Prince Bajaja In Person at Art Film Fest

He first achieved fame with the role of Adam One-Handed in the critically-acclaimed gem of Czechoslovak cinema, František Vláčil’s Markéta Lazarová (1967), which featured the debut of a very young Magda Vášáryová as well. Both excelled in their roles alongside František Velecký. This trio of actors met again in the Czech fairy tale Prince Bajaja (1971) from director Antonín Kachlík.

Very few manage to appear in three competing films at Cannes in a single year. In 1969, audiences could see Palúch in the aforementioned Markéta Lazarová, as well as Volker Schlöndorff’s Michael Kohlhaas – Der Rebell and Aleksander Petrovič’s It Rains In My Village.

Due to vision problems, Ivan Palúch had to abandon his studies of acting after his second year. From the beginning of the 1960s, he was a member of theatre companies in, consecutively, Spišská Nová Ves, Žilina, Prešov and Nitra. At Prague’s Divadle na zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade) he played the son of national artist Eduard Kohout in Lady With Camelias. Among his acting colleagues were Anita Pallenberg, Anton Diffring, Anna Karina, Miloš Kopecký, Pavel Landovský, and even French film legend Annie Girardot.

Since 1986 he has been a member of Jozef Gregor Tajovský Theatre in Zvolen, his hometown. From 1974 to 1986, Palúch was banned from performing in films or theatre. Directors could only cast him in episodic roles or as an extra. He gained popularity for his portrayal of the character Adam Šangala in the television serial of the same name (1972) by director Karol Spišák.

He founded the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at Banská Bystrica’s Academy of Arts, where he managed to bring professors from Prague’s FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts) such as directors Dušan Klein and Jiří Svoboda. He currently teaches acting at the Dezider Kardoš Private Conservatory in Topoľčany.