A tragic loss for Ostrava's theatrical scene

19/1 2024

The actor Norbert Lichý (* 29. 12. 1964) passed away on 16 January at the age of 59. He was a much-loved presence on both stage and screen, and he was closely associated with his hometown Ostrava.

A tragic loss for Ostrava's theatrical scene

Norbert Lichý. Photograph: Norbert Lichý's archive

Born in Ostrava, Lichý's father was the dramatist and theatre director Saša Lichý. Norbert fondly remembered his earliest theatrical performances at the age of just nine.

He began his professional career in 1984 at the North Moravian Theatre in Šumperk. He later worked at Ostrava's Puppet Theatre before moving to what would become his professional home for the rest of his life – the Petr Bezruč Theatre. He quickly won renown among the Czech theatrical community, and he also appeared as a guest performer at several theatres in Prague. He was a distinctive presence in numerous TV films and series, collaborating on many projects for Czech Television and Czech Radio, and he was also a prolific narrator of audiobooks. He played a diverse range of roles. He was less well known as a composer for the theatre and cinema, though with his typical modesty he claimed that he was "more a musical enthusiast than a professional".

Norbert Lichý won many accolades throughout his career. Among the most prestigious were a Thálie Award for drama (2009) and Czech Radio's Invisible Actor award (2016) for his narration of the audiobook version of Henri Charriere's Papillon.

In a recent interview for the MF DNES newspaper, Ostrava's Mayor Jan Dohnal paid tribute to the actor: "Mr. Lichý was a great local patriot, and the backbone of the local theatre. Hopefully his colleagues at the Petr Bezruč Theatre will manage to overcome this tragic loss – though of course it will be impossible to replace him. The city will be considering the best way of commemorating Mr. Lichý's life and work."

We would like to express our condolences to Norbert Lichý's loved ones.

You can pay your respects by lighting a candle in Lichý's memory outside the Petr Bezruč Theatre or in the theatre foyer, where there is a memorial site.