Thousands Bid Farewell to Popular Bulgarian Actor Todor Kolev
Thousands of fans flocked to the funeral of one of the most popular and beloved Bulgarian actors Todor Kolev in Sofia Sunday.
Kolev's funeral overshadowed the protest rally against the Bulgarian power utilities, where the demonstrators paused for a minute of silence to honor the memory of the great actor.
One of the most beloved Bulgarian actors, comedians, and talk show hosts, Todor Kolev, passed away at the age of 73 on Friday.
Kolev was born on August 26, 1939, in the northeastern Bulgarian city of Shumen.
He graduated from the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in Sofia in 1965. He has worked at the theaters in Smolyan, Shumen, Plovdiv, and two theaters in Sofia.
Kolev has roles in over 30 Bulgarian movies, some of them emblematic for Bulgarian popular culture and cinema in the communist period.
During the Communist rule, he was temporarily exiled from Sofia to Sliven for a joke he made in public that there were three Toshkos who made Bulgarians laugh ("Toshko" is the diminutive form of the name Todor in Bulgarian): the Communist leader Todor Zhivkov, the clown Toshko Kozarev and himself.
In 1992-1993, Todor Kolev served as an advisor at the Bulgarian Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. In 1993-96, he was the host of one of the first evening talk shows in Bulgaria entitled "How are we going to catch up with them..." ("them" referring to the USA and the West in general).
In 2011, Kolev was awarded the Icarus Award of the Bulgarian Actors' Union for his overall contribution to Bulgarian culture.