is a Croatian
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...
The primary role of a television Producer is to allow all aspects of video production, ranging from show idea development and cast hiring to shoot supervision and fact-checking...
, and television personality, whose career spans five decades in both the former Yugoslavia and the current nation of Croatia. She was one of the most popular television presenters in the 1980s.
Throughout her career, she was also credited as Helga Vlahović Pea
and Helga Vlahović Brnobić
during the times she was married.
Vlahović started working at Zagreb Radio and Television (part of the Yugoslav Radio Television network) in 1964, while studying German
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...
, and art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...
at the University of Zagreb
The University of Zagreb is the biggest Croatian university and the oldest continuously operating university in the area covering Central Europe south of Vienna and all of Southeastern Europe...
; with her newfound job, she ended up not completing her degrees. By 1966, she became an anchorwoman of various entertainment and musical TV shows, putting her in charge of such popular programs as TV Magazin
and musical television shows.
In 1968, she was selected to run the Sopot International Song Festival
The Sopot International Song Festival is an international song contest held in Sopot, Poland. It was the biggest Polish music festival altogether with the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole, and one of the biggest annual song contest in Europe...
in Poland, and in 1971 she ran the song festival in Scheveningen
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
. She was then placed in charge of the morning talk show Good Day, Yugoslavia
(which she hosted) in 1972, as well as the music variety show Svjetla pozornice
) in 1977 and 1978. From 1978 to 1980, she organized the Jadranski susreti
, a Yugoslav version of Jeux Sans Frontières
Jeux Sans Frontières was a Europe-wide television game show.In its original conception, it was broadcast from 1965 to 1999 under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union and featured teams from different European countries in outlandish costumes competing to complete bizarre tasks in funny...
In 1984 and 1988, Vlahović organized the programs Beč pozdravlja Zagreb, Zagreb pozdravlja Beč
(Vienna Salutes Zagreb, Zagreb Salutes Vienna
) and Dubrovnik-Stuttgart
, which were musical and travelogue series broadcast between JRT, ORF
Österreichischer Rundfunk, ORF, is the Austrian national public service broadcaster.Funded from a combination of a television licence fees and revenue from limited on-air advertising, ORF is the dominant player in the Austrian broadcast media...
, and ARD
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...
, respectively, geared at Yugoslav guest workers
Gastarbeiter is German for "guest worker." It refers to migrant workers who had moved to West Germany mainly in the 1960s and 70s, seeking work as part of a formal guest worker programme...
who wanted to "see home" but could not afford to make a trip there. Due to her extensive musical programming experience, as well as her proficiency in English, she was picked, along with Oliver Mlakar
Oliver Mlakar is a Croatian television presenter, best known for hosting game shows. He was one of the most popular television personalities of Yugoslavia and Croatia.Mlakar was born in Ptuj and lived in Osijek from 1945 to 1954...
, to host the Eurovision Song Contest 1990
The Eurovision Song Contest 1990, the 35th in the series, was held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia on 5 May 1990. The presenters were Helga Vlahović Brnobić and Oliver Mlakar. Toto Cutugno was the winner of this contest with the song "Insieme: 1992"...
in Zagreb following Yugoslavia's win in 1989.
With the fall of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the onset of the Croatian War of Independence
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat...
, Vlahović was quickly put in charge of informational television series relating to the war on the newly formed HRT
Croatian Radiotelevision is a Croatian public broadcasting company. It operates several radio and television channels, over a domestic transmitter network as well as satellite...
channel for the independent nation of Croatia. She was head of "war information programming" until the end of war in 1995. In 1996, she started her own television series, Govorimo o zdravlju
(We Talk About Health
), which covered many health and wellness topics. After 42 years of working at JRT and HRT, Vlahović retired in 2006.
Vlahović has two daughters, Renee Pea (born 1975), from her ten-year marriage to Franc Pea, and Karla Brnobić (born 1982), from her marriage to neurosurgeon Miljenko Brnobić, who died in 1997. It was his influence which inspired her to start the program Govorimo o zdravlju