„I grew up one of three sisters: me, Jiřina and Bohumíra. My father was a technical specialist at Škoda factories, and his job required him to travel extensively. He was seldom home, and thus our mom brought us up. During the Second World War, my father worked abroad, and when he returned, my parents separated. From there on, he lived his own life and we lived ours.
I studied acting in Bratislava and later played in the Slovak National Theater. One of my colleagues was Ladislav Chudik, legendary Slovak actor, whom I still admire. Those were the times that my life had no troubles but was full of enjoyment, fun and parties. Soon after, I settled down in Bratislava and got married. My husband was a real charmer from a good family, but sadly, our marriage did not last for long, and we soon split up.
One suddenly had to be careful with its own words. Me, my sister and my mother ended up in jail because we spoke up and somebody reported us to the state security.
If you wanted to get out of Czechoslovakia and beyond the communist-controlled countries, you had to have an invitation letter. I was lucky enough to have an auntie in Austria who wrote one for me. Though I was supposed to stay only for a few days, I never returned to Czechoslovakia. In Austria, I worked as a dancer in Maxim and sang chansons like Edith Piaf. I was incredibly successful, young and beautiful. Many men lost their head over me.
One day, a young and well-connected Italian visited our club and offered me a job in the USA. The contract as well as my journey across the Atlantic was soon prepared. Right after I set foot in America, I knew I wanted to live my life here.
America is full of opportunities. You either use them to your advantage or miss out on them. Yet, you need to be tough, tough on yourself as well as on the people around you, including Jiřina who joined me later on. Jiřina is also not a weakling, and she deserves all she has achieved. My younger sister Bohumíra was also a very successful businesswoman after the revolution.
America is full of opportunities. You either use them to your advantage or miss out on them.
I moved out of New York a few years ago and now live in a small town nearby. The nature is beautiful here, and it fills me with energy and vigor. I try to enjoy every moment and day of my life, even though it is in a different way than I was used to.
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