The untalented actress, the “red princess”, Lica Gheorghiu: her will to be a star gave birth to Buftea studios

Few are those who remember Lica Gheorghiu, the “red princess” of other times, those of sad memory. Yet she existed and, more than that, it seems that her desire to become a star was so strong that it was overlooked in the cinema, even the fact that she had little talent.

Lica Gheorghiu is the eldest daughter of the dictator Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, so, considering her “noble lineage”, it goes without saying that, from the very beginning, all doors were open to her.

“A small, chubby woman, with the figure of a banal housewife, with a bad voice, without a bit of talent. She played the maiden in love. She had nothing to recommend her for a role in any film in the world, but she wanted to be an artist, a film star”, Stelian Tănase characterized her.

lica gheorghiu and actor Iurie Darie
Lica Gheorghiu with actor Iurie Darie

Lica Gheorghiu, the dictator’s daughter

As I mentioned before, Lica Gheorghiu was lucky to be born into the right family, the most prominent family in communist Romania. So, with the help of her father, she was able to act in “Avalanșa”, “Tudor”, “De-aș fi Harap Alb” and “Lupeni ’29”.

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Despite the fact that the directors of the time pointed out that the woman didn’t seem to have any talent, she succeeded, albeit temporarily, giving everyone countless headaches. But as no one had the courage to oppose her, in troubled times, not officially, at least Lica Gheorghiu ended up being cast in films that, at times, contained bits of communist propaganda.

Lica Gheorghiu
Lica Gheorghiu

She scared the Buftea sweatshops

As soon as she managed to get back together, being untalented but “tough-as-nails”, as it was whispered in those days, Lica Gheorghiu also began to pretend that everything would go her way, often playing the role of a righteous maiden both in films and in real life, with little fits of jealousy directed against her young and beautiful colleagues.

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At one point, she is said to have wanted to replace Irina Petrescu in The Waves of the Danube.

However, there seem to be people who remember Lica Gheorghiu with a certain nostalgia, saying that she would have had merits, not only faults. “I collaborated excellently with Lica at “Tudor”, although she was a difficult character in general. I was the only one she accepted next to her. Cinematography owes her an enormous debt, above all the existence of the Buftea studios. She ordered everything we asked her to bring from the West. We had only the best quality cosmetics. Who can afford to work only with Christian Dior today? I remember she was late for a shoot, but she apologised and brought huge plates of cakes for the whole team. And when it comes to film make-up, I stole the craft from Hagop Arakelian, who founded the French school of make-up. Lica had also brought him, at the beginning of his film career”, Mircea Voda said.

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