Eszter Csákányi (1953) is one of the most significant actresses, a pivotal figure of the Hungarian theatre landscape. In 1973 she joined the Kaposvári Csiky Gergely Theatre, the highly acclaimed and progressive theatre in the country at the time and was a company member until 1992. Then she joined the prestigious Katona József Theatre in Budapest for ten seasons. In 2002 she became a member of the Krétakör (Chalk Circle) Company, where she stayed until the ensemble was dissolved. For almost a decade she was a freelance actor who loosely belonged to the Pintér Béla Company. Then in 2017 she joined the Örkény Theatre.
Her legendary roles from the past repertoire include:
Kaposvári Csiky Gergely Theatre: Mrs. Mi Tzu – The Good Person of Szechwan by B. Brecht, Maria Antonovna – The Inspector General by N. Gogol, Caroline – Casimire and Caroline by Ödön von Horváth, Mari – Liliom by Ferenc Molnár, Second Gravedigger – Hamlet by W. Shakespeare, Stella DuBois – The Streetcar Named Desire by T. Williams, Sophie Western – Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, Yvonne – Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy by W. Gombrowicz.
Katona József Theatre: Anna Andreyevna – The Inspector General, by N. Gogol, Lizzie Berrill – The End of the Beginning by Sean O'Casey, Else Woltersheim – The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll – Géza Bereményi, Lucietta – The New House by Carlo Goldoni, Emma – Everywoman by Péter Kárpáti, Puck – A Midsummernight’s Dream by W. Shakespeare, The Miser by Molière, The Presidents by Werner Schwab, Marthe Rull – The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist, Poncia – The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca, and Mrs. Peachum – The Beggar’s Opera by B. Brecht.
Chalk Circle: Aase – Peer Gynt by H. Ibsen, Erna – Casimir and Caroline, Arsinoé –
The Misanthrope by Molière, Arkagina – The Seagull by A. P. Chekov, Mom – The Cold Child –
Marius von Mayenburg, Mrs. Muskát – Liliom by Ferenc Molnár.
Pintér Béla Company: Dr. Elvira Szádeczky– Our Secrets, Imola – 42nd Week.
Other roles: Grandma - Billy Elliot by Lee Hall - Elton John, Phaedra – Phaedra Fitness by István Tasnádi. She has created several monodramas, both prose and song recitals with music and narration. She has also acted in several Hungarian films, like Swing (2014), Afterlife (2014)
Portugal (2000). Her present roles on the repertoire of the Örkény Theatre include: Faith, Hope and Charity by Ödön von Horváth.
Her awards include: Jászai Mari Award, 1982; Best Actress, Annual Theatre Festival, 1991; Best Actress of the Season for Emma in Everywoman, 1993; Déryné Award, 1994; Artist of Merit, 1996; Best Actress, Gundel Art Award, 2004; Best Supporting Actress, Film Critics’ Award, 2006;
Páger Antal Prize, 2006; Kossuth Prize, 2006; Best Actress (Phaedra, The 7 Women), Critics’ Award, 2011; Best Actress (42nd Week), Critics’ Award, 2013.