The actor who gave his life for the stage: Valeria Seciu never remarried after the death of Octavian Cotescu. Their only son, a monk

Octavian Cotescu is one of the most important and talented actors Romania has ever had.

Unfortunately, he “passed away” much too early, leaving behind a unique cinematic and theatrical legacy. Obviously, he will always live in the hearts of Romanian film lovers, precisely through his roles.

Octavian Cotescu - archive image
Octavian Cotescu in the film “Operation Monster” (1976)

Octavian Cotescu, one of the most important Romanian actors of the golden generation

The actor Octavian Cotescu was born on February 14, 1931, in Dorohoi, and died in Bucharest, on August 22, 1985.

He was one of the most beloved actors of the golden generation, and his artistic activity includes many roles in films, but also on stage.

He played for many years at the Bulandra Theatre, where he had the opportunity to share the stage with Toma Caragiu, Florian Pittiș, Gina Patrichi, Ileana Predescu, Ștefan Bănică, Ion Besoiu, Dan Nuțu, Victor Rebengiuc and Marin Moraru.

He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit 3rd class in 1967 for “outstanding merits in the field of dramatic art”.

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As for his personal life, Octavian Cotescu was married to actress Valeria Seciu, and together they had a child, Alexandru Cotescu, who, in 1974, received the chance to play in “Păcală”, and later retired to the holy places, on Mount Athos, under the name of Daniil.

After Octavian Cotescu’s disappearance, Valeria Seciu did not want to remarry, preferring to remain faithful to the man she called the love of her life. The actress also died on 6 September 2022.

Octavian Cotescu Actor
Octavian Cotescu in the film “Ion: Curse of the Earth, Curse of Love” (1980)

The sudden disappearance of Octavian Cotescu

In 1984, Octavian Cotescu suffered, for the first time, from a feeling of illness.

The writer Ion Băieșu would later tell of the actor’s failing health, warning him to be more careful, but Cotescu would not listen.

According to the writer’s accounts, he would have entered the backstage of the Bulandra Theatre one evening, as he had done many times before. Before the performance, the two used to have a coffee together.

As ever, the actor did not seem too enthusiastic about the show he was about to perform in, telling Băieșu that he was dizzy and afraid to go on stage. Not even the painkiller he had taken earlier had helped.

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Seeing such a thing, the writer would have advised Cotescu to postpone the performance, but he would have responded in kind: “The audience what do they do? Go home? What’s his fault that I don’t feel well?”.

“Any man but an actor! That’s an essential thing to think about when you choose such a profession. Because you choose it, nobody forces you. You don’t become a pilot if you know you’re height sick. You don’t become an actor if you’re physically vulnerable”, Octavian Cotescu would have replied to Ion Băieșu, who would have then replied “But anyone can feel sick”.

“He was perspiring enormously, he was congested, his voice had altered, he had uncertain gestures, he stumbled several times, at one point he paused for a long time between lines, looking backstage”, Băieșu reported in the newspaper Informația Bucureștiului in 1985.

“By a superhuman effort he carried the show through to the end. The audience received, as if, the mysterious signal of his extraordinary gesture and, overwhelmed, applauded madly”, he added, about Octavian Cotescu’s performance that evening.

Unbeknownst to his family, he was admitted to hospital, but far too late for the doctors to do anything for his life. Unfortunately, a few days later, the actor would die.

The real cause of the actor’s death has never been revealed.

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