Colea Rautu was born Nikolai Rutkovski, November 28, 1912, in Limbenii, Balti, Russian Empire, today called Moldova. He was a Romanian theater and film actor. The eldest son of four children of the Rutkovski family, along with Larisa, Natalia and Valentin. A former student at the College "King Ferdinand" in Chisinau, who never liked to study, but was fond of playing for the soccer team some time and playing roles in such plays "Mociorniţa" in Bucharest. Colea then attended the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Bucharest and became a member of the first choir ot Opera in Cluj.
He debuted at Theatre Magazine in "Carabus" led by Constantin Tanase, where he played mostly social-satirical couplets. There, he sang for the first time the famous popular song "Ți-a ieșit coșaru-n drum” by Gherase Dendrino, lyrics by Maximilian Puiu.
At the initiative of Sica Alexandrescu he played at the National Theatre in Bucharest. Between 1952-1968 he performed at the Giuleşti Theatre and briefly at the Theatre in Pitesti. Rautu played roles in over 70 feature films, both Romanian, foreign and in television series. His debut role (Ilie Barbu) remained his greatest role in his entire filmography. He debuted in the film playing the protagonist in "Desfășurarea", directed by Paul Calinescu. He played memorable roles in “Moara cu noroc”, “Mihai Viteazul”, “Frații Jderi”, “Nemuritorii”, “Pintea” etc. Colea appeared in two Euro-westerns “Apaches” (1973) and “Atkins” (1985).
The actor received an award from ACIN in 1988 for lifetime achievement, and was among the winners of the "Golden Age" of 2001, the National Prize in the Field of Theatre and Film Awards Gala.
Rautu died on May 3, 2008 at the age of 95 in Bucharest, Romania. Today we remember him on what would have been his 100th birthday.