“Great actor, but also a great drunk.” He used to trade his poems for packs of cigarettes. Vasile Nițulescu, a special talent

Vasile Nițulescu was, in general, a theatre actor, but he also made many appearances in Romanian cinema, the pre-Revolutionary cinema.

The actor succeeded, with a special charisma, in “composing strange, often sickly characters”.

Vasile Nițulescu story drama alcohol actor
Vasile Nițulescu – archive image

Vasile Nițulescu, an actor who did not shy away from excellence

Vasile Nițulescu was born on 25 April 1925 in Bucharest and died on 11 February 1991 in the same city.

He played for years on the stage of the Teatrului Mic, but also appeared in films, totalling more than 80 tilings throughout his career.

Among the most famous films in which Vasile Nițulescu played are: The Silver Mask, Burebista, The Prophet, Gold and the Ardelenii, The Freshman Winter, The Green Grass at Home, Doctor Poenaru, The Three Seals, All sails up, The Freshman Autumn, Tănase Scatiu, A Commissioner Accuses, Filip the Good, The Cherry Trees, The Call of Gold, Thirst, Among the Green Hills or Life Doesn’t Forgive.


“At the root of my love and hatred for the theatre is what I would call the lability of talent, I honor the chameleon actor.

For me, as for my friend Ivan Helmer, the most convincing example was a long-dead actor, Vasile Nițulescu.

A non-chameleon actor par excellence, because he didn’t prostitute his talent to please the character, he brought the character to him”, declared, at one point, director Radu Penciulescu, in a dialogue with film critic George Banu.

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He played in all the films directed by Dan Pița, a sign that the filmmaker held this extremely talented actor in high esteem.

Vasile Nițulescu alcohol drama actor story
Vasile Nițulescu – archive image

Vasile Nițulescu and funny stories he was involved in

Vasile Nițulescu was indeed a unique character. Bohemian, in the true sense of the word, but also free in thought and expression.

“I made a film with him in Jurilovca. Great actor, but also a great drunk. He tells me: I’m going home on Saturday, I have to take some fish.

Done and done. We got on a boat. Him with the bottles of vodka behind him. As soon as we caught a carafe, we threw it in the back, where nephew Vasile was sitting.

When I said I’d catch about 20, I asked him: Is this enough? To which he replies: Which ones?

When I turned around and looked, there was nothing in the boat. He poured vodka down their mouths and threw them back.

I asked him: What are you doing, mister? Why did they throw them away? To which he replied: I let them go and tell the other fish that there are people in this world”, Vasile Popa recalled with amusement.

Obviously, these were not the only funny episodes involving actor Vasile Nițulescu.

In turn, the painter Aurel Nedel recalled: “Piuliță and I decided that we would both go to dinner and not receive anyone at our table.

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We had taken some money and, at one point, we felt something burning in the back of our heads. We knew the steps and when we turned back, Vasile Nițulescu, to whom I was very attached, was coming after us. He had found out.

I say, do we receive Vasile? Vasile, how could we not? We all go to dinner, we order and Passover shows up and sits at our table.

Nut: What are you doing at our table? Please leave immediately! I’m not leaving, sir! A bottle of wine was 12 lei. Nut: I’ll give you 20 lei, will you leave? No! Pause.

Easter, I’ll give you 50 lei to leave. No. Well, Easter, I’ll give you 100 lei to leave. No. Double all the time. Hey, Pâcă, I’ll give you 200 lei to leave! I’m leaving, sir!

He takes out the money and gives it, but Pâcă stays.

The waiter was just passing by and Easter says: Master, two batteries of wine and order some food, I don’t know how many mussels.

Pâcă, you bastard, you promised you’d leave. Sir, I drink on my own dime, he replied.

We stayed together, what can you do?”, the painter recalled, in a dialogue with journalist Stefan Mitroi.

About Vasile Nițulescu it is also said that he used to write exceptionally beautiful poems, which either remained in a drawer or he gave them on cigarette packets.

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