Stoyanka Mutafova has three husbands, Neycho Popov is her greatest love

Bulgaria has been without Stoyanka Mutafova for three years now. The great actress died aged 97 on December 6, 2019 at 6.15 am. Her beloved Neicho Popov takes her home on Nicholas Day. As a true burgher, he was very fond of fish.

By the way, Mutafova liked to be called an artist, not an actress. Because “art” in Latin means art. And when you make art, you are an artist. Actress – this is a craft.

“And we are not just contractors. I am never the same in all performances – not in words, but as a behavior I try to be different.

That’s why I find it funny when my female colleagues think it’s prettier and more uplifting to call you an “actress!” And it is a degree lower”, argues the artist.

Stoyanka Mutafova was born on February 2, 1922 in Sofia in the family of the writer Konstantin Mutafov, who was a playwright of the National Theater. Her baptismal name is Stoyana-Maria,

is named after

his grandfather Stoyan and

of the Virgin Mary,

to protect her because she is born very frail. They are waiting for the baby to die and a relative of the family advises her parents to baptize her, so that she does not go unbaptized.

At the beginning of her career, on the poster for a performance at the National Theater, her name was written only as Stoyanka. The actress goes to the director Nikolay Liliev with a request to correct the mistake. One of her colleagues says: “Don’t do it, the “k” brings happiness, you will be successful.” And she really became famous. However, her colleagues and friends always called her Stoyana.

She appeared on stage for the first time when she was 13 years old. She was with her parents on vacation in Kazanlak. Theatergoers vacationing there decided to stage “Marriage” by Gogol in the local community center. The director is Petar Uvaliev. Stoyana, who dreams of becoming an actress, begs for the role of the maid. She asks Uvaliev to play with a live kitten, he allows her.

In order to shine in front of the audience, he pretends to fall on the stage at the climax of the performance, although there is no such thing in the play.

“Just when an actor was shouting loudly,” Mutafova said, “I collapsed on the stage, let go of the kitten, and it shot into the audience.” Everyone laughed a lot, and then they only talked about me. That’s how I managed to shine…”

Once, angry with her parents, she decided to hang herself for revenge. She wraps a belt around her neck and paints her lips blue. Her father is shocked, but her grandmother, whom she calls Feldfebella, catches on to the deception.

Stoyanka Mutafova graduated from the First Sofia Girls’ High School in 1941 and classical philology at the SU.

That it will happen

famous, he predicts to her

a gypsy woman

Stoyana meets her while she is a student. Looking at her hand, the gypsy woman says: “You know, one day you will be the hero of the fair. And the dogs will even know you.”

Mutafova decided to apply to the State Theater School. Her father Konstantin Mutafov sent a letter to the director of the National Theater Vladimir Polyanov that his daughter should not be admitted to the school. It is good that the director did not listen to him and in 1947 she received a diploma for a professional actress.

From here on, Stoyanka Mugafova’s life will go through love affairs, marriages and divorces, but the theater will save her in all difficult situations. She says the stage is her second home.

In 1946, she married the Czech director Robert Rosner. She is 23 years old, he is 51. They go to live in Vienna, then because of his work they move to Prague. There he graduated from the second university – the theater department of the Academy of Arts. And her artistic career actually began in the “Alhambra” theater of the Czechoslovak capital.

In 1949, the two separated and Mutafova returned to the National Theater. Her first role was in “The Tricks of Skapen”, a production by Prof. Stefan Sarchadzhiev. In the play “Don Juan”

played by a man – a mustachioed servant

of the female seducer

Since then, he remembers the words of Konstantin Kisimov, who used to call out to himself: “Hey, people, look what! Breathe that air in the beginning, these are your first years! “And she breathed it for exactly seven years at the National Theater”.

In 1956, Stoyanka Mutafova and Georgi Kaloyanchev were in the group of actors sent to create a new theater – the Satirical Theater. Order No. 1 for appointment in it, however, belongs to Tatiana Lolova. The relationship between the two giants of laughter is the subject of an entire dissertation.

In the last years of her life, Stoyanka Mutafova was the oldest acting actress in the world.

2000 Georgi Kaloyanchev received the award for overall creativity. Stoyanka Mutafova hands it to him.

With the writer and screenwriter Yuri Dachev, author of her biographical book “Hero of Megdana”

Mutafova played in the first production of the Satirical – “Bathroom” by Mayakovsky. The performance was judged weak and many of the seconded actors returned to their previous theaters.

However, Stoyanka and Kaloyanchev remain and are the mainstays of the troupe, which over the years has included Georgi Partsalev, Grigor Vachkov, Nikola Anastasov, Vasil Popov, Dimitar Manchev, Konstantin Kotsev, Nevena Kokanova and many others.

Her second husband is Leonid Grubeshliev, journalist, translator, long-time editor in “Anteni” village. From him is the only daughter of the actress – Maria.

