Danilo Bata Stojković


(1934 – 2002)


He was born in Belgrade on 11th August 1934. He graduated from the Academy for Theatrical Art in Belgrade, in the class of Professor Tomislav Tanhofer.

Having finished his studies, he got his first job at the Jugoslovensko Dramsko Pozoriste (Yugoslav Drama Theatre) (1959), and then continued with his career at the Atelje 212 Theatre (Atelier 212 Theatre) (1962). Bata spent his last working years at the Zvezdara Theatre performing from 1987 until 2002, and played seven roles in an astonishing number of performances – 1.102.

On 13th February 2002, he gave his last performance on the stage that is today named after him. The last play he performed in was Profesionalac (The Professional), written by Dusan Kovacevic, where he played the role of Luka Laban for the 416th time.

In 2011, the big stage in the Zvezdara Theatre was named Danilo ‘Bata’ Stojkovic Stage.

During his career, Danilo ‘Bata’ Stojkovic had performed in more than 80 plays, 68 films, more than 50 TV films and 20 TV series, many of which became part of the Serbian theatre and film anthology and history.


Bata Stojković fully possesses both gifts that can make someone a great actor: an ability to convey a tragedy and a capability to transform it into a comedy. He can make a connection between these two opposing sentiments, and lead his audience from tears to laughter in a manner that only the greatest and most powerful actors can do.


Bata Stojkovic cannot stand bad actors, and with great ones he is ruthless. Being his friend is not easy, and working with him is fierce. Bata Stojkovic will inevitably keep company with the greatest actors in history.


Bata is an amazing actor. As soon as he appears on stage, any and every member of the audience is momentarily captivated and instantly likes and is attached to the wretch Bata is playing.


This Luka Laban is one of the greatest roles we have seen on our stage recently, and it will remain so in the finickiest anthology of our (as Laza Kostic used to say) theatricals.


Bata Stojkovic is an actor and only an actor, apart from that he does not exist. We would stay up talking many nights after his shows, and I would always have the impression, whatever we were discussing in those late-night talks of ours, that I was talking to a person who had just temporarily stepped off the stage, where he forever dwelled and where, in fact, he lasted, lived, breathed and thought. I would have this feeling that his stepping off stage and coming to join us was actually just a deception, an illusion in the Plato’s sense of the word, as if he were a shadow of a living and breathing idea of an actor.


Bata Stojkovic was and will always remain a great friend of mine. Our friendship – daily meetings and conversations – has produced several “artistic endeavours” which have survived years, decades and the 20th century. The joy we feel while doing the job is what is necessary for a play or film to transfer that same feeling to the audience. As an impresario of a great, enchanting cycle called life, Bata played the roles which remained “an identity card” of a time and nation searching for its own identity… He was and will continue to be one of the greatest Serbian actors.


Successful teams of playwrights and directors exist both here and elsewhere in the world. However, it would prove very difficult to find an instance of such a conjoined sensibility, in which the playwright has found his actor, and the actor his playwright, as it has been the case of Bata Stojkovic and Dušan Kovacevic. Without wishing to underestimate his other performances, I believe that the numerous characters he has played in Kovacevic’s works are the best of what Bata’s performance and creativity have to offer. In those characters, we can easily uncover what it is that makes Stojkovic such a great actor: those constant variations in invariability.

Theatre (selection)

  • Play Strindberg by

    (as Edgar)

    Friedrich Dürrenmatt

  • The Purple Island

    (as Sava Lukic)

    Mikhail Bulgakov

  • Emigrants

    (as XX)

    Slavomir Mrozek

  • Bereaved Family

    (as Аgaton)

    Branislav Nusic

  • Cincari ili Korespodencija

    (as Simeon Njegovan Lupus)

    Borislav Pekic

  • Audience-Unveiling

    (as Vanek)

    Vaclav Havel

  • Balkan Spy

    (as Ilija Cvorovic)

    Dušan Kovacevic

  • Claustrophobic Comedy

    (Sava the chimneysweep)

    Dusan Kovacevic

  • The Professional

    (as Luka Laban)

    Dusan Kovacevic

  • Roaring Tragedy

    (as Vasilije)

    Dusan Kovacevic

  • General Milan Nedic

    (as the Army General Milan Nedic)

    Sinisa Kovacevic

  • Larry Thompson, the Tragedy of a Youth

    (as Dragan Nos, Bojan Nos, Oliver Nos)

    Dusan Kovacevic

Film (selection):

  • The Man from an Oak Forest

    Mica Popovic, 1964

  • The Walled in

    Vojislav Kokan Rakonjac, 1969

  • The Master and Margarita

    Aleksandar Petrovic, 1972

  • Beach Guard in Winter

    Goran Paskaljevic, 1977

  • The Dog Who Loved Trains

    Goran Paskaljevic, 1977

  • Special Treatment

    Goran Paskaljevic, 1980

  • Who’s Singing Over There?

    Slobodan Sijan, 1980

  • The Marathon Family

    Slobodan Sijan, 1982

  • How I Got Systematically Destroyed by an Idiot

    Slobodan Sijan, 1983

  • Unseen Wonder

    Zivko Nikolic, 1984

  • The Elusive Summer of ‘68

    Goran Paskaljevic, 1984

  • Balkan Spy

    Bozidar Nikolic and Dusan Kovacevic, 1984

  • The Collective Centre

    Goran Markovic, 1989

  • Underground

    Еmir Kusturica, 1995

Awards (selection):

  • Golden Laurel Wreath

    (MESS Sarajevo, 1971, for Krivice; 1982, for Audijencija-Vernisaz)

  • October Award Given by the City of Belgrade

    (1972, for Play Strindberg)

  • Statuette “Curan”

    (Dani Komedije, Jagodina, 1981, for Ozaloscena Porodica; 1983, for Balkanski Spijun; 1988, for Кlaustrofobicna Komedija; 1990, for Profesionalac)

  • Sterija’s Award

    (Sterijino Pozorje, Novi Sad, 1983, for Balkanski Spijun; 1990, for Profesionalac)

  • The First Award for the Best Male Performance in a Leading Role

    (Festival in Quebec, Canada, 1984, for Audijencija-Vernisaz)

  • Dobrica’s Ring

    (Lifetime Achievement Award, UDUS, MPUS, Zlatara Majdanpek,1990)

  • Silver Arena

    (Yugoslav Film Festival, Pula, 1969, for Zazidani)

  • Golden Arena

    (Yugoslav Film Festival, Pula, 1984, for Balkanski Spijun)

  • “Car Konstantin” Award

    (Filmski Susreti, Nis, 1984, for Balkanski Spijun)

  • “Pavle Vuisic” Award

    (Lifetime Achievement Award, Filmski susreti, Nis, 1989)