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Toma Caragiu

  • Actor
  • Born: 21.08.1926 in Argos Orestikon (Greece)
  • Died: 04.03.1977 in Bucharest

In 1945 he enrolled at the Law Faculty, which he abandoned in favor of the Theatre Conservatory (class of 1950) and where he studied with professors Victor Ion Popa, Ion Manolescu and Mihai Popescu. He made his stage debut at the National Theatre in Bucharest with a part in "Olmedo" by Lope de Vega. After a short while spent at the theatre in Constanța, he began acting at the theatre in Ploiești in 1951, where he had attended high-school. He made a name for himself as one of the greatest comic actors of the Romanian theatre. His reputation brought him on the stage of the Bulandra Theatre, where he performed some of his best roles in “The Threepenny Opera”,"D-ale carnavalului", “O scrisoare pierdută", “Elisabeth the 1st”, “Night Asylum” and many more.
“A unique outburst of artistic vitality, explosive and great talent, able to do anything he pleases. He can endow any character with verisimilitude; he can transport you anywhere, because you believe in him and go along blindfolded.” (Sanda Faur, Almanah Cinema 1975)


  • His parents were Aromanian - Nico Caragiu and Atena Papastere Caragiu, from the Greek region Epir.
  • He had two sisters - Matilda Caragiu Marioțeanu, linguist, member of the Romanian Academy, and Geta Caragiu Gheorghiță, sculptor.
  • Awarded the Order of Cultural Merit, 3rd class (1967). 
  • Married to the actress Maria Bondar (1952-1962), with whom he adopted Maria Doina Caragiu. 
  • Married to the actress Elena Ioachim, born Bichman, the ex-wife of playwright Paul Ioachim.
  • In 1984, the director Erich Nussbaum made the documentary The Portrait of an Actor: Toma Caragiu
  • In 1977 the building where he was living at the time collapsed during a large earthquake. Toma Caragiu died together with his guest, director Alexandru Bocăneț. 
  • The theatre in Ploiești is named “Toma Caragiu”.