Mutafova’s third husband is Neicho Popov – actor and director. She admits that he is the great love of her life.

Her strongest roles in the Satirical Theater are in “The 12 Chairs”, “Mihal Mishkoed”, “Inspector”, “Tartufe”, “The Death of Tarelkin”, “Ship with Scarlet Sails”, “January”, “Game of cats”, “The performance of “Hamlet” in the village of Dolno Tutkavo” and others.

Her favorite role is that of the younger sister in “Cat Game”, the audience’s favorite role is that of grandmother Gitska in “Golemanov”.


brings her popularity

the creative tandem

with Georgi Partsalev

After Encho Bagarov, Partsalev’s partner, died in a car accident, he invited Mutafova to play together.

At first she refused, but after the death of her husband Neicho Popov, she agreed. With variety and humorous programs, the two tour the stages all over the country. They become so popular that the audience starts laughing as soon as they come on stage.

Bulgarian cinema should blush for the rest of its life for not using Stoyanka Mutafova’s talent enough in its films.

It may sound incredible to you, but until 1989 she never played a single leading role. She did not offend the directors, and when they did invite her, she filled her episodic appearances with life and enthusiasm.

Mutafova will remain forever in the history of our cinema as

the first Bulgarian one

actress, photographed

dibidus in a movie

Well, according to the strictures of 1960s social morality, but if only for seconds, the detractors saw her charms that many of her colleagues sighed at.

This happens in Binka Zhelyazkova’s film “The Tied Balloon” based on a script by Yordan Radichkov, which appeared on the screen at the end of 1967. According to the author, a hot air balloon appears over the mythical village of Cherkazki. The balloon covers the village and when it reaches the river, it sees women bathing in a pool. Like a large barbell, Mutafova’s heroine plunges into the water and curses the balloon for photographing her.

He debuted in the cinema late, he is already 34 years old. He appeared in a very minor episodic role in “Point one”.

Then she was a hairdresser in “Specialist in Everything”, a matchmaker in the Bulgarian-Italian production “Graminya’s Lover” with Gian-Maria Volonte and Stefania Sandrelli, a mother in “The White Room”, grandmother Stoyka in “Kit”, Cassandra in “Aesop”, double role – the gypsy and herself in “Escape to Ropotamo”, small nameless roles in “Warm” and “Bash the Master Chief”.

They live in the same block with Georgi Kaloyanchev and are more than family friends. Together they enter the Satire and spend their whole lives there. They are partners in many productions. “I have never met a crazier woman than Stoyana,” said Kalata.

She was traveling to a performance in Varna when she found out that Kalata had died. They tell her 15 minutes before the performance starts. She is speechless and goes into shock. It feels like in an airless space, in a kind of non-being. They manage to stabilize her, but she refuses to play.

Then I asked her why she went on stage anyway.

“Because of Kalata,” she answered. – And because of the people who had filled the salon and knew for sure that he was gone. I gathered all my strength and went out. Only I know what I felt during the performance.”

Finally, he goes to the proscenium and says: “Now let’s applaud for Kalata!” The spectators in the hall stand up and applaud for a long time…


Stoyanka Mutafova is the actress with the most nicknames in the Bulgarian theater, and perhaps in the whole of Europe. It is also a sign of popularity, of audience, collegial and journalistic love. There they are:

Mutsi, the Butt

The poo

The Primate of the Satirical Theater

Comedy prima

A typhoon with a gentle name

The hooligan of the Bulgarian theater

A national favorite

Grandmother of

the Bulgarian theater

Forever Amber

The fury

The blizzard

The robe

Mrs. Stikhino


The eighth wonder of the world

The first lady of

Bulgarian laughter

The Sacred Monster of the Satirical Theatre

The “Mutafova” diagnosis

In its report, the German television ARD called her the Bulgarian queen of comedy.

Funny incidents

1968 Stoyanka Mutafova is on tour around the country, but has a severe bile crisis and returns to Sofia, where she is hospitalized. Her husband Neicho Popov filmed the film “Men on a business trip”. After the shooting day, he comes with a huge bouquet to the hospital room, where Stoyanka is lying and moaning, and hands her the flowers.

– And not! It’s not time for me to cuddle the bouquet yet, responded Mutafova.


In the Satirical Theater will present Stoyanka Mutafova’s book “Hero of Megdana”. Literary processing is by Yuri Dachev. Mutafova says:

– As I am now returning from abroad, I have not yet read the book I wrote.


Stoyanka Mutafova is already married to her second husband, Leonid Grubeshliev. One day her mother-in-law – the famous poetess Maria Grubeshlieva, asked her:

– Stoyanke, I heard you were a whore. Is it true?

– Mary, I’ve heard the same about you, but I know you’re not – Stoyanka’s mouth is speechless.

This conversation brings the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law closer together.


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