Sergiu Nicolaescu, who died on 4 January at the age of 82, was a Romanian politician and prolific and popular film director known for his historical epics. Nicolaescu made some 50 films, and despite his career in politics, continued to direct films such as Orient Express in 2004.
Nicolaescu retired from politics last month, having been Senator for the Social Democracy Party since 1992. As a director he was best known for historical films which found favour with the Communist regime before it collapsed in 1989. His 1979 film Mihai the Brave is considered a classic in Romania.
Nicolaescu (holding a gun to his head to demonstrate how a politician in the Ceaucescu regime had killed himself following the fall of Communism), was also an actor, and had several leading roles during his career, notably playing King Carol I in his own 2010 film Carol I.