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Joanna Kanska dreamed of a career in Poland. She achieved success in Great Britain


Joanna Kanska she was still a student of the Łódź Film School when she made her debut with a small role in the series “The Połaniecki Family”. She thought then that she had a great future ahead of her as an actress. Years later she confessed that she was very wrong.

“I didn’t belong to any clique in Poland, I didn’t have the right friends, I couldn’t pretend to be someone I wasn’t. No one took me seriously, so I could only dream about a stage or a movie. I stood aside and took what was left after the division between other actresses my age,” she recalled in an interview for “Echa Dnia”.

It was the summer of 1984 when Joanna Osmakiewicz (she still had her maiden name back then) went to London: “I went to England on holiday, I was curious about the world, I wanted to see another country. I had no intention of not coming back. But… I fell in love, got married and stayed,” she says.

Kaz Kanski – a Polish artist who became the actress’s husband – stated when they were already divorced that saved Joanna from being kicked out of Britain.

“She was at risk of deportation. She needed the money so badly that she was on the verge of taking a job in a seedy hostess bar in the West End. Looking back, sometimes I wonder “did she marry me for love or to make sure she could stay in England?” – he said in an interview

Joanna Kanska claims that she married Kaz because she really loved him. According to her version, the relationship fell apart simply because they were young and naive, and they decided to get married too quickly – after only a few months of knowing each other.

When in 1996 – after several years of separation – Joanna asked Kaz for a divorce, she was already a star. She has had major roles in popular, world-famous British series “A Very Peculiar Practice” and “Madson” and “Capital City”in which she played the role of Sirkka Nieminen. She was also… pregnant with her new partner.

After giving birth to her son, Joanna didn’t play much for some time because Christopher became, as she said, her absolute priority: “Work used to be the most important thing to me, but since I have Krzyś, I live primarily for him. He is my greatest success” – she confessed to “Echu Dnia” during one of her visits to Poland.

Joanna Kanska waited quite a long time for her first role in an English production. Hanni Boyne played in “The Old Bailey Advocate” in 1987. However, her career really took off in full swing only when she broke up with Kaz Kanski“: First I was a wife and I had to end this matter to return to acting,” she recalled.

“I decided that I would either start doing something or go back to Poland. My agent was waiting for someone to need an actress who could play a Polish woman. She could have waited for years… I begged her to send me to any casting for so long that she finally arranged “I had a small role. Everything went from there. And I fired the agent,” she said.

Joanna remembers well that when she starred alongside Rowan AtkinsonJeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson w “Dryblasie”, and immediately afterwards she played the role of Sirrka in “Capital City”the Polish media hailed it as “our star who is making a career in the West.”

“Suddenly everyone started admitting to me. Success has many fathers. It’s true – I’m a Polish actress, but why didn’t anyone here give me a chance? Maybe when I lived in Poland I wasn’t ready to play yet? “I don’t know,” she wondered years later.

Joanna Kanska does not hide the fact that she is sorry that no Polish director – since she left – he never invited her to cooperate.

“Nobody ever even called me. Everyone probably thinks that I’m very busy and so haughty that I’m not interested in working in Poland. One day I would definitely accept an offer from Poland.” – she said to “Echu Dnia”.

The actress (she is currently 66 years old) has been focusing on working in the theater for some time, but this does not mean that she has disappeared from the screens. Last year she starred in the mini series “Litvinenko”, recently she also appeared in the series “EastEnders”.

Little is known about her private life. Joanna Kanska declares that she is happy because she managed to raise her son to be a wonderful man. Apparently she feels fulfilled both as an actress and as a woman.

“I think that the greatest professional success is still ahead of me. It’s true that I stopped dreaming a long time ago, I have my feet firmly on the ground and I honestly say that I don’t count on much, but… no one knows what awaits them tomorrow,” she confessed in interview.


  1. Interview with J. Kanska, “Echo Dnia. Relax” No. 48/2000.
  2. Interview with Kaz Kanski: (thefreelibrary.com/Marriage+saved+Lovejoy%27s+girl+from+being+deported%3B+JOANNA%27S+EX+TELLS…-a061159292).
  3. Profiles of J. Kanska in the databases: filmpolski.pl, wikipedia.org (British edition) and filmweb.pl.
  4. Interview with J. Kanska, “Polish Express”, February 2010.
  5. AIM’s own materials.

See also:

Big stir on TVP. Employees are demanding raises. There was an answer

Andrzej Seweryn said what he thinks about stars’ pensions. “I’m ashamed”

Stanisława Celińska and Andrzej Seweryn: They loved each other in their youth, but they confessed it to each other only years later


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