By Hilal Ustuk, Musa Alcan and Ahmet Esad Sani
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey's legendary stage and cinema actress Aysen Gruda died at the age of 75, her doctor announced on Wednesday.
Ergun Kasapoglu, the chief physician of Derindere Hospital in Istanbul, said Gruda had been receiving medical treatment for pancreas cancer for one-and-a-half-years, adding:
“We have lost Ms. Aysen at 13.45 (1045GMT). She was receiving intensive care for nearly 20 days for respiratory distress.”
Gruda was born in Istanbul in 1944 as the middle child of the Erman family. Her first acting performance was as a maid in a music hall in 1962.
She was married to Yilmaz Gruda between 1965 and 1976.
Gruda was known as “Miss Tomato” after her playing the character Miss Tomato Nahide Serbet on a sketch comedy television show.
Gruda took part in more than 50 movies, some of which are Bizim Aile (1975), Aile Serefi (1976), Tosun Pasa (1976), Copculer Krali (1977), Gulen Gozler (1977), Cicek Abbas (1982) and Hacivat Karagoz Neden Olduruldu? (2006).
She won the Sadri Alisik Awards on theater and cinema in 2006 and an Antalya-based Golden Orange Award in 2010 for Best Actress, and received the Istanbul Film Festival’s Honorary Award in 2012.
Gruda's burial and funeral services will be held at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery on Friday.
Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy conveyed his condolences, saying: “I am deeply sorry over the loss of Ms. Aysen Gruda, one of the most prominent artists of the [Turkish] cinema and stage community.”
Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) also offered their sympathy following the announcement of Gruda's passing.