Velimir ‘Bata’ Živojinović was born on June 5, 1933 in Koracica, Serbia, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After graduating from acting schools in Niš and Novi Sad, he enrolled at the Drama Academy in Belgrade.
Velimir preferred acting in theatre to acting on screen, and made his screen debut in the 1955 film “Pesma sa Kumbare” which was the beginning of an incredibly prolific silver screen career. Bata Živojinović played both heroes and villains and switched between leading and supporting roles. The zenith of his popularity came with WWII-themed action films in the 1970s. One of his best known films from that period was “Valter brani Sarajevo” (Walter Defends Sarajevo), which gained major success in China. In 1965 Bata appeared in his only Euro-western “Flaming Frontier” as Jim Potter.
He was also known for his close friendship with the Croatian actor Boris Dvornik. In 1991 Živojinović and Dvornik renounced each other in a series of open letters, which was a gesture often seen as symbolic of the breakup of Yugoslavia. In 2004 it was reported that the two men tried to reconcile. In 2006, the two men publicly reconciled on TV via a video link between Split and Belgrade. The actor said that "In the last few years there hasn't been hatred between us", and Dvornik completed the sentence "only a misunderstanding".
In 1990 he was elected for the Serbian Parliament, as a member of Slobodan Milošević's Socialist Party of Serbia. He received the ‘Slavic’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. In recent years Bata has suffered from poor health: a heart attack in 2006, gangrene in 2009 and a stroke in 2012. Today we celebrate Velimir ‘Bata’ Živojinović 80th birthday.