The writer and only wife of the famous writer Karel Čapek, Olga Scheinpflugová was outwardly a very gifted and successful actress, but her private life was marked by forbidden love. Karel Čapek’s family rejected their marriage for many years. When Olga and Karl became pregnant, other problems began.
He started acting at the age of 15
At home, Olga Scheinpflugová had to listen to her father, the writer Karel Scheinpflug, and, according to her wishes, attend shorthand, German and French lessons from a young age. However, she eventually convinced him to allow her to go to Prague for acting instead of furthering her studies at the gymnasium.
She began her acting career at the age of 15. At the same time, she was lucky, because at the beginning of her career, the then star Marie Hübnerová, who played in the choir of the National Theater, took her “under her wing”. During her career, she has taught numerous successful stage and film actresses.
The fate of Lída Baarová, who replaced Scheinpflugová at the National Theater after the intervention of the Nazis, was also filmed:
At the age of 18, Scheinpflug got an engagement at the Švanda Theater where she very early started getting bigger roles. And already two years later, she met Karel Čapek for the first time. According to her autobiography, she waited for her outside the theater and offered her a role in his play Robber. Olga agreed and during their collaboration they discovered that there was something more between them.
“I was violent and passionate in my impulses and reactions. Instead, he was prudent, refined by the education and conscientiousness of a thinker”, he would later write in his memoirs I was born.
The Čapeks never fully accepted Olga
However, the love relationship between the talented actress and the 12-year-old intellectual writer and playwright took a hit. At the Čapk family, they were not at all enthusiastic about their son’s new acquaintance. In particular, Čapko’s “mother”, Bozena Čapková, immediately rejected the willing Olga as a companion to her son, saying that the young actress simply “wasn’t enough” for the doctor’s prominent family.
Here, however, Olga had to demonstrate her incredible stubbornness and determination to stand up for the first time. Although the wedding never took place, the couple still kept in touch. Though the relationship was likely filled with disillusionment, disappointment and even breakups. You can’t be surprised by them. After an unexpected pregnancy, Čapko’s mother forced Olga to have an abortion, and Karel also had nothing to do with it.
They finally married in 1935, 15 years after they met and after the death of “the mother”. Even so, they kept the August wedding at Vinohrady Town Hall a secret even from their relatives. In 1938, worsening political circumstances forced Čapek to consider emigration, which ultimately did not happen, thanks to Olga.
At the end of the year, three and a half years after the coveted marriage, Karel Čapek died of pneumonia on Christmas Eve. Olga found other partners later in her life, but she never remarried. “I don’t know what kind of wife Čapek had, but she has a good widow,” she said with her wit about her.
During the Second World War, Olga Scheinpflug came under pressure from the new occupiers. Karel Čapek was a symbol of the “Castle” of the First Republic, and his liberal attitudes already created a large circle of enemies during his lifetime. During her protectorate, Olga had to get used to endless interrogations and searches by the Gestapo.
In his autobiography, he described that the “Gestapo” was convinced that he was hiding somewhere a letter that Edvard Beneš had written to Karl Čapek from exile. In 1940, Nazi persecution forced her out of the National Theater, where she was replaced by Lída Baarová. She was also limited in her writing activities. However, she again proved her stubbornness, she withdrew from public life and was able to cope with the difficult period.
Second partner and symbolic last role
After the war he was able to return to the ensemble of the National Theater, where he remained until his death and credited himself with a total of over 130 roles. JUDr. has become his new partner. František Krčma, to whom we probably owe the fact that Olga’s autobiography saw the light-after her death, tried to publish all her writings.
Scheipflug didn’t get her first significant film role until 1966 in the series Eliška a je je rod. However, she was already struggling with heart disease, which gradually made it more and more difficult for her to play. Her latest play was Matka, symbolically from the pen of her longtime love, Karel Čapek. During one of the Easter 1968 performances, she suffered a heart attack right on stage, after which she died two days later, on April 13, 1968, in the afternoon at the age of 65.