Most known for winning an award at the 47th International Emmy Awards for his role in Şahsiyet (Persona), Haluk Bilginer is an internationally renowned actor.
In the 12-episode mini-series, Bilginer plays the character, Agah Beyoğlu, diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Agâh Beyoglu is a retired judicial officer living alone in Beyoglu, Istanbul’s most populous and lively district. His daughter resides in another country, and his wife died many years ago. Agâh's routine existence is disrupted by his Alzheimer's diagnosis. He is well aware that his sickness will lead him to lose all of his memories. While grappling with the idea of his state, Agâh begins to believe that forgetfulness may also be an opportunity, allowing him to carry out a long-planned murder with ease. Recognizing that he would soon forget about the crime and would not experience any guilt.
Bilginer has had a long acting career in addition to his Emmy-winning production. He was born in the Turkish city of Izmir in 1954. When he was a student at Izmir Turkish College, he competed in an inter-high school theatrical competition and won his first prize. He went on to work as a guest actor at the Izmir State Theatre after that. He began studying theatre at the Ankara State Conservatoire in 1979. Bilginer began working at the State Theaters in 1977 after graduating from the Conservatoire.
Bilginer went to England to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) after completing his schooling and job experience in Turkey. Bilginer was active in England from 1980 until 1993. He rose to prominence as Cypriot Mehmet Osman in the long-running British soap opera EastEnders, in which he appeared in over 250 episodes. He also appeared on stage in adaptations of Macbeth, My Fair Lady, and The Phantom of the Opera, among other productions.
Bilginer returned to Turkey in 1987 to star in the film Cloud in Love (Kara Sevdal Bulut). This was his first cinematic appearance in Turkey. In the same year, he co-starred with Zuhal Olcay in the film The Other Side of the Night (Gecenin Öteki Yüzü). He worked in both Turkey and England at this time. He married Zuhal Olcay, an actress, in 1992. Then they both had parts in the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Colonel Ismet Bey was played by Bilginer, while famed Turkish female novelist Halide Edip Adıvar was represented by Olcay. They went on to create the ‘Play Workshop' theatre enterprise in Istanbul.
His most famous role, however, came after he started his second theater. He landed a role in Tatlı Hayat, a remake of The Jeffersons. He played the role of İhsan Yıldırım, an angry and foul-mouthed, yet lovable dry cleaner. He was accompanied by legendary actress Türkan Şoray, who played his wife, Asuman Dabak playing the witty cleaner, Neco playing the Greek neighbor, and Çolpan İlhan playing Neco's wife. He and the show's breakthrough character İrfan (played by Celal Kadri Kınoğlu) are regarded as the best characters in Turkish TV history.