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Ilie Gheorghe

Honorary member of the "Marin Sorescu" National Theater (2004)

One of the most important actors of the country (b. September 21, 1940, Giubega, Dolj - d. April 28, 2018, Craiova), his name is linked to the great roles performed on the stage of the National Theater Craiova, despite the fact that he received honorable proposals to stay abroad: "Six months in France, I played the Marquis de Sade, in an extraordinary show. Proposals were made to me, but I couldn't... I don't regret that I stayed in Craiova, others regret that I didn't go to them. He performed memorable roles that place him in the gallery of the great Romanian actors of all time: Timon of Athens, Caliban, Ubu Rex, Aaron, Iona, Prospero, Polonius, Sir Toby Belch, Gremio, Duke - most of them under the stage direction of Silviu Purcărete, but also of important directors such as Tompa Gabor, Mihai Măniuțiu, Mircea Cornișteanu, Cristian Hadjiculea, Bocsárdi Lászlo. Not only the far-reaching tragic roles imposed on Ilie, but also those of intense comedy, where he was truly versatile, overflowing: Cațavencu, Sile Gurău, Oratorul pisicilor turbate, etc.

He was awarded by UNITER, the Romanian Academy and other national cultural institutions, he was acclaimed on international stages around the world. He walked naturally among us, but on the stage he floated in the light of art that does not lie. Marin Sorescu honored him with his friendship and considered him the best Iona: "I am an old admirer of the actor Ilie Gheorghe. In Iona he made an extraordinary show. I think it's the most beautiful show with Iona that has been made so far." In Singapore, where he was on tour with the same show, at the subsequent press conference, a television editor who broadcast it exclaimed: "Now after seeing Iona, we have the feeling that we know how to speak Romanian." He rocked the world with Silviu Purcărete's performances, and the English press was impressed after he played the role of Caliban in "The Storm", directed by the same Silviu Purcărete: "Another Caliban cannot be in England!". The great American director Robert Wilson fell in love with his art and, at the end of rehearsals with the show "Rhinoceros", he wrote to him: "In the 47 years I have worked with actors, you are definitely among the best! What you are doing is brilliant. Thank you very much."

Iona, his last show (2017) on the stage of the Amza Pellea hall, can be considered a true testament of the actor and man Ilie Gheorghe: the one who saves himself through faith and the power of his healing art.

"The personification of this evil, Aaron the one thirsty for carrion, with a black face, continues to play, after the end of the revenges and crimes, emphasized by the Mozartian chords, in the foyer: scourged by countless spears, Ilie Gheorghe writhes among the spectators who leave the hall to he finally crouched on the floor, as if waiting for release".

„Nϋrnberger Nachrichten”, 21 iunie 1999

"The personification of this evil, Aaron the one thirsty for carrion, with a black face, continues to play, after the end of the revenges and crimes, emphasized by the Mozartian chords, in the foyer: scourged by countless spears, Ilie Gheorghe writes among the spectators who left the hall until he finally crouched on the floor, as if waiting for release".

Le Figaro", July 25, 1995

"The first revelation that I experienced in the vicinity of Ilie Gheorghe's acting greatness was that of his total investment in that Hariton from the show with 'The guard from the sand deposit', the text of D.R. Popescu. The author of the work himself shared with me, at the end, the feeling of a brilliant interpretation: a waste of interpretive force that only the magnificent roles under the no less wonderful baton of Purcărete could compete with. Or his unforgettable scores from the human-caricature pantheon of Nenea Iancu. And, above all, that singular and masterful Iona, a tribute to his landed Sorescianism led to homologation to the extent of the drama of ancient Hellas."

                                               George Popescu, Iona și ieșirea Artei în lume, „Cuvântul libertății”, 2 mai 2018

"I can take the most appropriate attitude in any situation. I have this satisfaction, nothing ever scares me. Maybe only death, because it puts an end to this tumult... For me it's a pleasure to know how to be patient. And patience is not torture. On the contrary. I know that at the end of it I always have joy."

Ilie Gheorghe, a confession