Yle said on Friday that beloved actress Ritva Valkama has died exhausted by a long-term illness. Ritva Valkama (13.11.1932–8.5.2020) was one of Finland's most beloved comedians and had a career in theater that lasted almost 60 years.

He didn’t want to retire until 2013, when he was 80 years old. Ritva Valkama played her last role at the Helsinki City Theater in 2013 as a yarn merchant Salme Malmikunnas in the play The Human Part. At that time, he gave Ilta-Sanomat the last interview left.

You can read Valkama below the interview. The story was originally published on March 5, 2013.

"Now it already makes sense to stay home"

Ritva Valkama, 80, is immortalized on a stamp. Your comedian, loved by the whole nation, smiles with five other actors in the badge series published yesterday, which is printed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Actors' Association.

The badges were unveiled at the Stage Club of the National Theater and all the Actors under Valkama, who were immortalized in the badges, had arrived. Valkama is happy to be glorified.

- The character is really great, but why is an empty hall photographed in the background, he laughs.

Valkama has not had to look at empty halls during his long career. He is currently playing Kari Hotakainen's text at the Helsinki City Theater, in the acclaimed play The Human Part.

- I used to ask Kari for a monologue, but I never got it, I got a novel, Valkama sheds light on her current work.

Ritva Valkama bid farewell to the stages on April 13, 2013 at the Helsinki City Theater.

Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto

The human part is a collection of stories that are heard with the voice of the main character, Salme Malmikunnas.

- I have enjoyed the role of the Straits, because for once I get to present their own people my age.

The Part of Man rotating in the Helsinki City Theater will remain Valkama's last work in the theater. He leaves the scenes longing, but also in good spirits.

- a resolution is not particularly heavy, but I'm just at the end of its wearing out, Valkama says.

- At this age, it's good to even remember replicas. Anyway, this would just be a pantomime, he laughs.

Ritva Valkama was abundantly flowered after her last performance.

Photo: Terhi Ylimäinen

Valkama has been asked about future plans for a long time.

- I stayed 18 years ago to retire and I'm still worked even after the soul in distress.

In spirit, he means the actor’s desire to rise to the brilliance of the limelight.

- Now I have a feeling that makes me feel like staying home, he sighs.

There are still five performances of the human part left, each sold out. Valkama does not promise additional performances. There are so many freelance actors in the play that it is difficult to arrange common schedules.

- Still, it's hard to say that there are five performances left. I’d rather say I’ll continue for a little while longer, he describes the pain of giving up.

Ritva Valkama's career is second to none.

Photo: Terhi Ylimäinen

Giving up is guaranteed to be difficult, so Valkama has had such a long career in Finnish theater and television. He graduated from theater school in the fifties. He became a favorite of the whole nation with the Better Late TV series in the late 1980s. Valkama and his pair of rods, Pentti Siimes, won the Telvis statues of the most popular television performer for three years in a row. The cooperation with Siimes went even so smoothly that they were often thought of as a married couple based on the program.

- We were one of the most famous TV Actors of our time, Valkama wanders to his younger colleagues Aku Hirvinimi and Krista Kosonen at the Stage Club.

In the 1980s, Valkama taught at the Theater School.

- It was the worst time of my life, Valkama recalls, but doesn't seem to be completely serious.

Valkama retired in 1994, but he has since visited several theaters. Among other things, he acted in the quartet play, which attracted almost 170,000 spectators at the Helsinki City Theater from 2002 to 2011, together with Kyllikki Forsselli, Lasse Pöyst and Pentti Siimes and Antti Litja, who replaced him in 2008.

In 2000, Valkama was awarded the State Prize for Theater Arts for his meritorious work.

  • Read more: Yle: Ritva Valkama is dead - one of Finland's most beloved comedians was able to tell everything with a frown