Unė Babickaitė

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Unė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė (born Uršulė Babickaitė also known as Une Bay; April 19, 1897 near Kupiškis – August 1, 1961 in Kaunas)[1] was a Lithuanian actress and theater director. She was a wife of business theorist Vytautas Andrius Graičiūnas.

During World War I, Babickaitė and her family retreated to Saint Petersburg. There she met Balys Sruoga, who encouraged her to begin theater studies at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1916.[2] Balys named her Unė.[3] After return to Lithuania, she organized and theater group Daina and staged several performances.[2] However, a woman director stirred up controversy in a conservative society and the plays were attacked by critics.[3] In 1919, Babickaitė moved to the United States, where she simplified her name to Unė Baye. There she took parts in theaters in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and played in three silent films.[4] In 1928, when her husband moved to Europe for business, Babickaitė appeared in London and Paris theaters. Her husband Graičiūnas financed her artistic endeavors.[5] In France she met with Konstantin Balmont, who dedicated at least four of his poems to her.[1] In 1936, she returned to Lithuania and directed plays in Šiauliai.[4]

After World War II, the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic became part of the Soviet Union. Her husband, an American citizen, was arrested in 1951 and sentenced to ten years in Gulag. He died the following year under unclear circumstances. Babickaitė was also sentenced to five years.[4] In 1953, during de-Stalinization after Joseph Stalin's death, she received amnesty and was allowed to return to Lithuania.[4] She died in 1961 in Kaunas.

Babickaitė left an extensive collection of documents, correspondence, photos, which are preserved by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.[1] Two volumes of documents were published in 2001 and 2005.[5] Various theater exhibits, collected by her, are displayed by the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Film Museum, established by Balys Sruoga and Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius in 1926.[6] The family home in Laukminiškės village, where Babickaitė and her brother writer Petras Babickas were born, was turned into an ethnographic and memorial museum in 2002.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Tarnavusi grožio ir gėrio religijai (Unės Babickaitės-Graičiūnienės 100-ioms gimimo metinėms)" (in lietuvių). Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. 2005-12-16. Retrieved 2010-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Su Une Babickaite - į XX a. pradžią". Verslo žinios (in lietuvių). 221: 6. 2001-12-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Meškauskaitė, Audronė (2007-12-06). "Paskui skriejančią dvasią". Nemunas (in lietuvių) (43): 12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "BABICKAITĖ-GRAIČIŪNIENĖ UNĖ (Une Baye)". Žymūs Kauno žmonės: atminimo įamžinimas (in lietuvių). Kauno apskrities viešoji biblioteka. 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Aktorė Unė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė apie politiką, teatrą, šeimą ir save" (in lietuvių). Lietuvos rytas. 2006-07-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Stankevičienė, Janina. "From the Collections of the Theatre, Music and Film Museum from the 19th C to the first half of the 20th C". Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Film Museum. Retrieved 2010-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Kupiškis Ethnographic Museum". Association of Lithuanian Museums. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2010-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>