Film director Jerzy Gruza dies at 87

In 2017 Gruza received the Platinum Lions lifetime award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. Adam Warżawa/PAP

Film director Jerzy Gruza died on Sunday night in Warsaw aged 87, the Polish Filmmakers' Association told PAP. Gruza was a successful feature film and TV director, best known for the immensely popular TV series "Czterdziestolatek" (The 40 Year Old Man).

Gruza was born on April 4 1932 in Warsaw and graduated from the directing faculty at the State Higher Film, TV and Theatrical School in Łódź, central Poland. Subsequently he began working for the Polish TV network, where from 1955 to 1983 he directed musical revues and other entertainment programmes, as well as several installments of the popular "TV Theatre" series.

Between 1983 and 1991 he was director of the Music Theatre in the coastal city Gdynia.

Gruza is known for directing popular TV serials, including "Domestic War" and "Czterdziestolatek" as well as a number of well-received feature films like "The Ring and the Rose", "Czterdziestolatek - 20 lat pozniej" (The Forty Year Old Man - 20 Years Later), and "Woodpecker".

From the very outset of his film career Gruza verged towards comedy, and was well known for inserting between-the-lines comments on Polish reality in his scripts.

Gruza also authored articles and memoirs in which he portrayed Poland's artistic and social elites. Frequently awarded for his work, in 2017 Gruza received the Platinum Lions lifetime award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.