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Humble Beginnings of a Living Legend
Art And Culture

Humble Beginnings of a Living Legend

A program ‘A Night With Ezzatolah Entezami’, to honor the veteran actor, was held at the Iranian Artists’ Forum (IAF) in Tehran on Wednesday (August 19).

Well-known cultural personalities and a huge audience were present to see one of the most distinguished actors of Iran cinema.

Entezami, 91, came to the venue but his frail health did not allow him to sit through the ceremony and he had to leave soon.

The bust of the Master Actor, made by young artist Alireza Asnalu, was unveiled by Entezami’s son, Majid, a noted musician.

Majid Sarsangi, forum president said Master Entezami “as a founding member of the IAF is known for his artistic skills and talent as well as his professionalism and kind spirit. He has always been generous to the youth and involved in philanthropic gestures.”

For his numerous memorable roles in different fields of performance, Entezami has been conferred the title ‘Master Actor’.

 Humble Beginnings

A video of his interview on the launching of his theater career was shown where Entezami points out that when he was 15, he worked part time as a simple worker cleaning the stage at a local theater. “Once theater managers found I had a good voice, I was asked to sing at the plays.”

His first experience before a large audience was both shocking and sweet. “As a teenager I could not believe that I performed on public stage. I heard their applause and I was on cloud nine but I also cried for it seemed scary too.”

The actor was given a one-minute standing ovation by the audience after the video screening.

Entezami started his stage career in 1941. Later he went to Germany and graduated from the theatre and cinema school in Hanover in 1958.

Veteran director Khosrow Sinai noted that he was not fortunate to cooperate with the prominent actor in his 50 years of film making. “But I was lucky to start a project with him four years ago, for the movie ‘Winter Train,’ which was later, abandoned. We visited Poland to see some locations. Although I was acquainted with him, during the trip I got to know him better and learned that he was truly young at heart despite his age.”

Sinai added that whenever they met, Entezami always had valuable suggestions. “Cinema is his life. He has lived it for years and it has been so fruitful that it has influenced our lives as well.”

 Attributes

Iran Theater Forum President Iraj Rad called him not just a national but a global artist whose professional and personal life is full of positive traits. “Punctuality, high sense of professional responsibility and sympathy toward the needy,” were among Entezami’s traits.

Musician Mohammad Sarir called him “a legend.” Legends make history and he is recognized by several generations. Director Masoud Kimiai was also present.

Entezami has been acting in movies since 1969. His debut performance in Darius Mehrjui’s acclaimed classic film ‘The Cow’ received the Golden Hugo in Chicago International Film Festival in 1971.

He has acted in more than 100 plays, movies and TV series. He has played a variety of characters. He was awarded the Crystal Simorgh for Best Actor twice at the Fajr International Film Festival.

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