Marga Barbu was at one time referred to as the “Amazon of Romanian cinema” and for years she was Florin Piersic’s partner in some of Romania’s best-loved films.
In fact, at the time, everyone was under the impression that she was Florin Piersic’s girlfriend, since the chemistry between the two actors could be seen with the naked eye, in films. In reality, they were just best friends.
While Romanians continued to believe that a great love story was going on between them, Marga Barbu lived happily with writer Eugen Barbu, her husband.
Marga Barbu wanted to become a ballerina, but her health didn’t allow it
Marga Barbu was, in turn, Agatha, Zulnia and Ania, but first, before these roles, she was Margareta-Yvonne Butuc, a rather shy little girl who dreamed of becoming a ballerina.
She was born on 24 February 1929, in Ocna Șugatag, Maramureș county, to a mother who was a ballerina (hence the dream) and a father who, at the time, held the position of director of the local saltworks.
“My only outburst of exuberance was when I was 4 years old. That’s when I made a sensation at a pageant reading couplets for commercials. As a child, I played the pharmacist all the time, but everyone around was delighted to see me imitating the guests perfectly”, Marga Barbu confessed years later in an interview.
Immediately after her family moved to Bucharest, the young Marga fervently wanted to become a dancer, but a medical check-up changed her mind: her heart problems could have been fatal if she had put her body through such an effort.
Wanting, however, to work in the arts, she enrolled immediately after graduating from high school in theatre and philosophy. He was one of the last to enter the theatre, but he did.
After graduating from theatre school, she became an actress at Notarra in 1950.
Throughout her life, she was married three times. The first time at the age of 21, to an engineer. The marriage didn’t last long, due to character mismatches.
Later, her second marriage would keep her with actor Constantin Codrescu for five years. “Our marriage… was not a fulfillment for me. I have some letters from him, in which he said that I was restricting his freedom, when I was only helping him, according to my abilities. At that time he was also very ill,” she recalled.
During her divorce from Codrescu, Marga met the writer Eugen Barbu, who was also going through a separation. “An extraordinary bridge of communication had been built between us. We laughed at the same things and I was glad he had a good sense of humour. If you can smile, you get through life’s hardships more easily,” the artist recounted of meeting her future husband.
Eventually, Marga Barbu was to play the role of Anita, concocted by the writer’s own mind.
“She was modest, communicative, always smiling, beautiful… a normal person, without hyphoses, without pretence”
Marga Barbu was, in Florin Piersic’s opinion, “modest, communicative, always smiling, beautiful… a normal man, without hyphoses, without pretence”.
The two were to star together for years in the famous Romanian series of films about outlaws and native cowboys.
About the actress, it is said that she used to do her own stunts.
During breaks from acting, she occupied her time learning languages to train her brain. Over the course of her life, she ended up learning eight: Spanish, Italian, French, English, Hungarian, German, Greek and Japanese.
This also gave her a certain advantage in society, since every time personalities who spoke one of the languages Marga knew arrived in our country, she was invited to facilitate communication.
On 31 March 2009, at the age of 80, Marga Barbu was struck down by the illness that had prevented her from becoming a dancer.