Stage and film actor (B. 1903, Istanbul –D. February 13th, 1943, Istanbul). Neyyire Neyir, whose real name was Neyyire Eyüp Ertuğrul, was among the first actresses of Turkish cinema. She was the wife of Muhsin Ertuğrul, one of the pioneers of Turkish cinema and theatre. She was one of the two Muslim Turkish actresses in cinema. She graduated from Horhor Numune School and then Darülmuallimat (teacher’s training school for girls) in 1921. She continued her education at Amerikan Kız Koleji (T.N. American College for girls), and there, she performed in the plays.
Neyyire Neyir began acting in cinema with the movie “Ateşten Gömlek” which was adapted from Halide Edip’s novel with the same name and directed by Muhsin Ertuğrul, in 1923. She was the only person who applied to the newspaper advertisement that sought an actress to play the character, Kezban. Thanks to her acting in this film, she became one of the first actresses in Turkish cinema along with Bedia Muvahhit (Bedia Muvahhit portrayed the role Ayşe in the same film). He used the name Neyyire Neyir in the movie poster.
In 1923, she entered Darülbedayi (Istanbul Municipal Theatre), and using the name Neyyire Neyir again, she professionally began the stage acting career with the play “Othello.” After the Turkish War of Independence was won, she went to Izmir with the company named Millî Sahne, established by the actor Şadi Fikret. She returned to Istanbul in 1924, and got on the stage of Ferah Theatre with the company named “Muhsin Ertuğrul ve Arkadaşları”. She was among the creators of “Ferah Season” which was on of the most productive periods of Turkish theatre. Neyyire Neyir, who mostly focused her attention on theatre, got married to Muhsin Ertuğrul, a famous man of cinema and theatre. This marriage was seen as an important incident by the artists of the time. After the Russia trip with her husband, she entered Darülbedayi again in 1928, and performed in more than one hundred plays. Until the end of her life, she worked at Darüldebayi.
Neyyire Neyir, who was a hardworking and character-wise actress, always showed a developing acting ability through her stage acting career which lasted for twenty years. She made researches related to theatre in Russia and France. She knew Russian, English, and French languages. She could play the piano, and she had the ability to paint. She also had a beautiful voice. She showed success in every type of theatre and many roles. She died on the 13th of February, 1943, and was buried in the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery, in Istanbul.
Neyyire Neyir was a successful actress who prepared for her roles meticulously and performed unforgettable roles on the stage of Darüldebayi. Some of the plays in which she performed are: “Hortlaklar” (1927) and “Peer Gynt” (1935) by Ibsen, “Venedik Taciri” (1930) and “Macbeth” (1936) by Shakespeare, “Bir Ölü Evi” (1932) by Nâzım Hikmet, “Cürüm ve Ceza” (Suç ve Ceza, 1934) by Dostoyevski, “Ayaktakımı Arasında” (1936) by Gorki, “Anna Karenina” (1939) by Tolstoy, “Bulunmaz Uşak” (1940) by J. M. Barrie, “Müthiş Aile” (1941) by Jean Cocteau, and “Nuh” (1942) by Andre Obey.
“Kız Kulesinde Bir Facia” (1923) and “Ankara Postası” (1929), which were directed by Muhsin Ertuğrul, are the films in which she had a role.