MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
People’s Artist of the RSFSR passed away at the age of 82.
Andrey Myagkov was born in 1938 in Leningrad. The family was very modest, intelligent: father – candidate of technical sciences, teacher, mother – mechanical engineer. Parents dreamed that their son would follow in their footsteps, and insisted on his admission to the Leningrad Institute of Chemical Technology.
After graduation, Myagkov got a job at the Institute of Plastics. The team turned out to be creative, often staged amateur performances. In one of the performances – “Forest Song” – Myagkov also tried his hand. Fortunately for him, on that very day a teacher of the Moscow Art Theater School dropped in, who appreciated the talent of the young man and invited him to pass the exams.
The beginning of the way
The future actor passed all the entrance tests easily and easily. Plastic masses were successfully forgotten, there were plastic sketches ahead. Studying was easy for him. After graduation, together with his wife Anastasia Voznesenskaya, Myagkov was accepted into the troupe of the Sovremennik Theater.
Andrei Vasilievich played in such performances as “The Naked King” based on the play by Yevgeny Schwartz, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by Lev Ustinov, “The Decembrists” by Leonid Zorin, “At the Bottom” by Maxim Gorky and others. He also played in a loud production of Balalaikin and Co, for the sake of which the artistic director of the Leningrad Bolshoi Drama Theater named after Gorky Georgy Tovstonogov came to Moscow. Myagkov played Polkan Rededyu, a wandering military leader of his advanced years, and this role helped him demonstrate brilliant comic talent.
One of the performances was directed by Elem Klimov, who was just getting ready to shoot the film “Adventures of a Dentist”. Seeing the play of Andrey Myagkov, he realized that it was he who should play the title role. With this work, Andrei Vasilyevich made his film debut, but one cannot say that he woke up famous after the premiere. His hero, dentist Sergei Chesnokov, has the gift of treating and removing teeth without pain, which finds contradictory responses from others. The film was seen as an evil parody of Soviet reality; After passing in limited rental, “Adventures of a Dentist” lay on the shelf.
Until the great fame of Andrei Myagkov, 10 years remained.
These years brought him roles in the films “The Brothers Karamazov” directed by Ivan Pyriev, Kirill Lavrov, Mikhail Ulyanov, “The Old House” by Boris Buneev and Valery Belyakovich, “Hope” by Mark Donskoy and others. The artist was equally bright and convincing in the role of the revolutionary writer Alexander Herzen, and Alyosha Karamazov, and grandmaster Sergei Khlebnikov and Vladimir Lenin. Myagkov himself, an admirer of Fyodor Dostoevsky, liked the reincarnation as Karamazov most of all – he said that this was his best work.
In 1977, Eldar Ryazanov decided to make a film based on a real case: a man went to celebrate the New Year in a bathhouse, had a good drink, then drank again with other friends, and then he was put on a drunken train to Kiev. The picture was named “Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!” The casting went on for a long time, Ryazanov swept aside one after another famous artists, including Andrei Mironov – no one came up. And then the assistant drew his attention to Myagkov. The director doubted a little, but after the tests it became clear that they could not find the best Zhenya Lukashin.
“The first thing that pleasantly struck in Myagkov was tact,” wrote Eldar Ryazanov in his book “The Sad Face of Comedy, or Finally Summed Up”. – It seemed that inside the artist there is some kind of tuning fork that allows him not to cross the lines in very difficult, sometimes piquant situations, in which his hero Zhenya Lukashin falls every second. To play a person “in disregard”, while remaining natural, funny, and likable, is a daunting task. And Myagkov does it gracefully, elegantly, easily. “
For this role, the artist received the State Prize. The magazine “Soviet Screen” conducted a poll, according to which Andrei Myagkov was named the best actor in the USSR.
The next high-profile role was “Office Romance”, in which Eldar Ryazanov invited him himself. Myagkov turned out to be an excellent partner for director’s favorite Alisa Freundlich, together they created a brilliant acting duet. Intelligent, calm Myagkov fits perfectly into the image of a conscientious statistician Anatoly Novoseltsev, caring for his strict boss. And again a deafening success: the picture received the State Prize of the RSFSR, and the performers of the main roles were named by the magazine “Soviet Screen” Actors of the Year.
Around the same time, Andrei Myagkov moved to the Gorky Moscow Art Academic Theater. After the split of the theater, he stayed at the Moscow Art Theater together with Oleg Efremov. Among the performances in which he played on this stage – “Duck Hunt”, “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya”, “Boris Godunov” and others.
In 1979, Eldar Ryazanov again invites Myagkov to his film – this time to Garage. His partners are Liya Akhedzhakova, Iya Savvina, Svetlana Nemolyaeva, Valentin Gaft, Igor Kostolevsky. Andrei Vasilyevich had a very difficult task – to make his character, the dumb laboratory assistant Semyon Khvostov, be in no way inferior in charisma to the “vociferous” heroes. And he succeeded.
Ryazanov, who was absolutely delighted with how Myagkov finds the right wave for work, invited him in 1984 to the “Cruel Romance” based on Ostrovsky’s “Dowry”. Andrei Vasilievich, in the role of a cunning petty official, Karandyshev, also fell in love with fans.
This was followed by the films “The Last Road”, “The Man Who Interviewed”, “The Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, or It’s Raining Again on Brighton Beach”, “The Tale of Fedot the Archer”. In recent years, the actor has done little work, and the last sensational film with him is “The Irony of Fate. Continuation ”, where he returned to the role of Zhenya Lukashin, who 30 years later recalled his adventures with nostalgia. The main character was his son Kostya (Konstantin Khabensky).
Writer, director, artist
In addition to acting, Andrei Myagkov had other interests. He created a trilogy of detective books “Gray Gelding”, and also painted portraits of his friends and acquaintances: Oleg Efremov, Galina Volchek and others. In 1989 he staged at the Moscow Art Theater named after A.P. Chekhov’s play “Good Night, Mom”, and in 2002 – “Retro”.
He was awarded the Order of Honor, the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, III degree, and the Order of Friendship of Peoples. In 1986 he was awarded the title of People’s Artist of the RSFSR.
Andrey Myagkov passed away on 18 February. He died of heart failure.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.