Vija Artmane

1929 - 2008

Vija Artmane has been called the legend of Latvian theatre and cinema.She was born Alida Fritsevna Artmane, on July 21, 1929, in a village near Tukums, Latvia. Her father, Fritsis Artmane, was of Batic German ancestry, and he died four months before she was born. Her Polish mother, Anna Zaborska, survived by doing seasonal agricultural jobs. Young Artmane grew up playing in the fields, she was fond of wild flowers and learned to make flower arrangements and dolls. At the age of 10, young Artmane became a shepherd girl. She worked with a herd of cows for five years, and survived until the end of the Second World War. In 1946 she graduated from school and had a dream of becoming a lawyer in order to make the world a better place, but her passion for acting prevailed.In 1946 she moved to Riga, and changed her first name to Vija, beginning her studies at the Daile Theatre Second Studio. From 1946 - 1949 Vija Artmane studied acting under the tutelage of the legendary Latvian theatre directo

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