Graduated from the State Institute of Theatrical Arts in 1939. The first stage of her career was the Polish Theatre in Vilnius where she acted in more than twenty plays over two years. In the war time she acted in an underground theatre and the front theatre of the Polish Home Army (AK). After the war she cooperated shortly with the Old Theatre in Cracow (1945-1946) and later with the Kameralny Theatre in Łódź (1946-1949). In 1949, together with the Erwin Axer group, she moved to Warsaw where she acted for eight years in the Współczesny Theatre and later in the National Theatre (1954-1966) and the Drama Theatre (1966-1985). In May 2010 she joined the ensemble of TR Warszawa. She gives also guest performances in other Warsaw theatres, among others in the National Theatre and the Ateneum Theatre.
She played about hundred theatre roles, among others in plays directed by Erwin Axer, such as The Germans (Niemcy, 1949), Kordian (1956), Love in the Crimea (Miłość na Krymie, 1994). Recently she appeared, among others, in Tango directed by Maciej Englert (2000), Bambini di Praga directed by Agnieszka Glińska (2001), Daily Soupdirected by Małgorzata Bogajewska (2007), Wasza Ekscelencja (2006) and Leaving(Odejścia, 2008) directed by Izabela Cywińska.
She played leading roles in well-known films by Leonard Buczkowski: Forbidden Songs (Zakazane piosenki), the first Polish after-war film (1946) and The treasure(Skarb, 1948). Other important films in her career were Night train (Ludzie z pociągu) by Kazimierz Kutz (1961), Reverse gear (Wsteczny bieg) by Laco Adamik (1978), Valley of the Issa (Dolina Issy) by Tadeusz Konwicki (1982), Korczak by Andrzej Wajda (1990), Farewell to Maria (Pożegnanie z Marią) by Filip Zylber (1993), The Devils(Diabły, Diabły, 1992) and Time to die (Pora umierać, 2007) by Dorota Kędzierzawska,Yellow scarf (Żółty szalik) by Janusz Morgenstern (2000), Before twilight (Jeszcze nie wieczór) by Jacek Bławut (2008), How much does the Trojan Horse weigh? (Ile waży Koń Trojański?) by Juliusz Machulski (2008) and Janosik. The true story (Janosik. Prawdziwa historia) by Agnieszka Holland and Katarzyna Adamik (2009).
Performances in TR Warszawa:
- Celebration, 2001, directed by H7 (Grzegorz Jarzyna)
- No Matter How Hard We Tried, 2009, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna
- The Second Woman, 2014, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna
Major awards and distinctions:
1965 – Award of the Chairman of the Radio and Television Committee
1967 – Award of the Ministry of Culture and Arts, II degree
1996 – Bydgoszcz Theatre Society – Złoty Wawrzyn Grzymały Award
1991 – Award for the best supporting actress in the film The Devils directed by Dorota Kędzierzawska at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia
1993 – Award for best supporting actress in the film Farewell to Maria directed by Filip Zylber at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia
2002 – Annual Award of the Minister of Culture in the domain of theatre
2004 – Special Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 12th International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage in Łódź
2005 – Commander's Cross and Commander's Cross with Star “in recognition of outstanding contribution to culture, for achievements in artistic work”
2007 – Golden Gloria Artis Medal
2007 – Feliks Warszawski Award for the best supporting female role in the play Daily Soup in the National Theatre
2007 – award for the best actress at the 32nd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia for her role in the film Time to die
2008 – Golden Duck Award 2008 („Film” Monthly Award) for the best actress of the century of Polish cinematography
2009 – Award for lifetime achievement at the 2nd Polish Films Festival in Moscow
2009 – Actors’ award at the 9th Polish Modern Drama Festival “Rzeczywistość Przedstawiona” in Zabrze for her role of the dispirited old lady on a wheelchair in No matter how hard we tried
2010 – Irena Solska Award given by the Polish section of the International Association of Theatre Critics
2010 – Jacek Woszczerowicz Award for the performance in the play No matter how hard we tried at the 50th Kalisz Theatre Meetings