Bata Zivojinovic, famed film star in old Yugoslavia, dies at 82

Reuters News
|
Posted: May 23, 2016 9:06 AM

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Velimir "Bata" Zivojinovic, one of old Yugoslavia's best known and prolific film stars who often played partisans fighting Nazi occupation in World War Two, died on Monday at 82 of multiple illnesses, Tanjug news agency reported.

Zivojinovic also starred alongside Orson Welles, Yul Brynner, Franco Nero and other famous foreign peers in Battle of Neretva, the most expensive Yugoslav movie ever, nominated for the 1970 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

His role as Vladimir Peric Valter, a World War Two communist guerrilla, in Walter Defends Sarajevo made him a star in China.

Zivojinovic took on more than 300 film and television roles in Yugoslavia, often as World War Two partisans, and reached the peak of his popularity in the 1980s.

Zivojinovic died late on Sunday in a Belgrade hospital from several chronic ailments and after having a leg amputated, according to Tanjug.

During the 1990s wars caused by the break-up of the Yugoslav federation, Zivojinovic backed the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia and then-President Slobodan Milosevic, and served as a parliamentary deputy. In 2002, after Milosevic's fall, he ran for Serbian president but garnered only 3.3 percent of the vote.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Mark Heinrich)