Kemal Sunal

Ali Kemal Sunal (10 November 1944 – 3 July 2000) was a Turkish actor. With Hababam Sınıfı, Kapıcılar Kralı and Davaro, Sunal gained large popularity amongst Turkish cinema goers and was famed for his character "Şaban", a role he frequently played.

Kemal Sunal
Kemal Sunal.jpg
Born
Ali Kemal Sunal

(1944-11-10)10 November 1944
Died3 July 2000(2000-07-03) (aged 55)
Flight between Istanbul and Trabzon
Resting placeZincirlikuyu Cemetery, Şişli, Istanbul
EducationMarmara University
OccupationActor
Years active1964–2000
Spouse(s)
Gül Sunal
(m. 1975)
ChildrenAli Sunal
Ezo Sunal
Signature
Kemal Sunal imzası.png

CareerEdit

Kemal Sunal graduated from Vefa Lisesi (Vefa High School). In his early ages, he started pursuing what was to become a long and successful acting career in minor roles in various theatres. For a brief period, he worked in the Kenterler Theatre and debuted in the play Zoraki Tabip. He was later transferred to the Devekuşu Kabare Theatre, where he performed his acting.

He was recognized as a real talent, and started receiving offers for movies with larger budgets and a more famous cast. His first bigger role was in the film "Tatlı Dillim" directed by Ertem Eğilmez. In a matter of years, Sunal co-starred alongside Halit Akçatepe, Şener Şen and Münir Özkul.

Perhaps the most famous of all his parts was when he played in Hababam Sınıfı (The Outrageous Class) and was known by the name of "Şaban", but most of his classmates just called him İnek (cow) Şaban. İnek Şaban was constantly bullied and humiliated by his friends, but this never kept him from thinking the unthinkable, like digging a tunnel to escape school grounds (which later, turned out to lead to the vice-principal’s office) or smoking in the school attic. The character was so pure and so fixed in the memories of the Turkish people, it was never replaced by another actor in the recent re-shootings of Hababam Sınıfı, most probably as a sign of respect to Sunal.

His other notable characters include: Tosun Pasha; Süt Kardeş Şaban; Çöpçüler Kralı, who fell in love with a municipality officer’s fiancée; Doktor Civanım, a former hospital janitor pretending to be a doctor upon his return to his home village; and finally "Orta Direk Şaban", a naive man trying to become an athlete to impress his crush.

The huge popularity of his movies stemmed not only from their unique humour but also their depiction of the many problems faced by the poor rural people in Turkey during the 1970s and 1980s. In almost all of his films, Kemal Sunal plays a poor man, trying to make a living.

Sunal’s last film was Propaganda, which was directed by Sinan Çetin. Sunal, played a customs officer-in-charge (presumably) on the Syrian border. Being a serious drama, this film was a contrast to his other works. As the plot unfolded, Sunal’s character fell into despair, trying to survive the dilemma between his duties as an officer of the law and his duties as a friend. In the public opinion, this film was not the best of his works. Another significant fact about this film is that it also included Ali Sunal, Kemal Sunal’s son, cast as a junior customs officer.

Personal lifeEdit

Sunal kept himself and his family away from the media and rarely appeared in public. People who knew him have commented on how serious he was in his real life, in contrast to the funny characters he played in his movies. Whilst he was at the top of his career, he decided to finish university, which he had dropped out of in his early career. Despite his fame, he attended the university like a regular student and stated that "that was the way he liked it to be".

Sunal's dreams of higher-education were disrupted in 1980, during the period of military takeover. His attempts to earn a degree finally paid off in 1995, when he earned his bachelor’s degree in Radio Television and Cinema Studies from Marmara University. He then decided to pursue a master’s degree (the topic of this thesis being himself), which he earned in 1998, also from Marmara University. This incident was covered by the media with headlines like "İnek Şaban Master Yaptı" (Şaban the Geek got a master's degree) while his 'classmates' from Hababam Sinifi made comments like "Profesorluk Bekliyoruz" ("We expect full professorship"). At his graduation ceremony, he made a speech joking that his path of first working and then attending university later in life was better as it allowed him to gain real life experience first.

DeathEdit

Kemal Sunal died on July 3, 2000, as a result of a sudden heart attack aboard a flight to Trabzon just before take-off. He was reported to be afraid of flying. His death caused mourning that swept the entire nation and dominated news coverage for many days. He was interred at the Zincirlikuyu Cemetery in Istanbul.

Kemal Sunal and his wife Gül Sunal (born 1957) had two children, Ali Sunal (born 1977) and Ezo Sunal (born 1984).

