The son of Sıtkı Akçatepe, a celebrated stage actor of the time, and his peer Leman Akçatepe, Halit Akçatepe is my schoolmate at the Yeşilköy Boarding Elementary. 1940s, and we are both boarders. When we take a look at this acquaintance from years further, it is somewhat misty. As far as I would recall those days, Halit was a rambunctious child, but isn’t he now? As such, he is a 74-year-old child who hasn’t grown up.
There’s an interesting story behind Halit Akçatepe’s film career. He was 6 when he first showed up in front of the camera. From his first film Nasreddin Hoca at the Wedding (1942) until 1954, he took part as child actor in 16 films. The stardom of Halit Akçatepe who acted in 79 films (excluding TV series or stage plays) from 1942 to 2009, would come following his much overlooked childhood years, during his youth and later maturity. He becomes an “actor” especially in 1972 with Sev Kardeşim / Love, Bro!. He would later adopt and maintain “team acting” in Ertem Eğilmez’ crowded casted films. Following Mavi Boncuk / Blue Bead, and Bizim Aile / Our Family he would leave his indelible mark on Turkish comedy cinema with the Hababam Sınıfı series of films. Indeed, Halit Akçatepe seems to have come straight from the Hababam Sınıfı novels by Rıfat Ilgaz, as the incarnation of the “Güdük Necmi” (stubby) character.
Easier said than done, his is a life odyssey that incorporates a 60-year-long resistance, to stand tall, to struggle to exist. His masters in cinema, Münir Özkul and Ertem Eğilmez, alongside Kemal Sunal and Adile Naşit, and his father Sıtkı Akçatepe with whom he had acted together, are his unforgettable colleagues. A.K.A. “Stubby,” he is in short, an ever-smiling, inviting, amiable, warm and joyous character who harbours a rock-hard core. He is a tough man, so cunning! But he would always live with that “smiling mask”, a reflection of his inner world...