Born into a family of theatre actors, Gülriz Sururi started her acting career upon Muhsin Ertuğrul’s encouragement at the children’s theatre when she was twelve years old. She studied at the Theatre Department of the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory.
Engin Cezzar, whom we lost in 2017, starred in productions at Broadway and The New York Actors Studio following his graduation from the Yale School of Drama.
Gülriz Sururi and Engin Cezzar founded the Gülriz Sururi-Engin Cezzar Theatre in 1962. The Gülriz Sururi-Engin Cezzar Theatre included major plays from world theatre literature and left its mark on Turkish theatre history by staging local theatre for the first time with works including Teneke, Kurban and Midas’ın Kulakları. Gülriz Sururi and Engin Cezzar have created an unforgettable duo in Haldun Taner’s play Keşanlı Ali Destanı (The Legend of Ali of Keşan).
Gülriz Sururi has made numerous contributions to Turkish theatre and literature both as an author and director. In 2008 Sururi directed the musical Fosforlu Cevriye (Radiant Cevriye) she adapted to the stage from the novel with the same title by Suat Derviş. Staged at the Ankara State Theatre, the musical was a blockbuster and played to a full house for five years. The same year, Sururi received the Istanbul Theatre Festival’s Honorary Award.
Gülriz Sururi passed away on December 31, 2018. In accordance with her last will, her passing was announced after the artist had been laid to rest on January 1, 2019.