The diva of the Romanian Revival Theatre was to die in absolute solitude: the always cheerful lady, Cristina Stamate, never remarried after the death of her second partner

Cristina Stamate was one of the most appreciated theatre and film actresses in our country, although her acting activity was largely focused on the revue theatre.

Alongside Stela Popescu and Paula Rădulescu, Cristina Stamate made history in Romania. She has always stood out for her ease and verve. Wherever she was, the room was filled with good humour.

Cristina Stamate in her youth – archive image

Cristina Stamate, the magazine actress who is never born again

Cristina Stamate was born on February 8, 1946, in the capital, and was the daughter of Cristian Stamate, an actor himself.

Although at first she wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, life took her to the theatre scene, and she ended up finishing her studies at the Institute of Theatrical and Cinematographic Arts in Bucharest,

As mentioned above, she worked largely in revue theatre, among the best known plays in which she acted were Noah’s Ark and Vasile, The King’s Jesters, Give a Penny but Make a Penny, The Idol of Women, Nothing about Parrots, Good Luck to Tănase, The Magazine Review, I’ll Wait for You Tonight on Lipscani, Hooray… and at the Train Station or Summer is Not Like Winter.

All these plays were performed dozens of times at the Constantin Tănase Revue Theatre in Bucharest.

In addition, the actress also played in The Fan, at the National Television Theatre, but she also left her mark in Scenes from the Life of the Great World and The Lord of Silence, at the National Radio Theatre.

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As far as cinema is concerned, Cristina Stamate has acted in two films, as follows: Hurry up slowly, from 1982, and The Secret of Bachus, released two years later.

Of course, a host of short television sketches that were often aired on National Television’s New Year’s Eve programs of yesteryear also come into the equation.

Cristina Stamate, in the last part of her life

Overcome by illness, but also by loneliness. Cristina Stamate’s legacy is dozens of roles performed to perfection: “I became a star overnight”.

As for her personal life, the actress is said to have married actor Dan Ivănescu for love at the age of 20 in 1966. She was married to him for 11 years, until the fateful year 1977.

Immediately after her divorce from Ivănescu, who is suspected of having been unfaithful, Cristina Stamate began a relationship with Zanfir Pop, with whom she remained for 20 years, until his death on 30 December 1999.

At the same time, the actress became more and more famous and appreciated. She would talk about this at one point in an interview.

“I’ve always been lucky. Games are made from Above, we just fit into them. In ballet, for example, a neighbor signed me up. And in the theatre, I got in thanks to my brothers. My eldest took me as a child to see performances by the great actors of the day, and my middle brother took me with him to the opera, where he played child parts and let me sit in the pit.

Then, after finishing the Theatre Institute, I was assigned to the Dramatic Theatre in Arad. After a couple of years, they thought of doing a revue, to increase the theatre’s takings, because this is a genre that is very popular with the public. I also played and had a remarkable success. Something out of the ordinary. I became a star overnight. I couldn’t go out on the street without being recognized, teachers invited me to directing classes, I was given places in line at the cinema. I got a taste of real success.

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I told myself that even in twenty years, in Bucharest, I wouldn’t be as successful as I was back then. And yet, I took heart and tried to return to the capital, because this was my family. But the theatres were closed, we were in the middle of the Ceausescu era. And there were only vacancies at the puppet theatre and the revue theatre.

I didn’t know what to do, what to choose. I went to Andrei Serban, whose troupe I was in. What should I do, Andrei?. And he answered me very wisely: You can’t do theater in one side or the other, but you can be a star in a magazine…. Hahaha!

I’m not sorry I chose this, I think my inner fibre was for revue theatre from the start. That’s why I stuck so well to the genre. The audience gets a better feel for things and somehow picks you out, recognizes you. I had done six years of choreography school, dance was not a mystery to me, I have a musical ear and can sing very well, and I was a declared comedy actress from the start. So I had everything I needed. For me, it was a piece of cake to play this genre,” Cristina Stamate told Formula As magazine in 2009.

Cristina Stamate passed away on 27 November 2017 after a stroke. She died four days after Stela Popescu, her lifelong colleague, with no loved ones by her side, cared for largely by strangers.

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