Veteran theater actor Ferhan Şensoy dies at 70
Ferhan Şensoy, one of Turkey’s best-known theater and cinema actors, has died. He was 70. He had been receiving treatment at Istanbul University Medical Faculty for a while. Şensoy, who was hospitalized on July 2 due to internal bleeding, died at around 2.30 a.m. on Aug. 31 due to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory failure.
Şensoy’s daughter, Müjgan Ferhan Şensoy, wrote on her social media account, “My father flew to the skies,” while his other daughter, Derya Şensoy, said, “I am very, very sorry. I love you very much daddy.”
Şensoy held a symbolic award for traditional Turkish theater titled “Hasan Efendi Turban,” named after a pioneering comedian. In 2016, Şensoy handed over the symbolic award to actor Rasim Öztekin. Due to his health problems, Öztekin passed the award onto fellow thespian Şevket Çoruh in 2020 before dying this year on March 8 at the age of 62.
A statement made by Ortaoyuncular Theater, founded by Şensoy, said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our master, Ferhan Şensoy, the founder of our theater, last night in the hospital where he was being treated for a while, despite all the treatments.”
“Ferhan Şensoy, who has been treated in different hospitals for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases for a long time, was one of the most important theater actors in our country. He had the honor of carrying the turban for nearly 30 years. He died last night at Istanbul Faculty of Medicine due to serious cardiovascular diseases and respiratory failure. Our condolences and patience to all art lovers and his family,” Istanbul University Medical Faculty said.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy issued a condolence message for Şensoy, saying, “Our world of theater and cinema has lost a great tree. It is with deep sadness that I learned of Ferhan Şensoy’s death. My condolences to the grieving family and all his fans.”
Born in 1951, Şensoy was a playwright, actor and stage director. He graduated from the Theater National De Strasbourg in 1974 and returned to Turkey. He worked with theater companies including Ali Poyrazoğlu Theater and Nisa Serezli-Tolga Aşkıner Theater.
He founded the Ortaoyuncular Theater in 1980 and also reached a wide audience through his sketch program on television. He also wrote many books.
Şensoy earned a distinctive place in Turkish theater history with his unique, original and head-spinning works. He has written and staged unusual plays that have criticized current events using humor elements often based on language subtleties to the point of pushing the boundaries of the Turkish language, with a style that carries traces from various styles ranging from traditional Turkish theatre to epic theater.