One of Hungary’s most well-respected actors Mari Törőcsik, died on Friday in Budapest after a long illness. She was 85. Törőcsik’s rose to fame with her first international appearance at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival in Palme d’Or contender Körhinta (Merry-Go-Round), from director Zoltán Fábri. In that film, she portrayed a young farmer girl who falls in love with a peasant boy even though her father forbids her.
Over the past half century, Törőcsik played more than 100 roles worked with well-known directors and screenwriters such as Miklós Jancsó, Márta Mészáros and Károly Makk on multiple occasions.
Some of her most beloved films including Fábri’s Édes Anna (Anna), Jancsó’s Szerelemem, Elektra (Electra My Love), Makk’s Szerelem (Love) and Gyula Maár’s Déryné, hol van? (Mrs. Déry, Where Are You?). In 1971 Törőcsik was nominated for Cannes Best Actress Award for her portrayal in Makk’s Jury Prize winning Szerelem (Love) but it wasn’t until 1976 that she won the award for her role in Déryné, hol van? (Mrs. Déry, Where Are You?), where she portrayed an aging theater actress.
Well-respected film critic and journalist Francois Truffaut, said in his weekly column that he would have given her the Best Actress Award, stating “…without the twenty-year-old artist knowing it, she was the biggest star of the festival.” French poet and surrealist filmmaker Jean Cocteau also often praised her talent.
Törőcsik’s final film appearance was the lead role in Mészáros’ historical drama Aurora Borealis – Északi fény (Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights) in 2017.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban posted on his Facebook page on Friday saying about her death, writing “Dear Mari! So you have left us. We have soared, Mari, we soared! God bless!”