"Well, how can I not be satisfied with life? Look how cute I am. I wish my students that God gives them the chance to experience what happened to me in my life. I have already told a lot about life - it is joy, happiness and a smile…"
These words preserved in one of the last interviews of the great Bulgarian actor Prof. Stefan Danailov for the listeners of BNR seem to embody the whole essence of one of the symbols of Bulgarian cinema, theater, politics and society. He was living with a smile and with love for the profession, for talent, and for the people.
On November 27, 2019, Prof. Stefan Danailov left this world forever, bequeathing to us the memory of an era, the memory of a person "larger than life", in the words of the Director General of BNR Milen Mitev. The national media participated in the program of the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the birth of the great actor by providing archival recordings of his voice, which are preserved in the "Golden Fund" of the Bulgarian National Radio.
The beginning of the story was on December 9, 1942 in Sofia, when Stefan Danailov was born. The future star played his first role at the age of 14 in the adventure children's film "Sledite Ostavat" ( The Traces Remain). Later he studied in Sofia’s theater academy "Krastyo Sarafov" and the first roles and recognition from major Bulgarian actors and directors were not late. Then came the summer of 1969 and the television series "At Each Kilometer". Stefan Danailov entered every Bulgarian home with his role of Major Deyanov.
And the rest is history. With numerous awards, roles and international recognition, Stefan Danailov was also the winner of the Grand Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1970. Six years later, he was named the most popular actor in Czechoslovakia. In 1994, he captivated all of Italy with his portrayal of Nazareno 'Nuzzo' Marciano in the television series "La Piovra".
As life is the greatest art, the role of a public role was also not foreign to Stefan Danailov. In 1975, he became a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party and after the democratic changes in Bulgaria, he remained loyal to the socialist party in the country. He became the Minister of Culture in the coalition government of BSP, MRF and NDSV in the period 2005-2009, and in 2011 he was a BSP candidate for vice president.
"We know that he was one of those rare breed of people that everybody likes and loves," says Bulgaria's Vice President Iliana Iotova about him. “We remember that charming smile from his roles, but also from communication with him. Even when with his inherent and sometimes rather ironic and sarcastic tone he put you in your place, you couldn't be mad at him. I will quote another genius Bulgarian intellectual, Valeri Petrov, who said that he was one of those flying people who come from space, but were born on earth. That was Lambo, as we all called him."
The celebrations on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of the great actor are held under the auspices of the Vice President of Bulgaria. The whole program "Stefan Danailov at 80: Years of Love" is an expression of great human admiration and love for him, Iliana Iotova told journalists on the occasion of the start of the initiative. In the period from December 2 to 8th, a panorama of five of Stefan Danailov's favorite films, which he himself chose as particularly important for his development in the acting profession, will be broadcast in the capital's Odeon cinema.
"There is no other Bulgarian actor, and there are few such actors abroad, who have participated in 150 films,” the engine of the initiative, journalist Georgi Toshev, points out. “On December 6, at 6 p.m., the premiere of the new book about the actor ‘Stefan Danailov. A Game of Life’ will also take place in the Odeon cinema. This is a biography and is entirely based on his personal archive"
Georgi Toshev inherited Danailov’s personal archive - diaries, letters, photos. "Artifacts from a very meaningful and very dynamic life," the journalist says. The book also reveals the great sensitivity and fragility of the talented person. "He was very hurt," Toshev says.
The new documentary about the actor "Lambo from Sofia" will be premiered on December 6 in the Odeon cinema. The performance "Years of Love" will be the culmination of the program on December 9 in front of the National Theater. For the third year in a row, Vice President Iliana Iotova will also present "Lambo Scholarships" to gifted art students, according to the actor’s will made during his lifetime. On the same day, the photo exhibition from his personal archive will be opened in the City Garden in front of the "Ivan Vazov" National Theater
We live in a time of forgetfulness, Georgi Toshev says. The memory of the successes of the great Bulgarians of our time give density to our European essence - here and now. There is much to learn from Stefan Danailov. There is a lot to remember, BNR Director General Milen Mitev said.
"Talented, charismatic, bohemian person with an inimitable sense of humor, a man of life at each kilometer - that's how the Bulgarian National Radio remembers the voice of Stefan Danailov and preserves it." Milen Mitev added.
Here are the last words that Stefan Danailov told BNR in April 2019 and they are preserved in the Golden Fund of the radio.
"I still really wish people were smiling more. I love to love very much, and I want to say to you that your Uncle Lambo loves you! With all the flaws and shortcomings, successes and failures. Thanks!"
English version: Al. Markov
Photos: BGNES, stefandanailov.com, president.bg
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