Ion Besoiu was one of the most important actors Romania has ever had, but also one of those accused of collaborating with the Securitate, in times of great emotional, social and political hardship.
As suspected, but not proven, Ion Besoiu preferred to be on the wrong side of history.
Among those he allegedly turned in was the late Ion Caramitru.
Ion Besoiu, a constant presence in Romanian cinema
Ion Besoiu was born on March 11, 1931, in Sibiu and died in January 2017, in the capital.
He was an actor, a radio man, and worked in theatre and television.
He made his debut in 1957 and, throughout his career, he played in the series Toate Pânzele Sus, directed by Mircea Mureșan, with Jean Constantin and Ilarion Ciobanu as partners.
For more than 16 years he was an actor of the “Radu Stanca” Theatre, in Sibiu, and the most famous roles he played were: Cloșca, in Horia’s Trial (1967), Serebreakov, in Uncle Vanya (1983), Polonius, in Hamlet (1985), Oronte, in Mizantropul (1989), Corifeu, in Antigona (1993), Ferapont, in Three Sisters (1995), Senecus, in Caligula (1996), and Muhoiarov Ivan Matveevici, in Oblomov (2003), according to Wikipedia.
Among his best-loved films are The Tempest, The Falconers, The Huns, The Revolt, Mihai Viteazul, Ciprian Porumbescu, Păcală, Ion, Curse of the Earth, Curse of Love, Last Night of Love and Lights and Shadows.
Moreover, he was declared honorary citizen of Sibiu and Ion Iliescu awarded him the National Order “Steaua României”, in the rank of knight, relying, at that time, on the contribution that Ion Besoiu would have brought to the development of Romanian theatrical art.
Ion Besoiu was accused of collaborating with the Securitate and receiving gifts from the Communists
In April 2011, the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives asked the Bucharest Court of Appeal to find that Ion Besoiu had collaborated with the former Securitate.
According to CNSAS, Ion Besoiu collaborated intensively with the Political Police, having the conspiratorial name of “Bogdan”..
Ion Besoiu denounced Ion Caramitru, Liviu Ciulei, Dinu Săraru, Gina Patrichi and Răzvan Theodorescu to the Securitate at that time. All this would have happened when he was director of the Bulandra Theatre.
In exchange for information given to the Securitate, Besoiu would be rewarded with money and other gifts.
Contacted by the press at the time, Ion Besoiu declared that, in reality, the only true information was that he had been contacted by Securitate officers, but that he had refused them and had not received any rewards from the regime.
“Maybe they would go and get themselves a bottle of whisky. I never received gifts from the Securitate. It’s ridiculous, I had a salary of 6,000 lei. They came to see me in my capacity as director, and sometimes I even held them at the door until I finished my work. They did ask me what was discussed at these receptions, but I never gave them any notes and I never signed any commitments,” Ion Besoiu said years ago.
By decision 3043 of 26 June 2014, the High Court of Cassation and Justice decided, however, that Ion Besoiu was not a collaborator of the Securitate.
“In 1979 I had been on tour in Connecticut, in the little town where Yale is famous. They had a student theatre section there, and I, who was already an assistant in Bucharest, did a demonstration with the students, which was a success. Afterwards, I received through the International Theatre Institute a scholarship there, but I couldn’t take advantage of it. I tried to go everywhere in the audience, even Suzana Gâdea I reached. But I wasn’t given a passport”, Ion Caramitru said.
For this, Ion Caramitru always suspected “Bogdan”, the supposed conspiratorial name of Ion Besoiu.