Hannah Kodicek obituary

My mother, Hannah Kodicek, who has died aged 63 of pancreatic cancer, was a film-maker, actor, writer, educator and creator of children's television classics, who blended artistic vision with erudition and a childlike humour.

Born Zuzana Oprsalova in Czechoslovakia and trained as a pianist at the Prague Conservatoire, she emigrated to Britain in 1968, after the Russian invasion, with her husband, Michal, and young son, Peter. They were lucky enough to be taken under the wing of an English family in Blackheath, south-east London, which enabled Hannah to get on her feet through a succession of low-paid jobs, until she learned the language.

The cold war meant that there were opportunities for a beautiful young woman with an exotic accent and she found a number of acting roles, under the name Susan Kodicek, mostly as some kind of spy. Her most celebrated role was as Irina in the widely acclaimed 1979 TV adaptation
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