Miloš Forman and Jaromír Jágr honored with printed collectibles

The Oscar-winning director is on a Czech stamp, with the famed hockey player appears on the front of a replica banknote.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 15.02.2022 13:52:00 (updated on 15.02.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Film director Miloš Forman and hockey star Jaromír Jágr have both been honored with collectible items for their birthdays. The Czech Post Office has issued a commemorative stamp for Forman, who would have turned 90 on Feb. 18. Jágr, who turn 50 today, had his likeness on a limited edition replica CZK 50 banknote.

The stamp for the Oscar-winning Forman will be issued Feb. 16, two days before his birthday, with a complementing first-day issue envelope featuring the Statue of Liberty altered to show a strip of curled motion picture film coming out of the torch. Forman had his greatest success in America after emigrating there following the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. He died in the U.S. state of Connecticut on April 13, 2018, at the age of 86.

The stamp was designed by Eva Hašková and has a face value of CZK 19. Some 750,000 stamps and 2,600 first-day envelopes will be printed and will be available at post offices as well as the Česká pošta e-shop.

First day cover for the Miloš Forman stamp. Photo: Česká pošta
First day cover for the Miloš Forman stamp. Photo: Česká pošta

The Czech-American director, screenwriter, and actor was born on Feb. 18, 1932, in Čáslav. Both of his parents died in concentration camps during World War II, and he was raised by relatives. Future president Václav Havel was among his classmates at a boarding school in Poděbrady, Central Bohemia.

He originally wanted to study theater but was accepted for screenwriting at FAMU. This led to his early success with Czech New Wave films such as “Lásky jedné plavovlásky” (Loves of a Blonde) in 1965 and “Hoří, má panenko” (Firemen’s Ball) in 1967.

His first success in the U.S. was the 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,” which won five Oscars including Best Director for Forman. He is perhaps best-known for the 1984 film “Amadeus,” which won eight Oscars including another one for Best Director. His last film was “Goya's Ghosts” in 2006. In the late 2000s, he worked with Havel on a script for a film called “Ghosts of Munich,” which looked into the events surrounding the Munich Agreement in 1938. The film was never made as funding could not be secured.

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The commemorative banknote for Jágr was made in a much more limited edition of 10,000 pieces and is already sold out. They were printed by the state printing office Státní tiskárna cenin for the private company České dukáty, which creates and markets collectibles. Even though the notes carry the number 50, they are not valid as money.

The notes feature Jágr in a hockey mask on the front along with the Czech lion and flag. The words “Triple Gold Club” appear in gold leaf. This refers to his being on teams that won the Olympics, World Championships, and Stanley Cup.

The back shows a celebration in Old Town Square along with the words “Pride and honor is victory” in both Czech and English. The design was by Eva Hašková, the same person who designed the Forman commemorative stamp.

Jágr is best known for leading the Czech national team to victory in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He also led the National team to a Bronze medal in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. He was on the World Championship–winning teams in 2005 and ’10. The NHL team Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and ’92 while he was a member.

He also played in the NHL as a member of the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, as well as short stints with several other teams. Between 2008 and ’11 he played for Avangard Omsk.

He currently is back in the Czech Republic and plays for HC Kladno, his hometown team. Injuries have kept him on the bench much of the time.

Jágr attended a press conference to present the banknote and complemented Hašková on the design.

“I really like it because you made me about 40 there. I still had long hair then. In 20 years, people will say that I looked really good at 50,” Jágr said.

He also noted that the banknote was not valid, but he was still honored to be on it. “I would just like to remind you that if it were a valid banknote, I would like to add three zeros to it,” he said.

“I was told that I would have to be dead or a dictator to appear on a valid banknote, so I don't insist on the previous proposal anymore,” he added jokingly.

He also said he has no plans for his birthday. “I'm not a person who celebrates such things. It doesn't make me very happy either. My loved ones and friends know it, so I don’t even believe that they would come up with any surprises. It really wouldn't make me happy. I don't like surprises very much. It will be a completely normal day like any other,” Jágr said.

He is not on the current Czech team competing in the Beijing Olympics, but he is monitoring the progress and hopeful they will make it to the finals. He added that currently his main focus is on his team in Kladno.

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