Actress Draga Olteanu Matei, who had turned 87 on October 24, died Tuesday night at 2:11 at the “St. Spiridon” Hospital in Iasi despite the doctors’ intense efforts to treat her, hospital spokesperson Dr. Diana Cimpoesu announced.
Draga Olteanu Matei was transferred Friday evening from the Piatra Neamt Hospital to the emergency unit of the “St. Spiridon” Hospital in Iasi after suffering an upper GI bleeding. Although in a serious condition, the actress was able to communicate with the medical team, providing information about her medical history and the treatment she was having. After undergoing medical investigations, she was stabilized and put on sedation in the intensive care unit of the hospital’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic.
Draga Olteanu Matei graduated from the ‘I.L. Caragiale’ Theater and Cinematography Institute in 1956. She made her debut in September the same year, in Alexandru Mirodan’s play ‘The Journalists’, informs the website www.cinemagia.ro. Between 1957 and 1990 she performed at the Bucharest National Theater.
A member of the Golden Generation of the Romanian theater and with a career spanning 55 years, actress Draga Olteanu Matei has delighted the Romanian public with her vivid and colorful performance of dozens of characters in movies, theater shows and TV skits.
After her retirement from the National Theater in 1992, the veteran actress set up in Piatra Neamt the “Your Theater” acting company for non-professional actors. She officially became a Piatra Neamt resident at the beginning of September 2007, when she obtained the relevant residence document. In 2007 she was conferred the title of Piatra Neamt Honorary Citizen.
Her contribution to the Romanian theater and cinema has been recognized through the numerous awards, titles and diplomas received throughout her career, including: the Prize of the Romanian Filmmakers Union in 1975 (‘Ilustrate cu flori de camp/Wildflower Cards’, ‘Filip cel Bun/Filip the Good’), the lifetime achievement award of the Romanian Theatrical Union (2004), the TVR and Prime Time World Broadcast Award for Most Beloved Actress (2003), the Gopo lifetime achievement award (2010), the lifetime achievement award presented during the International Film Festival Comedy Cluj (2011).
In 2002 the Romanian Presidency decorated her with the National Order of the ‘Star of Romania’ for her dedication in serving the Romanian theater and culture.
Starting with October 29, 2011, Draga Olteanu Matei has a star on the Celebrities Alley in Bucharest’s Timpului Square. “After God, I thank you all, those who came here and those who are not here, because I owe it to you that I was an actress; I tried with all my heart to make you happy and feel good,” she said at the induction ceremony.
In 2014 Princess Margareta presented her with the Order of the ‘Crown of Romania’ in the rank of Officer, in a ceremony held in the Hall of Honor of the Peles Castle in Sinaia.