Czech Republic stood still today after learning that Libuše Šafránková, probably the most beloved actress, has passed away two days after her 68th birthday. The world knows her as the brave and witty girl who turned out to be Cinderella but in her country she was known for many other characters she portrayed in the theatre and movies.
Libuše Šafránková was born on June 7, 1953 in Brno where she lived in Šlapanice until her death on June 9, 2021 (at that time only as a visitor in the house she inherited). After she graduated the state conservatorium she worked as theatre actress. She decided to leave the stage in the 90ies and continued as a movie actress. She was extraordinary for her natural performances and in her roles of young girls she came across as very approachable, an extroverted girl who could just be friends with anyone.
In real life, however, she was rather distant, didn’t seek the spotlight and liked her privacy. She didn’t talk to the press much and when a tabloid spread lies about her being an alcoholic, she stroke back. She was married to Josef Abrhám, a Czech actor with whom she was coupled not just in real life but also in the legendary comedy Vrchní, prchni! and Svatební cesta do Jiljí. In her later roles she showed her talent for sarcasm and irony like she did in the movie Báječná léta pod psa.
Much of her private life was not known to the public and so we will never know whether there was more between her and Pavel Trávníček who played the prince in Three Wishes for Cinderella (she refused to talk about the movie) and it’s also the reason why her passing was a complete shock for many people who had no idea that she was being treated for lung cancer.
Let’s look at her most famous roles in pictures.
As Barunka in Babička (The Grandmother) Šafránková charmed the audience and prove to be an excellent choice for the lead character.
Báječná léta pod psa (The Wonderful Years That Sucked) was a great opportunity for Libuše Šafránková to show her talent for sarcasm as a mother of a family and the wife of an irresponsible dreamer husband living under the communist regime.
Svatební cesta do Jiljí (Honeymoon in Jiljí) is a brilliant comedy about a young couple getting to know each other during their travels. Šafránková starred here side by side with her husband Josef Abrhám.
Micimutr was one of her last movies. She portrayed the lead character of the witch called Micimutr.
And who wouldn’t know “Libuška” Šafránková as Cinderella in Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Wishes for Cinderella)? This role, in which she performed at the age of 19, skyrocketed her career.
Šafránková was just a supporting character in Nesmrtelná teta (The Immortal Aunt) but even so she was unforgettable the personification of luck.
A less known but equally captivating princess role was the double role in Třetí Princ (The Third Prince). Šafránková portrayed two enchanted princesses.
And here’s another princess character – in Princ a Večernice (The Prince and the Evening Star) Libuše Šafránková is the Evening Star/Princess who falls in love with a human prince.
Jak utopit dr. Mráčka aneb Konec vodníků v Čechách (How to Drown dr. Mráček, the Lawyer) is a fantastic comedy in which Šafránková is, once again, in the lead. She is the youngest generation of Czech water goblins who becomes dangerously familiar with the human world.
Vrchní, prchni! (Waiter, Scarper!) is a legendary comedy about a fraudulent waiter whose wife has to put up with his lifestyle.
Libuše Šafránková excelled in many roles but for her fans she will remain Cinderella forever.