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Montserrat Carulla, the ‘Great Lady’ of Catalan theater, dies at 90

With a career spanning half a century, the actor starred in dozens of plays, movies, and TV series


24 November 2020 03:13 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Montserrat Carulla, the actor praised as the ‘Great Lady of Catalan theater’, who went on to star in dozens of movies and TV series in a career spanning almost half a century, has died at the age of 90.

To most Catalans, Carulla was best known for her roles in soap operas broadcasted on TV3 through the years, such as El Cor de la Ciutat, La Riera, La Granja, Secrets de família, and Laberint d’ombres.

In 2013, she received the honorary prize at the Gaudí Awards, organized by the Catalan Film Institute. "I’m Montserrat Carulla, actor, Catalan, and an independence supporter," she famously said after being handed the statuette.

  • "I owe theater much more than what theater owes me"

    Montserrat Carulla · Actor

She was also the recipient of Catalonia’s highest civilian distinctions, such as the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George’s cross) and the Golden Medal awarded by the Catalan government.

Born in 1930 in Barcelona, Carulla starred in amateur plays and studied at the Theatre Institute, but didn’t make her debut on the professional stage until 1960, after breaking up with an unhappy marriage and reconnecting with her early love for theater.

In 2016, she brought her career to an end with a theater play written by her son, Roger Peña, and starring alongside her grandson, Aleix Peña. The play was called ‘Iaia’ (Catalan for ‘grannie’).

"Theater made me really happy and made me meet wonderful people, who were free and believed in love, and loved the country, and in silence they fought for our language," she said, at the opening night of ‘Iaia’. "I owe theater much more than what theater owes me."


  • Montserrat Carulla in 2013 (by Pere Francesch)

  • Montserrat Carulla in 2013 (by Pere Francesch)