He traded Romania for America and acting for taxi driving: the story of Dan Nuțu, the actor who was a sensation in Romania in the 60s and 70s

In his day, Dan Nuțu was one of the most talented young actors. Although he had his whole career ahead of him, the artist made a radical decision that changed his life forever.

In 2023, Dan Nuțu’s name is not as well known as Alexandru Arșinel’s, for example. Although fate was on his side, at the time the young actor gave up everything just to escape the clutches of communism and start a new life, far away from everything he knew.

Dan Nutu

Dan Nuțu, a Romanian actor who could have had the chance of Ion Caramitru, Alexandru Arșinel or even Dem Rădulescu

Dan Nuțu was one of the most famous actors in our country during the 60s and 70s. If you like Romanian films in general, you may remember him from films like “Beyond the Sands”, “Too Small for Such a Big War”, “Sunday at 6 o’clock” or “Mornings of a Good Boy”. In all of these he gave memorable performances.

In “Beyond the Sands”, Dan Nuțu stood out alongside Mircea Albulescu and George Constantin, playing a script adapted from “The Angel Cried” by Fănuș Neagu.

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Moreover, the 1967 film “The Mornings of a Good Boy”, directed by Andrei Blaier, gave Dan Nuțu the opportunity to share the set with Sebastian Papaiani, Ion Caramitru, Irina Petrescu and Ștefan Ciobotărașu.

However, this glory he enjoyed was not enough reason for the actor to continue living in communism, so at some point he took a drastic and quite dangerous decision, in the context of those years.

Dan Nuțu Movies Theatre
Dan Nuțu

The great “escape” from the Socialist Republic of Romania

Although he never said that he left Romania necessarily because of communism, Dan Nuțu wanted a different life for himself, this time in another land, directly in America.

“As I said, I had done it all, I had managed to get into the theatre, I was already a professional, I played at the Teatrul Mic, then Ciulei took me to Bulandra, in films I worked with everyone except Sergiu Nicolaescu, God forgive him.

Playing with the good ones, in comedies, dramas, tragedies less, but I also did tragedy, you get to a point where you have enough. I loved film work, but I had already played with all the directors, in theatre I only liked rehearsals, not performances.

Many others had gone before me, though. I left the country out of curiosity. I knew clearly that I was not going to do any more acting, but the thought didn’t bother me at all, because I no longer had the drive, I was no longer eager. I had a very hard start in America because I couldn’t pretend to be young forever, once I had a wife and two children. As for work, for that you had to move from city to city almost weekly or bi-monthly.

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I started with taxis, because you discover the city and you make money fast and I needed them for my videography school. I made a little film there before I started doing other things. I did some more acting, Liviu called me, Andrei called me, but I didn’t have the drive anymore. And I’m not at all sorry. That’s not one of my big regrets.

Everything was fine, I have two grown children… Both are in Boston, already on their own. And their mother’s still there and she’s still working in video, in film. She worked as an editor and then producer for WBH, the Boston TV station”, Dan Nuțu told Tango Magazine.

Basically, Dan Nuțu hasn’t acted in films since 1979, but he doesn’t regret it either. After the 1990s, the former actor returned to the country several times, and during his visits, he gave a series of interviews to the Romanian press.

Among the most memorable is the one from “Garantat 100%”, which you can watch below.

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