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The Most Famous

ACTORS from Romania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Romanian Actors. The pantheon dataset contains 9,996 Actors, 19 of which were born in Romania. This makes Romania the birth place of the 38th most number of Actors behind Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Romanian Actors of all time. This list of famous Romanian Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Romanian Actors.

Photo of Bela Lugosi

1. Bela Lugosi (1882 - 1956)

With an HPI of 64.66, Bela Lugosi is the most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages on wikipedia.

Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (Hungarian: [ˈbeːlɒ ˈfɛrɛnt͡s ˈdɛʒøː ˈblɒʃkoː]; October 20, 1882 – August 16, 1956), known professionally as Bela Lugosi (; Hungarian: [ˈluɡoʃi]), was a Hungarian and American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 horror classic Dracula, Ygor in Son of Frankenstein (1939) and his roles in many other horror films from 1931 through 1956.Lugosi began acting on the Hungarian stage in 1902. After playing in 172 different productions in his native Hungary, Lugosi moved on to appearing in Hungarian silent films in 1917. He had to suddenly emigrate to Germany after the failed Hungarian Communist Revolution of 1919 because of his former socialist activities (organizing a stage actors' union), leaving his first wife in the process. He acted in several films in Weimar Germany, before arriving in New Orleans as a seaman on a merchant ship, then making his way north to New York City and Ellis Island. In 1927, he starred as Count Dracula in a Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, moving with the play to the West Coast in 1928 and settling down in Hollywood. He later starred in the 1931 film version of Dracula directed by Tod Browning and produced by Universal Pictures. Through the 1930s, he occupied an important niche in horror films, but his notoriety as "Dracula" and ominous thick Hungarian accent greatly limited the roles offered to him, and he unsuccessfully tried for years to avoid the typecasting. He co-starred in a number of films with Boris Karloff, who was able to demand top billing. To his frustration, Lugosi, a charter member of the American Screen Actors Guild, was increasingly restricted to mad scientist roles because of his inability to speak English more clearly. He was kept employed by the studios principally so that they could put his name on the posters. Among his teamings with Karloff, he performed major roles only in The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939); even in The Raven, Karloff received top billing despite Lugosi performing the lead role. By this time, Lugosi had been receiving regular medication for sciatic neuritis, and he became addicted to doctor-prescribed morphine and methadone. This drug dependence (and his gradually worsening alcoholism) was becoming apparent to producers, and after 1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the offers dwindled to parts in low-budget films; some of these were directed by Ed Wood, including a brief (posthumous) appearance in Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957).Lugosi married five times and had one son, Bela G. Lugosi (with his fourth wife, Lillian).

Photo of Edward G. Robinson

2. Edward G. Robinson (1893 - 1973)

With an HPI of 62.25, Edward G. Robinson is the 2nd most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Edward G. Robinson (born Emanuel Goldenberg; December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973) was a Romanian-American actor of stage and screen, who was popular during the Hollywood's Golden Age. He appeared in 30 Broadway plays and more than 100 films during a 50-year career and is best remembered for his tough-guy roles as gangsters in such films as Little Caesar and Key Largo. During his career, Robinson received the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his performance in House of Strangers. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was an outspoken public critic of fascism and Nazism, which were growing in strength in Europe in the years which led up to World War II. His activism included contributing over $250,000 to more than 850 organizations which were involved in war relief, along with contributions to cultural, educational and religious groups. During the 1950s, he was called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare, but he was cleared of any deliberate Communist involvement when he claimed that he was "duped" by several people whom he named (including screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, according to the official Congressional record, "Communist infiltration of the Hollywood motion-picture industry"). As a result of being investigated, he found himself on Hollywood's graylist, people who were on the Hollywood blacklist maintained by the major studios, but could find work at minor film studios on what was called Poverty Row. Robinson's roles included an insurance investigator in the film noir Double Indemnity, Dathan (the adversary of Moses) in The Ten Commandments, and his final performance in the science-fiction story Soylent Green. Robinson received an Academy Honorary Award for his work in the film industry, which was awarded two months after he died in 1973. He is ranked number 24 in the American Film Institute's list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classic American cinema. Multiple film critics and media outlets have cited him as one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination.

Photo of Maria Tănase

3. Maria Tănase (1913 - 1963)

With an HPI of 52.03, Maria Tănase is the 3rd most famous Romanian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Maria Tănase (Romanian pronunciation: [maˈri.a təˈnase]; 25 September 1913 – 22 June 1963) was a Romanian singer and actress. Her music ranged from traditional Romanian music to romance, tango, chanson and operetta. Tănase has a similar importance in Romania as Édith Piaf in France or Amália Rodrigues in Portugal. In her nearly three-decade-long career, she became widely regarded as Romania's national diva, being admired for her originality, voice, physical beauty and charisma. In Romania, she is still regarded as a major cultural icon of the 20th century. In 2006 she was included to the list of the 100 Greatest Romanians of all time by a nationwide poll. Among her songs are Cine iubește și lasă (1937), Leliță cârciumăreasă (1939), Bun îi vinul ghiurghiuliu (1938), Doina din Maramureș (1956), Ciuleandra (1956) and Până când nu te iubeam.

