Celebs Bulgaria Lost in 2013
Prominent Bulgarian poet, writer, translator, and author of children's literature, Leda Mileva, passed away on February 5, her birthday, at the age of 93.
Leda Geo Mileva, daughter of Bulgarian poet Geo Milev, was born on February 5, 1920 in Sofia.
She graduated from the American College in Sofia and the Sofia University “St.Kliment Ohridski.”
After the Second World War and the establishment of the Communist regime, she worked as an editor for several publications and as editor-in-chief of the Pionerska Samodeinost (Pioneer Amateur Activities) magazine (1952-1955).
Later, Mileva was a deputy director (1966-1967) and director (1967 - 1970) of the Bulgarian National Television. She was a standing representative of Bulgaria in UNESCO in Paris and a Member of the Parliament in the Eighth and Ninth National Assembly and the Seventh Grand National Assembly.
Mileva is included in the Honorary List Hans Christian Andersen of the International Children's Book Council. She has published more than 30 books with children's poems.
Her poems and works have been translated and published in France, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Syria and etc.
In 2006, Leda Mileva was awarded with Bulgaria's highest order Stara Planina First Degree.
On February 15, one of the most beloved Bulgarian actors, comedians, and talk show hosts, Todor Kolev, died at the age of 73.
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 worked at the theaters in Smolyan, Shumen, Plovdiv, and two theaters in Sofia.
Kolev had roles in over 30 Bulgarian movies, some of them emblematic for Bulgarian popular culture and cinema in the communist period.
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.
On May 5, on the eve of Easter, Bulgarian theatre and film actor Petar Popyordanov, 48, died in Sofia’s Pirogov Hospital after an accident. Petar Popyordanov was born June 11, 1964 in Sofia. He graduated from the National Theatre Academy in the class of Prof. Krikor Azaryan in 1989. Popyordanov was part of the acting troupes of Theatre Sofia, Little City Theatre Off the Channel, and the National Theatre ?van Vazov.
On May 26, Bulgarian film director Ivanka Grybcheva died. She was born on July 28, 1946 in Sofia. She obtained a degree in Film and TV Directing from a Babelsberg-based university in 1966. She read lectures at the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in Sofia and the St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. She was the director of Children Are Playing Outside (Detsa igrayat van), Exams at any odd time, The Lot (Zhrebiyat), The Thirteenth Bride of the Prince , the TV series the Hedgehogs’war, One Calorie of Tenderness, etc.
Stoyan Ganev, former Foreign Minister in the Cabinet of the Union of Democratic Forces headed by Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov (1991- 1992), passed away on July 1 at the age of 57 in a Connecticut-based hospital where he had been treated for cancer.
Ganev died following a three-year battle with cancer.
Stoyan Ganev was born on July 23, 1955 in the Southern Bulgarian town of Pazardzhik.
A jurist by profession, he was one of the founders of the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), a MP in the 1990 Grand National Assembly that prepared and adopted the democratic constitution of Bulgaria and a MP in the 36th Parliament.
He was Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the government headed by Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov and at the same time he held the office of Chair of the he 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly for a period of year.
After Dimitrov's Cabinet fell, Ganev retained his post at the UN, but he refused to leave his seat in the Bulgarian Parliament until the Constitutional Court declared the two posts incompatible, forcing him to leave Parliament.
Over the next 10 years, Ganev lived in the US, only to return to Bulgaria in 2001 to head the Cabinet of Bulgaria's former Tsar and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg for a period of less than a year, after which he resigned and returned to the US.
Prof. Alexander Lilov, former leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), died on July 20 at the age of 79.
Lilov was born on 31 August 1933 in the village of Granichak, northwestern district of Vidin. He graduated Bulgarian Studies at Sofia University and in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Academy of Public Sciences in Moscow.
Up to 1989 he was a member of the political bureau and secretary of the central committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and was in charge of ideology.
He was the second most powerful statesman after communist dictator Todor Zhivkov.
Out of all Bulgarian politicians in the country’s recent history, Lilov served the longest as Member of Parliament.
On September 23, Bulgarian journalist Alis Kraycheva passed away from cancer at the age of 65 at the Military Medical Academy in Sofia.
Kraycheva was born on March 3, 1948.
A longtime journalist for the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), where she worked from 1981 until 2011, Kraycheva also held a job at Radio Sofia and worked as a model. She was a reporter, author and host of fashion programs and morning broadcasts.
Eminent Bulgarian film director Rangel Valchanov died on September 30 at the age of 84 after prolonged illness.
Vulchanov had been battling cancer in the past few years.
In early 2012, he lost his voice after vocal cords surgery.
Valchanov was born on October 12, 1928 in the village of Krivina, Sofia district.
He obtained a degree in theater directing from the Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in 1953.
His most prominent films include On a Small Island (1958), Sun and Shadow (1962), The Inspector and the Night (1963), The She-Wolf (1965), Judge and the Forest (1975), The Unknown Soldier's Patent Leather Shoes (1979), Where Are You Going? (1986), and Whither Now? (1988).
Vulchanov was voted best Bulgarian film director of the 20th century.
On October 9, 2012 he was elected a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. He was a member of the European Film Academy.
Academician Hristo Nedyalkov, the esteemed founder and head of the Children's Choir with the Bulgarian National Radio, died at the age of 81 on October 29.
Nedyalkov founded the Bulgarian National Radio Children’s Choir in 1960 – and was its conductor ever since.
During these 50 years, the choir went on 80 tours and gave over 2000 concerts in over 30 countries. Its repertoire included about 800 songs written by Bulgarian and foreign composers.
Nedyalkov was also a renowned composer and the author of over 400 works for children’s and women’s choirs.
He was bestowed with a number of prestigious international awards for his work over the years.
On October 20, theatre director Dimiter Gotscheff died at the age of 70 in Berlin following a brief severe illness.
Born on 26 April 1943 in Parvomei, Bulgaria, he went to the GDR in 1962 where he studied Veterinary Medicine and Theatre Sciences at Humboldt University in East Berlin.
In 1979 Dimiter Gotscheff left East Germany in connection with the expatriation of songwriter and dissident Wolf Biermann, and returned to Bulgaria. His 1983 production of Heiner Mueller’s “Philoctetes” in Sofia has been described as a revolutionary event.
From the mid-80s on, Gotscheff worked at a number of theatres in Germany and Austria.
He worked extensively on plays of dramatist Heiner Mueller. He received numerous awards, including the German Critics Award in 1991 and the 2005 Director of the Year award from critics surveyed by the journal Theater heute.
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