From “Agripina the swindler” to “Greek Caliopi”, she finally ended up fleeing socialist Romania: what Carmen Maria Strujac left behind is beautiful and memorable

If the name Carmen Maria Strujac doesn’t ring a bell, find out that she is a former Romanian actress who distinguished herself, among other things, in Brigada Diverse.

Carmen Maria Strujac has acted, during her career in cinema, alongside important names in Romanian cinema such as Ion Besoiu, Toma Caragiu and even the king of the stars, Florin Piersic.

Carmen Maria Strujac Actress in the comic film
Carmen Maria Strujac and Toma Caragiu, in the series Brigada Diverse – Widows with a short term

Carmen Maria Strujac stayed with us for a while, but then emigrated

Carmen Maria Strujac was born in Bucharest on 29 December 1949 and graduated from the I.L. Caragiale Institute of Theatre and Cinema in 1970.

At first, she was an actress at the Fani Tardini Dramatic Theatre in Galați, and later had the opportunity to act in a series of films, among her most important roles being the Greek Caliopi, in the series Haiducii (1971), the swindler Agripina, in Brigada Diverse in alert! (1971) or Maria Mureșan, in Fiul Mureților (1981).

Even today, actor Florin Piersic has nothing but praise for Carmen Maria Strujac. “I said, if I miss this, I’m an ox of the nation! And then I took you and you said: You were extraordinary, I’m so excited, how beautiful you played this madman”. And I said: Well, I’m good at fools. I said: Would you like to drive me to the station?. He drove me to the station. I know you don’t like what I’m saying, but I do.

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I kissed you so much at the station that my lips still hurt. We had a hard time parting and, when I arrived in Bucharest, you were the only one in my head”, Florin Piersic told, in his characteristic style, to a TV station, years ago.

In all, she starred in nearly 20 films before giving up her film career. So it’s safe to say that despite her short career, she had no shortage of demand.

Nowadays, she is less known in Romania, and this is due to the fact that she managed to emigrate to Italy in 1980. The former actress has a daughter in the person of opera singer Alexandra Coman. Strujac is currently based in Vienna.

Although she has preferred to flaunt a low profile in recent years, she has aligned herself with the present and maintains social media accounts.

Carmen Maria Strujac in the film Brigada Diverse
Carmen Maria Strujac in the film “Brigada Diverse”

Carmen Maria Strujac, in Brigada Diverse

As mentioned earlier, Carmen Maria Strujac had the opportunity to star in Brigada Diverse, namely in “Widows with a Short Term”.

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If you don’t remember what this film is about, we’ll refresh your memory: Major Dobrescu gives a new mission to the Diverse Brigade, solving the case of the Young Widows Association, which provides material and legal assistance to women who have lost their husbands in their youth.

In reality, this association is just a front for a group of house thieves.

Among other things, the association is made up of a supposed group of young widows, who tail men at the Gare de Nord or even at hotels, enter their houses, make doubles at the keys and persuade them to take them out, while the thieves steal goods and money.

Vornicescu (played by Ion Besoiu) is one of the victims. It’s not long before Gogu, Patraulea and Trandafir are also robbed.

While Gogu goes to the police to report the theft, his colleagues follow Agripina (played by Carmen Maria Strujac) and reach the thieves, in this way.

Obviously, the widows end up being arrested and charged with the swindle. In order to get a lesser sentence, they give away the way the association works, as well as the addresses of the members, and the leaders of the association are arrested on the spot following the revelations.

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