05 April 2021
Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Istanbul, Turkey-based guest artist Sedat Girgin, celebrates the 96th birthday of prolific Turkish comedian and actor Sadri Alışık.
Born in Istanbul on this day 1925, Mehmet Sadrettin “Sadri” Alışık fell in love with the performing arts at 7 years old after attending a local play. To hide his dramatic ambitions from his father, who disapproved of acting as a career, Alışık enrolled in a university painting program post-high school to disguise the time he spent acting in various Istanbul theatres.
Alışık’s clandestine devotion soon paid off, debuting on the silver screen in the 1944 film “Günahsizlar” (“The Innocent Ones”). His film success led to decades of serious performances in historical and crime dramas before he showcased his dynamic acting skills in comedy. In 1963, he brought Tourist Ömer to life. A comedic and relatable portrayal of an everyday Turkish gentleman, Tourist Ömer was a smash hit that starred in eight movies, an iconic run that came to a sci-fi end in 1974 with “Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek.”
Outside of his more than 200 film and television appearances, Alışık loved to paint, sing Turkish classical music, and write poetry. He bid farewell to entertainment with his role in “Yengeç Sepeti” (“Crab Basket”), his 1994 cinematic swan song for which the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival awarded him Best Actor. Today, his legacy lives on in acting studios founded in Istanbul and Ankara, both named in his honor.
Happy birthday, Sadri Alışık! Thank you for setting the stage for the future of Turkish performing arts.