Photo of Sebastian Stan

4. Sebastian Stan (1982 - )

With an HPI of 51.41, Sebastian Stan is the 4th most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Sebastian Stan (born August 13, 1982) is a Romanian and American actor. He gained recognition for his role as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe media franchise beginning with the film Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and most recently starring in the Disney+ miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021). On television, Stan has played Carter Baizen in Gossip Girl, Prince Jack Benjamin in Kings, Jefferson in Once Upon a Time, and T.J. Hammond in Political Animals. The latter earned him a nomination for a Critics' Choice Television Award. In 2022, he received critical acclaim for playing Tommy Lee in the Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy earning a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Critics' Choice Award. In films, he co-starred in Jonathan Demme's comedy-drama Ricki and the Flash, Ridley Scott's science fiction film The Martian (both 2015), and Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky (2017). He has since starred in the biopic I, Tonya (2017) and the thriller Fresh (2022).

Photo of Maia Morgenstern

5. Maia Morgenstern (1962 - )

With an HPI of 50.80, Maia Morgenstern is the 5th most famous Romanian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Maia Emilia Ninel Morgenstern (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmaja ˈmorɡənʃtern] (listen); born 1 May 1962) is a Romanian film and stage actress, described by Florin Mitu of AMOS News as "a symbol of Romanian theater and film". In the English-speaking world, she is best known for portraying the Blessed Virgin Mary in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. In Romania, she has been nationally known since her 1992 role as Nela in Balanța, a film known in the United States as The Oak, set during the waning days of Communist Romania. She received a star on the Romanian Walk of Fame in Bucharest on 1 May 2011.

Photo of John Houseman

6. John Houseman (1902 - 1988)

With an HPI of 50.35, John Houseman is the 6th most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

John Houseman (born Jacques Haussmann; September 22, 1902 – October 31, 1988) was a Romanian-born British-American actor and producer of theatre, film, and television. He became known for his highly publicized collaboration with director Orson Welles from their days in the Federal Theatre Project through to the production of Citizen Kane and his collaboration, as producer of The Blue Dahlia, with writer Raymond Chandler on the screenplay. He is perhaps best known for his role as Professor Charles W. Kingsfield in the film The Paper Chase (1973), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role as Kingsfield in the 1978 television series adaptation.

Photo of Ágnes Esterházy

7. Ágnes Esterházy (1891 - 1956)

With an HPI of 49.87, Ágnes Esterházy is the 7th most famous Romanian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Ágnes Esterházy (born Ágnes Jósika de Branyitska, 15 January 1891 – 4 April 1956) was a Hungarian film actress who worked mainly in Austria and Germany. She appeared in 32 films between 1918 and 1943.

Photo of Lupu Pick

8. Lupu Pick (1886 - 1931)

With an HPI of 49.19, Lupu Pick is the 8th most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Lupu Pick (2 January 1886 – 7 March 1931) was a German actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter of the silent era. He appeared in 50 films between 1910 and 1928. Born in Romania, Pick's father was a Jewish Austrian, his mother, of Romanian origin. He began as a stage actor in Hamburg, Flensburg and Berlin before 1910. In 1917 he founded the film company Rex-Film AG. He served on the board of the Film Association of Industrialists (Vorstand des Verbandes der Filmindustriellen), SPIO and the Film Directors Association of Germany (Verbandes der Filmregisseure Deutschlands) and worked intensively to establish the union-based umbrella organization of Filmmakers in Germany (Filmschaffenden Deutschlands) (Dacho). He was the organization's first chairman. Pick was married to actress Edith Posca.

Photo of Marcel Iureș

9. Marcel Iureș (1951 - )

With an HPI of 48.58, Marcel Iureș is the 9th most famous Romanian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Marcel Iureș (Romanian pronunciation: [marˈt͡ʃel ˈjureʃ] (listen); born 2 August 1951) is a Romanian actor. He is one of Romania's most acclaimed stage and film actors. He has acted in films and on stage both in Romania and internationally, and has played at least ten roles on Romanian and British television. His work includes voiceovers for Disney and computer games. Iureș is the president and a judge of the Anonimul International Film Festival and also the president of Ideo Ideis Festival (an annual national theatre festival for teenagers).

Photo of Natalya Varley

10. Natalya Varley (1947 - )

With an HPI of 48.27, Natalya Varley is the 10th most famous Romanian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Natalya Varley (Russian: Наталья Владимировна Варлей, born 22 June 1947) is a Soviet and Russian film and theater actress, who became famous in 1966 for her part in the comedy Kidnapping, Caucasian Style. In 1989 she was designated as a Meritorious Artist of RSFSR.

Pantheon has 19 people classified as actors born between 1882 and 1987. Of these 19, 11 (57.89%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Sebastian Stan, Maia Morgenstern, and Marcel Iureș. The most famous deceased actors include Bela Lugosi, Edward G. Robinson, and Maria Tănase. As of April 2022, 8 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Ágnes Esterházy, Natalya Varley, and Júlia Sigmond.

Living Actors

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Deceased Actors

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Newly Added Actors (2022)

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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 8 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.