Sergiu Nicolaescu: Romanian filmmaker dies aged 82

Romanian filmmaker, actor and politician, Sergiu Nicolaescu, has died at the age of 82.

He suffered from heart and lung complications following surgery on his digestive system, the Elias hospital in Bucharest said.

Nicolaescu directed more than 60 films in a career spanning five decades.

In 1967, he earned widespread recognition in Romania with the first of his historical epics Dacii (The Dacians).

The film was entered into the 5th Moscow International Film Festival.

These series of films, glorifying the country's past, found him fame with the Romanian public as well as favour with the Communist regime.

Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) set in the 16th Century, has become a classic of Romanian cinema.

"A star of Romania has been extinguished," said Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

As an actor he has starred in more than 30 of his own films, playing most notably the roles of the pro-Nazi marshal Ion Antonescu and former King Carol I in the 2012 film Carol I.

Nicolaescu entered politics soon after the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989.

He was elected to the Romanian Senate in 1992 for the Social Democratic Party, but left politics in December 2012.

Nicolaescu is survived by his widow Dana, his funeral is due to take place on Saturday.

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