Art And Culture

Puppeteer Fanizadeh Dies

Puppeteer Fanizadeh Dies
Puppeteer Fanizadeh Dies

Iranian puppeteer Donya Fanizadeh, best known for manipulating the famous puppet character 'Kolah Ghermezi' (literally red hat), passed away on Wednesday, December 28.

The artist was suffering from cancer for over 10 years and died at the age of 49, ISNA reported.

In the past three years, she had undergone chemotherapy as the cancer had spread and she was not able to move her right hand; however, she didn't give up her work and even controlled Kolah Ghermezi with left hand last year. "I will not hand over my puppet to others as long as I can," she had said.

Daughter of the late famous TV and cinema actor Parviz Fanizadeh, Donya started her puppet career at the age of 18; she was part of almost all puppet shows, and acted as a puppeteer in films or series on state TV and in cinema, such as the series 'Hadi and Hoda' and 'Khaleh Qurbagheh' (aunt frog) as well as the movie 'The Singing Cat,' among many others.

Although the public may not know Donya by sight as she worked behind the scenes, they have memories of the puppet characters she gave life to, especially Kolah Ghermezi whom she operated for over 25 years. The puppet has been immortalized and is popular among different generations in Iran.

 Deep and Affectionate Relationship

She developed a deep affectionate relationship with the character, and once said, "If the group I am working with decides that I not control Kolah Ghermezi, I will accept but ask to stay with them during the work".

Kolah Ghermezi has been featured in different TV series and movies. Actor/ directors Iraj Tahmasb and Hamid Jebelli created the character in the 1990s and used it first in a TV puppet show for kids.

Later the character appeared in three feature film in 1995, 2002 and 2012, all among the bestsellers of the year they were screened.

'Kolah Ghermezi 2015' which was broadcast last year was the last time Donya worked the puppet.

A mother of twin boys, she had asserted that Kolah Ghermezi was her elder son. "My children are younger than him."

The talented puppeteer was honored at the opening ceremony of the 27th International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults is Isfahan in 2013.

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