Monday, June 1, 2009
RIP Waldemar Matuška
Czech pop singer and actor Waldemar Matuška died after a long illness at the age of 76 in Miami, Florida on May 30, 2009. The singer died of pneumonia and heart failure after suffering from asthma for a long time, his son Waldemar said. Matuška was one of the most popular Czech singers from the 1960s to the 1980s. He won the Golden Nightingale for the best Czechoslovakian singer twice in the 1960s. He also played in a number of films and film musicals, including All "My Good Countrymen" (1968), "Lemonade Joe" (1964) and "If a Thousand Clarinets" (1964). He left the country and asked for asylum in the United States in 1986. The Czech public learned about his emigration from an article in the Communist party's daily Rude pravo, entitled "The moral fall of a singer." After the fall of the Czechoslovakian communist regime in 1989, Matuška frequently visited his homeland. In 2007, Matuška sang in Prague for the last time when he celebrated his 75th birthday there. A farewell ceremony will be held in Prague at a date to be determined.