Studied acting in the class of Professor Octavian Cotescu at the Ion Luca Caragiale Institute of Theatrical and Cinematic Arts, Bucharest, graduating in 1975.
His first stage rôle was as Fadinard in Eugène Labiche’s The Italian Straw Hat, at the Cassandra Studio. He went on to play stage parts at the Youth Theatre, Piata Neamț, where he was appreciated and supported by director Cătălina Buzoianu.
In Bucharest he appeared on stage at the Nottara, the Odeon, the National Theatre, and the Bulandra, in memorable rôles including the Teacher in Eugène Ionesco’s The Lesson, Vanya in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, Tartaglia in Carlo Gozzi’s King Stag, the Director in Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Potsekalnikov in Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide, and Agamemnon Dandanache in Caragiale’s A Lost Letter.
Horaţiu Mălăele has worked extensively with the National Radiophonic Theatre, and he has played more than one hundred and fifty parts in television theatre.
Since 1982, he has directed plays for the theatre, including A Princely Celebration by Theodor Mazilu, The Flea by Georges Faydeau, and Carlo contra Carlo by Paul Ioachim.
He made his film début in 1974, appearing in The Hidden Mountain, and has gone on to appear in dozens of parts in films by directors including Nicolae Corjos, Alexandru Tatos, Tudor Mărăscu, Mircea Daneliuc, Șerban Marinescu, Nicolae Mărgineanu, Mircea Daneliuc, and Stere Gulea. He has directed two episodes of the television series Ministry of Comedy, and the feature films The Hat, Silent Wedding, Happy Funerals, and Luca.
His art has brought him recognition and numerous awards: The Prize for Acting at the Ion Luca Caragiale National Festival (1993), The Association of Romanian Humourists’ Prize for Acting, awarded for his performance in The Flea (1993), The Prize for Directing at the Romanian Comedy Festival, The Ion Băieșu Prize for Directing, and the Buzău Prize for Acting, all for the production Open-Air Conmen (1994), The UNITER Prize for Best Actor in a Leading Rôle for The Café and Where’s the Revolver? (1998), and The Prize for Excellence at the Comedy Cluj Festival (2012). In August 2012, Horațiu Mălăele received a star on Celebrities Lane in Bucharest’s Time Square and was given the Plaque of Bucharest by the city’s mayor. In 2015, Horațiu Mălăele cut the ribbon at the opening of the five-hundred-seat theatre in Fetești that is named after him. In 2017, the Senate of the Constantine Brancusi University in Tîrgu Jiu, Horațiu Mălăele’s home town, awarded him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Horațiu Mălăele reads poetry by: