Nicolau Breyner passed away on Monday, 14 March in Lisbon of cardiac arrest, aged 75.
João Nicolau de Melo Breyner Moreira Lopes was a Portuguese playwright, director, actor and had performed in over eighty films, beginning in 1964.
Nicolau was one of the most popular figures of national fiction and was awarded the prestigious Ordem de Mérito (Grande Official), one of Portuguese’s highest honors, by President Jorge Sampaio June 10th 2005.
His sudden death had shocked the art world and beyond. The President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has expressed his “great sorrow” for the death of the actor. For the Prime Minister António Costa, “it is a great loss for us all.”
“The actor’s mission is to simply move people. Take them to laughter or to tears. Making love or hate us. Anyway …. You make them dream. When this happens, your mission is accomplished”.
The Minister of Culture, João Soares, reacted directly in SIC: “I am here to bow down modestly before this great man who did absolutely decisive things that marked my generation..” Soares also noted the “citizen committed to the future of their country and that formed and influenced many young actors.”
“He was an odd actor. There was no one like him,” summarized the director António Pedro Vasconcelos. “The gift of genius is to make it look easy,” he added, speaking to SIC Notícias. Nicholas Breyner participated in the penultimate film of the director, the Cats do not have vertigo, and Vasconcelos recalls the “big fellow” who helped the younger ones.
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