Anna Dymna intended to study psychology before she decided to take an entrance examination for the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Cracow. While still at studies, Dymna already performed at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Cracow. In 1969 she played the role of Isia and Chochoł in the performances of Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wesele. Dymna made her film debut also when she was still a student. She played a role in Henryk Kluba’s Pięć i pół bladego Józka (1971) but, because that film was actually never shown on screens, her first official film role is considered to be the role of Gabrysia in the same year’s Szerokiej drogi, kochanie directed by Andrzej J. Piotrowski. Dymna became popular with television viewers owing to her role of Klarysa in a TV series Janosik (1973). The later role of Ania Pawlak in Polish cult comedy films Nie ma mocnych and Kochaj, albo rzuć turned out to be even more successful. She also appeared in a number of Jerzy Hoffman’s melodrama films.
Dymna was employed by the National Helena Modrzejewska Old Theatre in Cracow immediately after her graduation in 1973 and has performed on its stage since then. Her major roles included characters of beautiful women, e.g. Kora in Noc listopadowa (“November night”); Anna in Warszawianka (“The Varsovian lady”); and Ania in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. Later she also performed in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain; Joyce’s Exiles; and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Dymna has played about 250 theatrical and film roles. She has been esteemed for her talent and looks which “emanated with freshness, naturalness, girlishness and charm”. Her photographs decorated covers of magazines, but her beauty became, in a way, an obstacle for portrayals of more mature characters. Such a possibility emerged in the second half of the 1980s when she experienced physical change related with motherhood.
In 2002 Dymna initiated the Cracow Poetry Salon, which has become a weekly reading of poetry by most distinguished actors and poets. The Salon takes place each Sunday at Juliusz Słowacki Theatre but it already has its separate branches in some other cities of Poland, e.g. in Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Opole and Tarnów. The Cracow Poetry Salon was granted the Nike Award in 2003 for “the most interesting cultural activity in the region”.