Veteran comedy actress Ayşen Gruda dies aged 74
Veteran theater and cinema actress Ayşen Gruda, who made a name with comedy movies which have in years turned into Turkish classics, died on Jan. 23. She was 74.
Kağıthane Derindere Hospital in Istanbul, where she was being treated for cancer, confirmed her death.
“I wish she had survived and we kept acting together,” said actor Müjdat Gezen, who worked with Gruda at a theater in Istanbul starting from 1963 and co-appeared with her in five movies.
“There are only a few female comedians in Turkey, and we have lost one of them,” said Rasim Öztekin, another experienced actor.
Film critic Atilla Dorsay said she was the star of a time when “comedy was king.”
Actor Ali Poyrazoğlu said he first appeared in a theater play alongside Gruda.
“She was a silent woman, but a great actress,” he said.
Gruda was born on Aug. 22, 1944 in Istanbul to a family of Albanian origin.
Her sisters Ayben and Ayten also went on to become actors.
She appeared in several musicals including “Deve Kuşu Kabare,” (The Ostrich Cabaret) that remained on stage for years and “Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz” (Hürmüz With Seven Husbands), a Turkish classical play. Her role in the sketch Her Domates Güzeli Nahide Şerbet (Tomato Beauty Pageant Nahide Şerbet) on television gained her the nickname “Tomato Beauty Pageant.”
She appeared in more than 100 films.
She held several theater and cinema prizes including the local number-one Golden Orange Award for Best Supporting Actress for her part in Kağıt (The Paper).
She will be laid to rest on Jan. 25.