Miodrag Petrović: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Miodrag Petrović (Serbian Cyrillic: Миодраг Петровић, pronounced [mîodraːɡ pětroʋitɕ], 1 April 1924 – 20 October 2003), known by his stage name Čkalja (Чкаља), was a Serbian actor and one of the most popular comedians of former Yugoslavia.

He performed in the theatre, where he displayed a talent for comedy, especially in plays by Branislav Nušić, his favourite author. However, it was the new medium of television that made him famous. From 1959 until the 1980s, he appeared in many TV comedy shows: Servisna stanica, Dežurna ulica, Spavajte mirno, Sačulatac, Crni sneg, Ljudi i papagaji, Ljubav na seoski način (in which Silvana Armenulić guest starred), Kamiondžije and Vruć vetar.

Čkalja retired in the late 1980s and spent his last years peacefully. His last public freshen was during the DOS election stir uphill opinion in 2000 in the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević.

In 2005, a statue of Čkalja was placed in stomach of his birth house in Kruševac. In 2006, a street in the Zvezdara neighborhood in Belgrade was named after him.

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