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Film Role Notes
1972 Tatlı Dillim Basketballer Debut role
1973 Canım Kardeşim Yolcu
1973 Yalancı Yarim Kemal
1973 Oh Olsun Fazıl
1973 Güllü Geliyor Güllü Hit man
1974 Hasret Yanık
1974 Salak Milyoner Saffet
1974 Köyden İndim Şehire Saffet
1974 Salako Salako First leading role
1974 Mavi Boncuk Kaymakam Cafer
1975 Şaşkın Damat Apti
1975 Hababam Sınıfı İnek (Cow) Şaban
1975 Hanzo Hanzo / Cabbar
1975 Hababam Sınıfı Sınıfta Kaldı İnek (Cow) Şaban
1976 Tosun Paşa Şaban / Tosun Pasha
1976 Süt Kardeşler Şaban
1976 Sahte Kabadayı Kemal
1976 Meraklı Köfteci Zühtü Karışan
1976 Kapıcılar Kralı Seyid
1976 Hababam Sınıfı Uyanıyor İnek (Cow) Şaban
1977 Hababam Sınıfı Tatilde İnek (Cow) Şaban
1977 Sakar Şakir Şakir
1977 Şabanoğlu Şaban Şaban
1977 İbo İle Güllüşah İbrahim
1977 Çöpçüler Kralı Abdi Şakrak
1978 Avanak Apti Apti
1978 Kibar Feyzo Feyzo
1978 Köşeyi Dönen Adam Adem
1978 Yüz Numaralı Adam Şaban
1978 İyi Aile Çocuğu Kemal / Cemal Dual role
1978 İnek Şaban Şaban / Bülent
1979 Umudumuz Şaban Ringo Şaban
1979 Şark Bülbülü Şaban Ballıses
1979 Korkusuz Korkak Mülayim Sert
1979 Dokunmayın Şabanıma Şaban
1979 Bekçiler Kralı Şaban Özgüneş
1980 Zübük İbrahim Zübükzade
1980 Devlet Kuşu Mustafa
1980 Gerzek Şaban Osman / Seyfi Dual role
1981 Gol Kralı Sait Sarıoğlu
1981 Üç Kağıtçı Rıfkı
1981 Kanlı Nigar Abdi
1981 Davaro Memo Davaro
1982 Yedi Bela Hüsnü Hüsnü
1982 Doktor Civanım Kemal
1983 Yedi Bela Hüsnü Hüsnü
1983 Tokatçı Osman
1983 Kılıbık Kamil
1983 En Büyük Şaban Şaban
1983 Çarıklı Milyoner Bayram
1984 Postacı Yandan Çarklı Adem
1984 Şabaniye Şaban / Şabaniye
1984 Ortadirek Şaban Şaban
1984 Atla Gel Şaban Niyazi
1985 Sosyete Şaban Şaban Ağa / Dilaver Bey Dual role
1985 Şendul Şaban Şaban
1985 Şaban Papuçu Yarım
1985 Keriz Zülfü
1985 Katma Değer Şaban Şaban
1985 Gurbetçi Şaban
1986 Yoksul Yoksul
1986 Garip Kemal
1986 Tarzan Rıfkı Tarzan Rıfkı
1986 Deli Deli Küpeli Kaymakam
1986 Davacı Yunus
1987 Yakışıklı Selim
1987 Kiracı Kerim
1987 Japon İşi Veysel
1988 Düttürü Dünya Dütdüt Mehmet
1988 Uyanık Gazeteci Ali
1988 Sevimli Hırsız Metin Mertoglu
1988 Polizei Ali Ekber
1988 Öğretmen Teacher Hüsnü
1988 İnatçı Bayram
1988 Bıçkın Ali / Himself Dual role
1989 Zehir Hafiye Cemal
1989 Talih Kuşu Osman Abalı
1989 Gülen Adam Yusuf Şaplak
1990 Abuk Sabuk Bir Film Âdemoğlu
1990 Koltuk Belası Zühtü Kaya
1990 Boynu Bükük Küheylan İbrahim Küheylan
1991 Varyemez Ragıp Elibol
1999 Propaganda Mehdi final leading role

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1992 Saygılar Bizden Mübasir Riza
1993 Şaban Askerde Şaban 2 episodes
1994 Bay Kamber Bay Kamber[1] 11 episodes
1997 Şaban İle Şirin Şaban 3 episodes

AwardsEdit

  • 1977: 14. Antalya Film Şenliği (14th Antalya Film Festival), Best Actor, Kapıcılar Kralı
  • 1998: 35. Antalya Film Şenliği (35th Antalya Film Festival), Lifetime honorary award, Kapıcılar Kralı
  • 1989: 2. Ankara Film Şenliği (2nd Ankara Film Festival), Best Actor, Düttürü Dünya

BooksEdit

Year Title Publisher ISBN
1998 TV ve Sinemada Kemal Sunal Güldürüsü Sel Yayınları ISBN 9755702628
2001 Kemal Sunal Güldürüsü Om Yayınevi ISBN 9756827793

ReferencesEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Gül Sunal, Kemal Hadi Gel, Bi Kahve İçelim, Doğan Kitap, ISBN 9786050923216
  • Feriha Karasu Gürses, Kemal Sunal Film Başka Yaşam Başka, Sel Yayınları, Istanbul 2002, ISBN 9755701524
  • Nuran Turan, Kemal Sunal Çocukken, Önel Yayınevi, ISBN 9757248924
  • Vadullah Taş, Kemal Sunal Filmlerini Anlatıyor, Esen Kitap ISBN 9786056224508

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Cüneyt Arkın
Golden Orange Award
for Best Actor

1977
for Kapıcılar Kralı
Succeeded by
Tarık Akan