Finnish actor-writer-director-producer Pertti “Spede” Pasanen died Friday Sept. 7 from a heart attack at a golf course near Helsinki. He was 71.
Pasanen was one of the pioneers of Finnish radio and TV entertainment. He began writing radio comedies in the 1950s and continued writing comedies for the silver screen starting in 1964.
Pasanen produced 36 movies, wrote 29 features, acted in 48 pics and helmed nine films. His pics were enormously boffo locally.
His trademark was combining slapstick with verbosity. He distilled the essence of the Finnish mentality by creating a character of the eternal loser and slacker (before the word “slacker” was invented) Uuno Turhapuro, played by Pasanen’s close friend and colleague, Vesa-Matti Loiri.
The Uuno Turhapuro films spanned 20 years and generated more than seven million admissions in local cinemas.
Pasanen also was a renowned inventor, who had developed a hill sling to be used in ski jumping.
In his later years he moved into TV, producing gameshows, generating billions of Finnish marks yearly, making him a major player in the Finnish TV entertainment.