Bata Left but Walter Remains. Velimir Bata Živojinović, a Legendary Serbian Actor and Politician, Left This Life
The most famous Serbian actor and one of the stars of the Yugoslav cinematography Velimir Bata Živojinović died in the Belgrade hospital on 22 May 2016. He played in the Yugoslav films more roles than anyone else and became a legend.
He would have turned 83 in June this year. In 2006, the actor survived heart attack, and three years later — a gangrene with treatment in Cuba. However, the disease reminded of itself after he had injured his leg at the shooting of the “Ice” movie (2014). On the eve of this year’s May celebrations his health status went into freefall and doctors failed to save the actor’s life.
Velimir Bata Živojinović played in more than 280 films and television series. The apogee of his actor glory coincided with the distant 60–70-ies of the XX century, when he starred in the film “Valter brani Sarajevo” (“Walter Defends Sarajevo”). This film brought him great popularity in China. He played more roles in movies than anyone else in Serbia. He had a chance to play both do-gooders and villains.
Bata Živojinović was also actively involved in politics, he was a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia, and in 2002, a candidate for the presidency of Serbia from that party.
He started his path in the cinematography from the films “Vlak brez voznega reda” (“Train without a Schedule,” 1959) and “Vojna” (“The War”, 1960). Bata Živojinović was the favourite actor of Josip Broz Tito. Critics noted that his talent and energy saturated every film in which he starred. The actor never refused to play any characters offered to him.
“I have never been searching for the films, in which I would like to play. They found me instead. In the Balkans, it has never been possible for an actor to search for a role,” Bata Živojinović noted in his interview to the Tanjug News Agency in 2010, which was held in honour of his 77th anniversary and the 55th anniversary of his creative activity. The actor also added that he had played many roles, so the audience was familiar with him in various images. However, he did not regret about any of them.