularity surprises me a bit. I don’t play in comedies, I’m not a lover, I usually perform in the so-called difficult repertoire. I also don’t do what the mass viewer supposedly loves; I don’t stick a beard on, I don’t put on wigs and I don’t change beyond recognition – in an interview with the “Kino” monthly. For many, he remained a “master of the background”. Fans did not realize, however, that the actor had long struggled with alcohol addiction. “A peacock, once released into the wild, never comes back.” He always carried a bottle in his jacket pocket.

Leszek Herdegen died suddenly. To this day, the cause of death is unknown

Leszek Herdegen died suddenly on January 15, 1980. The actor was 50 years old, and his circumstances have not yet been clarified and still raise doubts. A longtime friend of the actor, Sławomir Mrożek, years ago in an interview with “Rzeczpospolita” only that “he died suddenly of a heart”. The writer’s words seem to agree with one of the hypotheses. According to them, the actor decided to sew the esperal, but during one of the social gatherings he drank a glass of vodka by mistake, which led to a heart attack. Another theory was that Herdegen fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand and died in a fire. None of them have been officially confirmed.

Source: Gazeta

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