The bohemian ‘bandit’ of the Romanian films of yesteryear: today, few people remember Nuni Anestin

Nuni Anestin is one of the important actors of the golden age, especially in terms of playing villains.

Although his name is not as well known as those of other actors of his generation, his acting talent seems to have gone far beyond the realms of the ordinary, and the recognition he receives today seems small compared to how much he gave on stage and on set.

Actor Nuni Anestin films
Nuni Anestin – archive image

Fate “condemned” him to play strictly negative characters

Ion Tudor (Nuni) Anestin was born on 1 July 1941, in Craiova, and died on 21 September 1989, in Bucharest.

He was a particularly interesting, almost unique actor, characterized by a bohemian spirit such as one rarely encounters.

Nuni came from a family of artists from Craiova, being the son of the caricaturist Ion Valentin Anestin.

As his face was scarred, Nuni Anestin was “condemned” to play, to a large extent, negative roles.

His personal life was not exactly uneventful. When he was still a student, Nuni ended up in court following a dispute that resulted in serious violence. After his release from prison he married Iulia Vraca, the ex-wife of actor George Vraca.

Between 1974 and 1977 he played on the stage of the Dramatic Theatre “G. A. Petculescu” in Reșița, together with the actress Lelia Columb, his second wife and also the second wife of Colea Răutu, but in other times.

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In turn. uni Anestin was a cartoonist, like his father.

Over the course of his career, he starred in The Last Cartridge (1973) as the bandit Pavel, in The Plum, the Oil and the Ardennes as the bandit Freddie Calhoun, in The Duel (1981) as the interloper Gogu Ologu, and in The Mysteries of Bucharest (1983) as the Strigoaia Man.

He had a rich track record that included, in the 1970s, more than 20 feature films, including “Mikhail, Circus Dog”, “Justice in Chains”, “The Secret of Bachus”, “Revenge” and “Sword Swallower”.

“I met Nuni through my godfather, the famous Fănuș Neagu. Fane had a special talent to gather around him all the artistic and sporting elite. And the drink was a damn effective medium for loosening tongues and reminiscing. Especially in the Bermuda Triangle, as Fănuș liked to define the area where he lived, between the pubs Poiana, Doina and Bolta Rece”, Cristina Sima once told about Nuni Anestin.

Nuni Anestin and Gheorghe Dinică in “Revenge” – photo dating from 1978

Nuni Anestin, an unequalled storyteller

Nuni Anestin is said to be a gifted storyteller, one of his autobiographical anecdotes being about a trip to Brazil he was fortunate enough to make in the late 1970s. “I can’t believe what an idiot I was. To have a chance like that. Once in a lifetime it happens! It was right during Carnival in Rio, and I don’t remember anything! I just have like this, pieces of film, put in the hallway,” he recounted.

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“I’m afraid of flying, and the trip was awfully long. Naturally, through Moscow. At the changeover between planes, what could I do in the country of my beloved Votca! The first drink was to relax after the first flight, the others, to take courage for what was to come! Another 13 hours through the winds of the winds. Let’s face it, even on the plane, I’ve had a little more honesty… I really don’t know how I was delivered to the hotel! Every day I woke up hungover and aching and drank from the mini bar in my room. I’d get a note, order some food.

The fact is, on the outside, I never made it. And that was for a week. And that was the time zone thing. But I was clearly from another planet. I remember one other moment, when I had to pack up on the way back. It wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t have much luggage. Someone in the hotel helped me, I think, because the maids were probably running like hell from me! And the ride to the airport remains a blur. What about the flight? When I woke up, I was home, well and truly, with a big headache, but also some damage on my hand. I guess, in the meantime, someone had fallen in love with my watch, that it had disappeared! And it was a gift from Julia!” he added.

In the following, we invite you to watch a short excerpt from the film “Revenge”, in which the bohemian Nuni Anestin played, of course, along with other established actors of the old days.

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