Romanian actor, 95, declared oldest active actor

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian actor Radu Beligan has been declared the world's oldest active actor at age 95.

After being presented with a certificate on Sunday confirming his entry in Guinness World Records, he called on theatergoers to stop applauding.

"I have no merits at all. I am the result of the love you've shown me for so many, many years," he said.

Actor Ion Caramitru, director of the National Theater, called him "the greatest actor Romanian theater school has given us."

Sunday was another day at work with Beligan making his 330th appearance as the lead in "Number One" by French playwright Jean Anouilh, playing aging playwright Leon Saint-Pe.

Beligan, whose career has spanned 76 years, debuted in a stage version of "Crime and Punishment" in 1937.

Beloved by Romanians for his melodious voice, aquiline features and stern gaze, he has starred in 80 plays, acted in 30 films and made numerous television and radio performances.

He was born in 1918 in a village in eastern Romania to an actor father and a Greek mother who taught him French and encouraged him to read.

To celebrate his 95th birthday on Saturday, he played in "The Cello Lesson," a Romanian play which premiered at the Metropolis Theater.

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