"She is a talented young lady who will be immensely valuable to her country when she goes home, just as she has been a fine representative of it here.”
— Malloy Miller
Kortay was born on January 15, 1937 in Istanbul. In 1954, she became actively involved in Pocket Theater, an amateur theater group of which she was one of the first members. After graduating from Arnavutköy American College for Girls in 1955, she graduated from Istanbul University’s English Philology Department in 1960. Kortay took part in radio plays with Haldun Dormen, from whom she took drama lessons, and also translated a series of plays. She was the first grantee to receive the Fulbright scholarship in drama in Turkey. She received her master’s degree from Boston University’s Theater Arts-Drama Program in 1962. She translated and directed Refik Erduran’s The Bicycle of Ghengiz Khan as part of her master’s degree production. Before returning to Turkey, she worked for a year at NBC Rockefeller Center in New York City. Since 1964, Göksel Kortay has taken part in various plays, directed numerous radio plays, acted in several films and TV series, and taught at a number of educational institutions. She was the president of the Theater Actors Association for a good many years.
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