• Joanna Pacuła is a Polish-American actress and former model, known for her role in "Gorky Park".
• She was raised in Poland and attended the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy, before moving to the US and starting her modelling and acting career.
• Joanna has been credited with over 80 appearances in movies and TV series, with some of her most notable performances being in "Options" (1989), "Marked for Death" (1990), and "ICE Agent" (2013).
• She was in a relationship with Roman Polanski and was married to Hawk Koch, however they divorced without public knowledge.
• As of September 2020, Joanna's net worth is estimated to be over $6 million.
Who is Joanna Pacuła?
Joanna Pacuła was born in Tomaszow Lubelski, Poland, on 30 December 1957 – her zodiac sign is Capricorn and she holds both Polish and American nationality. She is an actress and a former model, who is perhaps still best known for her role in the crime mystery drama movie “Gorky Park”, which was based on the eponymous novel by Martin Cruz Smith and starred William Hurt, Lee Marvin and Brian Dennehy. The story follows a Moscow police officer who is investigating a triple murder, and for her performance, Joanna was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress.
Early life and education
Joanna was raised in Poland alongside her sister Ewa Pacuła who is a model today, by their father who was an engineer, and their mother who was a pharmacist.
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Joanna became interested in acting while attending high school, and she appeared in nearly all the plays performed at her school, which motivated her to enroll at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy in 1975. After she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1979, she became a member of the Warsaw Dramatic Theatre, and appeared in many plays such as “As You Like It”, “Othello” and “Romeo and Juliet”, all by Shakespeare.
Joanna moved to Paris in 1981, and was there when martial law was declared in Poland – this motivated her not to return to her home country, but to move to the US and start working on her modelling and acting career.
At that time, Joanna was dating the film director and actor Roman Polanski, who helped to launch her modelling career, and appear on the cover page of the magazine “Vogue”, while he later recommended Joanna for the role in “Gorky Park” which made her famous.
Roles in movies
Joanna has been credited with over 80 appearances in movies and TV series and we are about to mention some of her most notable performances in this article.
She made her debut film appearance in 1977, when cast to portray a student in the comedy drama “Camouflage”, then supporting characters in many other movies, such as the drama “Yokohama” in 1982, the romantic drama “Not Quite Paradise” in 1985 and the 1987 action drama “Death Before Dishonor”.
She was praised for her portrayal of the lead character Princess Nicole of Belgium in the comedy movie “Options” in 1989, also starring Matt Salinger and John Kani and which follows a Master of Business Administration who travels to Africa for work, but ends up dating a Princess.
In 1990, Joanna starred alongside Steven Seagal in the action adventure crime movie “Marked for Death” and she then appear in several critically acclaimed movies, such as the drama “The Good Policeman” in 1991, the thriller horror mystery “Eyes of the Beholder” in 1992, and the 1994 comedy thriller “The Silence of the Hams” written and directed by Ezio Greggio, who also starred in the film in.
In the same year, Joanna made her debut voicing performance, when she lent her voice to Ursula von Kardoff in the historical film “Normandy: The Great Crusade”.
In 1995 she portrayed Brenda Franelli in the comedy thriller “Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys”, and the year 1997 saw her star as Selma in the comedy movie “Heaven Before I Die”, written and directed by Izidore K. Musallam, and which received mixed reviews.
She started the 2000s with her lead role in the action comedy movie “Crash and Byrnes”, while she then portrayed supporting characters in several movies, such as the adventure family science fiction film “Lightning: Bolts of Destruction” in 2003, the action drama “Moscow Heat” in 2004, and the drama “When Nietzsche Wept” in 2007. Joanna starred as Ruth Averill in the short drama “Good God Bad Dog” in 2011 which was both written and directed by Beni Atoori, and in 2013 appeared in the drama “The Banksters, Madoff with America”.
Joanna’s two most recent roles in movies have been in the action film “ICE Agent”, and the horror thriller drama “Kill Her, Not Me” both released in 2013, while she has recently finished shooting for the action movie “Break Even”.
Roles in TV series
Joanna made her debut TV series appearance in 1980, when she played Jola Morawiecka – ‘Sarna’ – in the Polish mini-series “Zielona Milosc” and in 1982, she starred as Gabi in nine episodes of the romantic drama “Jan Serce”.
The following years saw Joanna appear in single episodes of several series such as “Zycie Kamila Kuranta” and “07 Zglos Sie”, and gained recognition in 1986 when she starred as Marissa Freilich in the romantic war drama “Crossings”.
She appeared in a single episode of the science fiction series “E.A.R.T.H. Force” in 1990, but her next role in a series came nine years later, when she guest starred as Yvonne Ballinger in the episode “Four of a Kind” of the western “Dead Man’s Gun”. In 2000, Joanna starred as Gogi in the comedy “Brutally Normal”, which also starred Eddie Kaye Thomas and Lea Moreno and is about a teenage boy and his friends.
Three of Joanna’s most recent roles in TV series have been in the episode “Rivals and Departures” of the romantic comedy “Jake in Progress” in 2005, the episode “Mr. Monk Falls in Love” of the comedy crime drama “Monk” in 2008, and the episode “The Turn in the Urn” of the comedy crime drama “Bones” in 2014.
Love life and husband
In the early ‘80s, Joanna was in a relationship with Roman Polanski who is today perhaps best known for having directed the movies “Chinatown” in 1974, “The Tenant” in 1976 and “The Ghost Writer” in 2010. They broke up in 1983, and only a month later Joanna met Hawk Koch, an American film producer, and they married in a private ceremony attended by their closest friends and family on 17 November 1984. The marriage lasted for several years before the two divorced quietly without letting the public know – it’s widely believed that the two split ways because Joanna didn’t want to have children, preferring to focus on her acting career.
Joanna hasn’t talked about any other men she might have been with since her split from Hawk, so as of September 2020, she is single, was once married and doesn’t have children.
Hobbies and other interests
Joanna was physically very active during her 20s and 30s as her modelling career depended on it – she played various sports with her friends, had multiple training sessions at the gym each week, and followed a strict diet.
She is a lover of animals with cats being her favorites, and has had many pet cats since she launched her acting career.
She is keen on travelling and meeting new people and her acting career has taken her all around the world, while her dream travel destination is Paris in France.
Joanna has her own favorite actor and actress, who are Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie, and a few of her favorite movies are “Inception”, “Titanic” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”.
Joanna’s age is 62. She has long brown hair and blues eyes, her height is 5ft 9ins (1.75m) and she weighs around 135lbs (62kgs).
As of September 2020, her net worth has been estimated at over $6 million.
I thought Joanna Pacula was outstanding in Gorky Park when I saw it the first time in 1983. I watch it at least once or twice a year without fail and her performance is as outstanding to me now as it was the first time. The other primary cast members of William Hurt, Lee Marvin,Brian Dennehy, and Ian Bannen all do their usual excellent service to their respective roles. I highly recommend this movie if you have the opportunity.