ARTS & LEISURE

Actress Irina Petrescu dies at 71

One of Romania’s most important theater and film actresses, she died at Bucharest’s Elias Hospital on Tuesday.

Actress Irina Petrescu has died after a short but very intense sufferance, Dana Safta, medical manager at the Elias Hospital in Bucharest, said yesterday. She would have been 72 in June. During a career which spanned five decades, Irina Petrescu played scores of roles on the stage of the Bulandra Theater, Bucharest, and in over 25 films.

Born on June 19 1941 Irina Petrescu graduated from the “I.L. Caragiale” Institute of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography Bucharest, class of 1963, with Ion Sahighian and David Esrig as her professors.Known for her distinction and elegance, as well as her classic beauty, Irina Petrescu played many important roles in films, radio and TV theater, under the direction of such celebrated directors as  Liviu Ciulei, Lucian Pintilie, Gheorghe Vitanidis, Mihai Iacob, Virgil Calotescu, Ion Popescu – Gopo, Dinu Tanase, Andrei Blaier, Manole Marcus, Iulian Mihu, Dan Pita and Mircea Veroiu.Irina Petrescu also performed in many exceptional theatrical plays on the stage of the Bulandra Theater in Bucharest during a career which spanned over 40 years. Among the major films she played in are The Waves of the Danube (1960), director Liviu Ciulei; Lucian Pintilie’s film debut –  “Sunday at  Six O’Clock “ (1966); “Beyond the Bridge “ – Mircea Veroiu; “Luxury Hotel” (1992) – Dan Pita; Film director Gheorghe Vitanidis, cast her in three of her films, of which  “The Naughty Teen”, brought her in 1968 one of the most important international awards in her career – the award for best actress at the Moscow Film Festival. “The Naughty Teen” was a trailblazer film for Romanian cinematography, as it marked the first ever Romanian film to have a nude scene.   In 2010, Irina Petrescu played in the Eran Riklis film “The Mission of the Commissioner of Human Resources”, an Israel-Germany-France co-production, which premiered on Romanian big screens in February 2011.

The film got five awards at the Israeli film industry awards gala – Ophir Awards – 2010 for best feature film, best director, best script, best actress in a supporting role (to Romanian actress Rosina Cambos), and best soundtrack. In December 2011, Irina Petrescu got the “Aristizza Romanescu” Performing Arts Award from the Romanian Academy, and in 2007, a lifetime achievement award at the 6th Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF).Also, in 2003, she received the Theater Union of Romania (UNITER) Lifetime achievement Award 2002.In year 2000, Irina Petrescu was conferred the “Star of Romania” National Order in Officer Rank.The Romanian world of theater and films bemoans the death of this truly outstanding actress.

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