Maria Tanase was born on September 25, 1913, and she was a Romanian singer as well as an actress. She was a musician who could do traditional Romanian music through to romance, tango, chanson as well as operetta.
Maria Tanase was an asset to Romanians and as such she had the same level of importance as Edith Plaf in France or Amalia Rodrigues in Portugal. She is regarded a major cultural icon of the 20th century for Romania and she made it to the list of the 100 Greatest Romanians of all time by a nationwide poll in 2006.
Over the years, Maria Tanase has recorded and released many songs.
She was born in Bucharest and her father was Ion Coanda Tanase. He was a master Gardener and florist. He also owned a big nursery on the outskirts of Bucharest.
It must be stated that Maria Tanase attended Primary School number 11 from Tabacari. So far as performing on stage is concerned, she had her debut in Caramidaril de Jos at the Ion Heliade Radulescu High School.
Later in 1934, through the help and assistance of newspaper writer, Sandy Eliad, Maria Tanase joined the Carabus Theater of Constantin Tanase. At that time, Sandu Eliad was her partner.
She was known by the stage name Mary Atanasiu on June 2, 1934, and subsequently during the fall of 1937, she had the opportunity to record her first folk songs at the Columbia Studio. The studio was located in Bucharest.
The career of Maria Tanase was given a further boost when on February 20, 1938, her voice was heard on radio. Her local as well as international acceptance and appeal soared. She was at the 1939 New York World’s Fair representing Romania.
Maria Tanase was banned from performing in public and had her recordings damaged during the first months of the National Legionary State.
Together with some other artists during World War II, she went on tour performing for soldiers who had gotten injured on the battlefield and later in December 1934, she performed at the Christmas Festivities which had important dignitaries in attendance.
She was able to perform in Review Ensemble Theater as well as the Constantin Tanase Satirical and Musical Theater.
Maria Tanase’s Death
It would be recalled that after a concert in Hunedoara on May 1, 1963, Maria Tanase, due to sickness, had no alternative or option but to cancel her tour and other performances.
Later on June 22, 1963, Maria Tanase died of lung cancer. The mortal remains of Maria Tanase were buried in Bucharest, Romania. She was buried at the Bellu Cemetery.