• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6250

Volska, Anna Maria

(1944 – )
  • Born 1 January, 1944, Warsaw Poland
  • Occupation Actor, Theatre director


Born in Poland in 1944, Anna Volska migrated to Australia with her mother when she was seven years old. She graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1962 and acted with the Old Tote Theatre Company for two years. It was there she met John Bell and they married in 1965.

Following John’s career, they moved to England, where Anna spent three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon. She was co-founder of the Nimrod Theatre and directed several of their productions. Anna has also directed productions for various other companies, including NIDA and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Anna and John set up the Bell Shakespeare company in 1990.

Anna has appeared in many Shakespeare plays and Australian television drama series. In 1973 she won a Best Actress Logie for her portrayal of Helena Rubenstein in an episode of the ABC biographical series Behind the Legend.

Anna and John have two daughters, Hilary and Lucy.


Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of John Bell and Anna Volska, 1935-2008 [manuscript]
  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Anna Volska interviewed by Michelle Potter in the Esso Performing Arts collection [sound recording]
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Anna Volska, actress, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]