Gazanfer Özcan

Mizah Yazarı, Tiyatro Yönetmeni, Oyuncu

27 Ocak, 1931
17 Şubat, 2009
Vefa Lisesi

Theatre actor and film actor (B. 27th January 1931, Istanbul – D. 17th February 2009, Istanbul) He graduated from Cihangir Firuzağa Primary School, and from Beyoğlu Secondary School. He completed his high school education in Vefa High School. Özcan started his career as an actor with his role as “Bican Efendi” in the play, “Hisse-i Şayia” at Vefa High School (1947).  The following year, he worked at Eminönü Halkevi (T.N. Community Center), and in 1949 he worked at the Department of Children, İstanbul Şehir Tiyatrosu (T.N. Istanbul City Theatre). After that, he worked with Orhan Erçin for a year, and then he returned to İstanbul Şehir Tiyatrosu. With his six friends, he established a company named Gazanfer Özcan ve Arkadaşları (T.N. Gazanfer Özcan and Friends) and they went onstage at Küçük Opera and then at Azak Theatre. He performed in Şişli for a long time and he spent the last years of his art life onstage in Mecidiyeköy. After he went on tours with Vahi Öz’s “Özses Operetta” and with “Halide Pişkin Company”, he worked at İstanbul Şehir Tiyatrosu as a regular employee.

 In 1955 the play Mahallenin Romanı” staged at Komedi Theatre was a milestone for his theatre career. He took to the stage as a substitution for Reşit Gürzap for he fell sick. That day he did very well on the stage and became a permanent staff. He received commendations of Prof. Fahrettin Kerim Gökay, the governor and mayor of Istanbul for his role as “Berber Salim” in that play. Jean Giraudoux’s Deli Saraylı (1950), Cevat Fehmi Başkut’s Kadıköy İskelesi (1953), Harput’ta Bir Amerikalı (1955) and “Paydos” (1961), Refik Erduran’s Deli (1957), Necati Cumalı’s “Mine” (1959), Haldun Taner’s “Fazilet Eczanesi” (1960) are some of his successful acts at Şehir Tiyatrosu.

He founded the Gönül Ülkü - Gazanfer Özcan Theater with his second wife Gönül Ülkü and some of his friends who left Şehir Tiyatrosu (1962). In the meantime, he started his film career with “Çeto Salak Milyoner.” However, in a very short time he was well-liked by the public and he earned himself an audience at his theater. At Gönül Ülkü - Gazanfer Özcan Theater, in plays, Refik Kordağ’s Muhteşem Serseri (1964), Sadık Şendil’s Kocamın Nişanlısı (1964), Refik Erduran’s Bir Kilo Namus” (1968), Claude Magnier’s Milyonluk Valiz” (1969), Michael Pertwee’s Karım Gene Doğurdu (1973), Melih Vassaf’s “Kızlara Göz Kulak Ol” (1975), Franz Arnold’s Yalancının Mumu” (1977) and Arnold-Bach’s Kimse Durduramaz” (1981) he successfully performed his role as a slaphappy, tender-minded husband.

Özcan, who embarked his cinema career with “Çeto Salak Milyoner” in 1953, paused it after several films. However, in the 1970s, he continued to pursue his career in cinema and appeared in thirty movies. He adopted the role he acted in his plays to the television with the “Kuruntu Ailesi” series, also directed by him (1987-88). He demonstrated a great success with “Komiser Şekspir” in 2000. He appeared in a lot of TV series. He gained fame with his performance as “Hüsnü Kuruntu” in “Kuruntu Ailesi” and in various products he performed the role of the family guy. In “Avrupa Yakası”, a TV series, he performed the role of father “Tahsin Sütçüoğlu” and attracted millions of viewers with his role. In this TV series, between 2004 and 2009, he took the leading role for five seasons. He played his role as the father successfully in other products as well. His most important feature as an actor was the variety of his facial expressions. His performances in “Komser Şekspir” and in “Avrupa Yakası” were regarded as commendable and it was also reviewed that his acting in “Avrupa Yakası” was a “rise from the ashes”.  

In the 1970s, Özcan provided his voice for many movies, TV series and commercial films, for Fred Flintstone of The Flintstones in particular. In 2002, he celebrated his fiftieth year jubilee with his wife Gönül Ülkü. He won the Avni Dilligil Theater Award in 1978 and İsmail Dümbüllü Award in 1981. In Kadıköy Municipality’s Kozyatağı Cultural Centre, a theatre named after him was put into service on April 23rd, 2010. He was honored as a State Artist by the Ministry of Culture in 1998.

Gazanfer Özcan died on February 17th, 2009 at the Istanbul American Hospital where he was staying due to vessel blockage and chronic lung diseases.  A ceremony was held for him with broad participation on February 19th at Kadıköy Haldun Taner Theater and he was buried in the Karacaahmet Cemetery. Özcan also wrote a booklet, “Fıkralar”, which was published in 1987.

REFERENCE: Mustafa N. Özön - Baha Dürder / Türk Tiyatrosu Ansiklopedisi (1967), Niyazi Akı / Çağdaş Türk Tiyatrosuna Toplu Bakış / 1923-1967 (1968) - Türk Tiyatro Edebiyatı Tarihi I (1989), Metin And / Meşrutiyet Dönemi Türk Tiyatrosu 1908-1928 (1971), Metin And / Cumhuriyet Dönemi Türk Tiyatrosu (1983), Büyük Larousse Ansiklopedisi (c. 15, 1986), Ana Britanica Ansiklopedisi (c. 17, 2005), Tiyatro Günlük Haber-Yorum Portalı  / Gazanfe Özcan’ı Yitirdik (17 Şubat 2009), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Sanatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, c. 5, 2013).



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