Art And Culture

Veteran Actress Homa Rousta Passes Away

Veteran Actress Homa Rousta Passes Away Veteran Actress Homa Rousta Passes Away

Celebrated Iranian actress and stage director Homa Rousta passed away on Saturday, after years of struggling with cancer.

The actress had traveled to the US for medical treatment and passed away there at the age of 69 on September 26, which incidentally was her birthday, Mehr News Agency reported.

In the past two years she refrained from taking up roles and her last work, ‘The Cherry Orchard’ written by Anton Chekhov and directed by Hassan Majouni, went on stage in summer 2013.

The news of Rousta’s death came as a shock to the large body of cinema and theater personalities as well as her fans since they were not even aware of her deadly disease. She had asked her close relatives and friends and the media not to publicize her illness. Only a few people close to her knew she was suffering from cancer.

Last year, after three popular artists lost their lives to the disease in a matter of weeks, Rousta held a play reading session to raise funds for artists afflicted with cancer, in December. ‘Anna Karenina’ written by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy was read by a group of actors, as a symbolic gesture to draw policymakers’ attention to the problems of artists struggling with cancer.

“Artists suffering from terminal diseases like cancer do not receive any financial support for the costly medications and treatment. Considering the fact that they, especially those in theatre art, are not usually affluent, it puts great financial burden on their families, to the extent that some take recourse to selling their homes and live in rented houses, said Rousta. She called the situation “unfair” as the art society needs “peace of mind to create art”.

Rousta was married to Hamid Samandarian, well-known Iranian stage director and playwright who died in 2012.

Born in Tehran, she held a master’s degree in theatre from the School of Dramatic Arts in Bucharest, Romania. She made her debut with ‘The Glass Wall’ directed by Samuel Khachikian in 1971.  

  Famous Roles

Her most famous roles were in Pouran Derakhshandeh’s ‘The Little Bird of Happiness’ (1987), Samandarian’s ‘All Temptations of the Earth’ (1989) and Ebrahim Hatamikia’s acclaimed movie ‘From Karkheh to Rhine’ (1992) and for all three she was nominated for the best actress award at different editions of the Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF).

The actress also starred in Bahram Beizai’s ‘Passengers’ and TV series Hatamikia’s ‘Red Soil’ (2001) and Hossein Soheilizadeh’s ‘The Mother’s Song’ (2008).

She acted in and directed a number of plays including ‘The Glass Menagerie’ written by Tennessee Williams and ‘Uncle Vanya’ by Chekhov.

For her lifetime achievements, she was honored at the 32nd FIFF. Acclaimed director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and prominent actor Reza Kianian appreciated her efforts and presented her a commendation plaque at the opening of the event in February 2014.

Rousta’s body will be brought to Iran for funeral but it will take some days. She will be buried in the grave of her husband, a two-storey tomb, at the artists section of Tehran’s main cemetery, Behesht-e-Zahra.