Slavko Brankov was born in 1951 in Varaždin and is best remembered as Crni Džek (Black Jack), a character in the TV series Smogovci which he played for more than a decade. Slavko studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and graduated in 1976. As an actor he started off at the Gavella theatre and remained attached to it throughout his career. He occasionally worked with various other theatre companies (Actors’ Troupe Histrion, City Theatre Trešnja, and Satirical Theatre Kerempuh) and also played notable roles at the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin. He died of cancer in Zagreb in 2006.
In 1992 Brankov received the Vladimir Nazor award for the role of Calogiero di Spelto in the play Velika Magija (Great Magic). He also won a Croatian Radio Television (HRT) award for the role of Crni Džek, a villain in the children’s series Smogovci, which marked his entire career. Slavko Brankov best described the impact the role had on his career: “This role marked me as an actor and it looks like this will last forever. Thirty years after the shooting, ten-year old boys in the street still call out after me ‘Hey, Black Jack'”.
Among other roles, he will be remembered as Čaruga in the play with the same name by Ivan Kušan, Janez form Krleža’s Kraljevo, Argan from Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid, the leading character in Buchner’s Woyzeck, Trotsky from Ives’s All in the Timing – Variations on the Death of Trotsky and the already mentioned Calogiero di Spelto from Eduardo de Filippo’s Great Magic. He appeared on film only after 1990 in the films Golden Years, Time for… Gospa: The Miracle of Međugorje, Transatlantic and Pušća Bistra. In terms of his work for television, he starred in several television dramas, in the film Ajmo žuti, and in the series Naši i vaši (Ours and Yours). He played several smaller roles in the soap opera Forbidden love and in the sitcom Bitange i princeze (Hoodlums and Princesses).