Marta Kubišová was born on November 1, 1942, in České Budějovice, during the height of WWII. She lived with her grandparents, mother, father, and brother. As a child, she fondly remembers picking cherries with her brother and running home from the local pub with cold beer for her grandfather. She enjoyed riding horses and started playing the piano at the age of ten. She wanted to become a physician. As the communists strengthened their grip over the country, the family moved to Poděbrady. Her father was a cardiologist. He closed his practice in 1953 because he did not want to comply with the regime, leading to his imprisonment for 3-6 months. Her mother was a housewife. Marta dreamed of studying at a university, but was told to find work in a factory because she would not be “approved” for higher education. While working in a glassworks factory, she tried three times in vain to get into a university. Upon the third rejection, her boss told her to hand in her resignation. With no job prospects or schooling, she did not know where to turn. Her mother saw that a theater in Pardubice was looking for a singer/actress and encouraged her to audition.
Marta Kubišová in Prague - March 3, 1967
Photo credit: CTK