Actor Dumitru Furdui, fugitive from socialist Romania, died a tragic death: what a bizarre end perhaps the most beloved “militiaman” had

It seems too many actors have ended tragically, the drama not being present in their lives only on stage, as would have been ideal. Dumitru Furdui was an actor who offered a lot on the stage, but life itself did not offer him what he deserved.

Dumitru Furdui (Tică Furdui) was born on 27 October 1936 in Băilești, Dolj and died in 1998 in Paris. At least, that’s what it says in his papers, that he was born in Romania. In fact, the great actor was born in Soroca, in Basarabia, into a family of Basarabian refugees who fled to Oltenia at the beginning of the Second World War.

Dumitru Furdui, the “Militian” from the comedy series “Brigade of Diversities”.

He was one of the most beloved Romanian actors. He graduated from the “I.L. Caragiale” Institute of Theatrical and Cinematographic Arts in 1957, not without some difficulties (he was temporarily expelled in 1953, because he had been “taken to the eye” by the Securitate for sympathizing with the anti-communist revolution in Hungary), and later became a comedy performer in theatre and television. However, Communist censorship and the fact that he was being watched by Nicolae Ceaușescu’s security forces led him to leave the country, settling in Paris in 1982, where he took political refuge. There, the actor worked sporadically in the film industry, leading a secluded, friendless life, exile proving to be the solution he had long dreamed of.

24 years since the bizarre death of the late actor Dumitru Furdui

Tică Furdui played on the Bucharest stages, at the National Theatre, the Bulandra and the Teatrul Mic. He was also successful in cinema. He played in 16 Romanian films and several French ones. Her best-known and best-loved roles were in Brigada Diverse intră in azione, BD in alertă, B.D. la munte și la mare. He was the “militiaman” Cristoloveanu.

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The great actor’s son, Tudor Furdui, sports news anchor at TVR, cherishes him and, of course, remembers him fondly.

“My father left this world with no regrets. And I think he also left Romania in 1983, a few years before the fall of the communist regime. He realised, perhaps before many, what was happening and decided to take that step, he chose to leave”, said Tudor Furdui, Dumitru Furdui’s son, for

Dumitru Furdui, “The Engineer” from the film “Freshman Autumn”

Tudor Furdui says of his father that “he could not bear the idea that someone could choose to make a mockery of his work”.

“And when they censored his written plays, of which the one with Ștefan Bănică, “Happy end to the militia”, was performed five hundred times on the stage of the Theatre in Ploiești in just three years, he said up to here! And he chose to leave, because the censors had chosen things that my father didn’t like at all”, says Tudor Furdui.

Culture under the communist regime was oppressed, without fail. It was hard to make art at that time, it was almost impossible to be an actor, to do your job properly. But Dumitru Furdui chose to write several books about theatre, including one in which he demonstrated the propandistic role that the communists had offered to the noble art that he had once embraced. One of them is called “The World of Romanian Theatre” and is a history of Romanian theatre under communist rule, without the rigour of a scholarly work. In this book, the actor makes a comparison between the theatre after 1990 and the theatre of the previous period, when it was a very effective means of communist propaganda, made so by the excessive activity of the censorship.

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Dumitru Furdui, archive photo

The actor’s death occurred under unclear circumstances. Dumitru Furdui fell from the eighth floor of his apartment building on the outskirts of the French capital. One of the causes is thought to have been suicide, and some sources say alcohol consumption was also to blame. His neighbours immediately called the emergency services when the tragedy happened, but the doctors could do nothing to save him. French police launched an investigation at the time, but have not provided any details, even though the death of the famous actor occurred in circumstances that raised many questions.

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