Vessa-Mati Lori was born on January 4th,1945, in Helsinki,Finland.
His father was Taito Loiri, who was a technical draftsman born in Lappeenranta. His mother was Loly Nylund,a housewife born in Pori,Finland. The family had settled in the city of Töölö, Helsinki.A year later, Vesa-Mat was born in 1942. Vesa-Matti was called Mati as a child, he had different pairs of eyes, and he said that he learned to sing before started talking.
In the city where Vessa was born, there were a lot of children. Vesa-Matti was considered as leader of his circle of friends and always was the leader in the boy ‘s games,which imitated movies seen on the big screen mostly western movies.
In ,the 1950s Vesa-Matti joined the B group of the boy’s choir ”Cantores Minores” and he was considered to move to the A group, but he personally was more interested in other things and left choir singing.In 1952 Helsinki, the Loirs moved to the district of The Hague, where Vesa-Matti could act in summer theater for the first time.
After public school, he continued to the newly founded Pohjois Hagga joint school. In Haga, he got to know the Kuoppamaki brothers Jukka and Mikko, with whom he acted as a teenager.
In the late 1950s, Vesa-Mat had a band called ”Rock Brothers Loiri” which included the Loiri brothers, Mikko Kuoppamäki and Timo Juslin.
At the beginning of 1962, the band members performed the youth musical ”Hupulla tuulee”.
Which was recognized by Paavo Hukkinen and actor and organizer of the Finnish Film Industry, and director Mikko Niskanen’s representative. This asked if Vesa-Matti would be interested in a film role in the drama film ”Pojat” (ENG Boys).
From 1963-1966 he acted in both theatre, films, and television and has been said to have created his career out of contradictory ingredients. He is known especially for his comedic roles, although he has also done a lot of more serious drama and theater.Loiri has acted in more than 70 films.
Vessa-Matti was attached to the Helsinki City Theater from 1966-1971 and in the Turk City Theater from 1973-1977. In the 1960’s he also acted in Ylesisradio TV theater and later appeared in a prominent role as blacksmith ilmarin in the TV tater’s interpretation of the Kalevala called ”Rauta-aika”.
Vessa been playing multiple roles since the age of 17, and he has been part of movies such as ” Pojat. Rakustunu crampa (1975), Mark of the Beast (1981), Blind Dance (1999), Rumble (2002), Bad Boys (2003) and Road to the North (2012).
In the Late 1960‘s he fon ocused more a comedian act in the television series
In the fall of 1968, the tv show ”Jatkoaika’‘ organized ”unofficial Tumbling SM competitions” where Vessa participated, and Tumbling became one of his trademarks.
In the late 1960’s he began a long-lasting collaboration with Pertti “Spede” Pasanen where he appeared in Pasen’s tv series such as the ”Spede Show” as well in the films. In the years 1988-1991 he had his own show called ”Vesku Show” which he also wrote and started.
Vesa became popular with the character Uuno Turhapuro where he originated in Spede’s tv show programs and was first seen on the big screen in the film Uuno Turhapuro (1973). The last movie in the series ”Uuno Turhapuro -This Is My Life” (2004). Addition of acting, he has also did a few voice roles. In 1993 Vessa, made his debut as voice actor in Finnish version of Disney classic ‘‘Alladin”
where he played ”Genie”.The Finnish version of the soundtrack of the film was in question and received a lot of recognition, and Disney was awarded as it as the best dubbing of Alladin. Loiri received a special mention for his ”uniquely original” role in performance.
Vessa played instrument flute, especially jazz, and his musical debut album 4+2- (1971) was almost entirely an instrumental record. Lori has also performed in Pori Jazz. In 1980 he represented Finland at Eurovision Song Contest with the song ”Huilumies”, which received six points and last place. The song was made by Aaro Raninen especially for Vessa.
Loiri recorded songs based on Eino Leino’s poems for the first time in 1978. In the total, he has four albums of Leino’s poems, which most recent one was in 2001. The songs were composed by Henrik Otto Donner and the rather unknown amateur musician Perttu Hietanen from Porvoo and arranged by guitarist Taisto Wesslin.
In 1998 he did a church singing tour and raised totally 170,000 marks for the Finnish Red Cross.
In the years 2006-2008, Loiri published the Lappi trilogy, which contains old Finnish pop and rock songs in acoustic arrangements.
3rd album ended with Kasari, which was release in autumn 2008,which Loiri said was ”perhaps the last album”.
In 2009 he released another album called ”Hyvää puuta” and a year later in 2010 he released another album called ”Skarabee”.In the summer of 2010 here perfomed in Ruisrock when the Finnish national ice hockey team had won the World Cup. In May 2011 the players wanted to Loir perform at their victory celebration concert. In 2013 he celebrated at President of Republic Sauli Niinisto invited him to perform celebration but at first he rejected but later changed his mind.
In his musical career, he had more than 30 albums and 12 of them at least the gold record mark in total, his albums have sold more than 660,00 copies. He himself had said that music is the last thing he wants to give up.
Vesa-Matti also was atlhete,among of sports he practiced boxing, football, handball, water polo,ice hockey,billiards, and golf.
In 1969 he said that was a big fan of ball sports ”from hockey to billiards”.He always played as goalkeeper in team sports. He also won championships in water polo and handball, of the sports, he took the football and boxing the most seriously.
He gave up his sports career for acting.
Peter von Bagh considers Vesa-Matti Loiri to be undenibbly of the Finnish most talented and strongest actors. In 2005 he was chosen as Finland’s 2nd best actor of all time.
Vessa had recieved numerous awards in the film, television and music industry.
Loiri has also won the Emma award for male soloist of the year more than anyone else a total in 3 times in 2003,2006 and 2007.Loiri has recieved a special Venla in 1989 and Golden Venla for his special contribution in the television industry in 2011.Vessa is is the only Finn who has recieved Venla, Emma and Jussi awards.
In 1993 he also was awarded in MTV’s culture award. In September 2019 a biographical book was written by Jari Tervo called ”Loiri” was released.
In December 2011, Loir was awared of the state prize for art. In August 2013 HJK awarded Loir Klub as the most colorful goalkeeper of all time.
In January 2022, Loiri went to the doctor due to feeling unwell and pain. The tests found esophageal cancer and liver cancer. Loir was given four to six months to live. He did not tell the public about his situation and refused cancer surgeries. Lori wanted to spend his last moments at home, meet his friends and stay out of the public eye. In July, Loiri was hospitalized, and he died on August 10, 2022.
Vessa leaves behind his children Jenni (born in 1979),Ukko (Born in 1995) and Sampo (born in 1996).
ESCBEAT team is sending condolences and hugs to the family.
May he rest in peace.