Today, the masters of Romanian comedy Toma Caragiu and Jean Constantin would have celebrated their birthday.
On August 21, with a difference of two years, two of the greatest performers of comic roles that Romanian cinema has had throughout time were born. Toma Caragiu and Jean Constantin would have turned 98 and 96 years old, respectively.
The great actors of Romanian comedy, Jean Constantin and Toma Caragiu
Toma Caragiu was born on August 21, 1925 and died at the age of 51, in the so-called “Earthquake of ’77”. In the evening of March 4, 1977, the artist was visited by his friend, the film and TV director Alexandru Bocăneţ, who came to celebrate the completion of the film “Gloria does not sing”, in which the maestro played the main role. The building where he lived was destroyed by the earthquake, and the two were trapped in the rubble.
Jean Constantin was born in 1927, in a multi-ethnic family, his mother being of Greek ethnicity and his father being Romanian. Although for a long time the idea that he was of Roma origin was circulated, the actor never confirmed these rumors and made fun of them: “I played my Roma roles very well and I convinced the ethnic group and not only that, that I am – theirs”, said the actor. He acted in the films of the early 1960s, and at the end of the decade he was cast in the successful productions “Too Small for a War That Big” and “The Canary and the Blizzard”. However, the comic roles are the ones that make him famous, played since 1970 for “Brigada Diverse”, in the company of actors Toma Caragiu, Puiu Călinescu, Iurie Darie, Sebastian Papaiani and Dem Rădulescu.
“I don’t give my Constance to all of America”said Jean Constantin, the most loved Constantinian for several generations.
The two were titans of Romanian comedy, actors with an impressive career who made films that will last in Romanian cinema.