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Still from the film “Seventeen Moments of Spring”. Directed by Tatiana Lianozova. 1973 year

On February 22, the Honored Artist of the RSFSR Yekaterina Gradova, who gained national fame thanks to her role in the television series “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, passed away. For many years she was an actress of the Moscow Academic Theater of Satire.

Ekaterina Gradova was born in Moscow in the first post-war year. Her parents were the architect and climber Georgy Gradov and Raisa Gradova, actress of the Moscow Drama Theater named after N.V. Gogol (now – “Gogol Center”). After graduating from high school, Ekaterina Gradova entered the Maurice Torez Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages ​​(now the Moscow State Linguistic University), and then decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In the mid-1960s, she passed the entrance exams at the Moscow Art Theater School and was enrolled in the workshop of Vasily Markov.

The first glory came to her in her student years, when Gradova appeared on the stage of the Moscow Academic Theater named after Vladimir Mayakovsky – she, a senior student, was chosen for the role of Negina in the play by Maria Knebel based on Alexander Ostrovsky’s play “Talents and Admirers”. The success was literally deafening – the actress said that the audience filled her with enthusiastic letters. Later, in 1971, a television version was created famous performance.

In the same 1969, when she made her debut in the role of Negina, another important performance was being prepared at the Satire Theater – “Crazy Day, or The Marriage of Figaro.” In search of an actress for the role of Countess Rosina, actors Andrei Mironov and Valentin Gaft bypassed the educational theaters of the capital. We also reached the Studio School – the course in which Gradova studied had just prepared a graduation performance based on the immortal comedy of Beaumarchais. The young actress conquered Andrei Mironov, who later became her husband. They began to communicate, and after some time, Catherine went to a meeting with the artistic director of the Theater of Satire Valentin Pluchek.

Soon Gradova already played her first roles on the stage of this theater – Jeanne Barbier in Intervention based on Lev Slavin, Rosita in Don Cristobal’s Balaganchik based on Federico Garcia Lorca, Svetlana in the production of A Tablet under the Tongue after Andrei Makaenk.

At first, work in the theater had to be combined with filming a movie. The actress was chosen for the role that would later make her famous throughout the country and bring the Order of Friendship of Peoples – the role of Katya Kozlova, or Katherine Keane, or radio operator Kat, in the cult Soviet television series “Seventeen Moments of Spring” directed by Tatyana Lioznova.

Filming began in 1970. This was the second experience of Gradova’s work in the cinema – for the first time on the set she appeared in 1967, when she played Marina in the drama “Autumn Weddings”. The fame that brought her role in the serial film, overlapped all previous successes. In 1973, when “Seventeen Moments of Spring” began to be shown on television, Gradova became a real star.

In May of the same year, Ekaterina Gradova became the mother of little Masha. Maria Mironova, who chose the profession of her parents, is a famous actress today.

In 1976, Ekaterina played Xenia in Frunze Dovlatyan’s Birth, a film about the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia. In 1979, Gradova appeared in another legendary multi-part film – “The meeting place cannot be changed” – in the small role of Svetlana Volokushina, an accomplice of the thief Petka Ruchechnik. Many viewers will remember her for her role as Baryl Stapleton in Antonina Zinovieva’s TV show The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Ekaterina Gradova remained an actress of the Satire Theater until the late 1980s. On his stage, she played many roles, including She in “Little Comedies of the Big House” and Miss Rosenblum in “Pippi Longstocking” (1973), Sonya Zakharova in “Slap” (1974), Laricheva in “Phenomena” (1979), Lydia Cheboksarova in Mad Money. However, according to the actress, the theater began to weigh on her after the death of Andrei Mironov (the actor died on stage during the play “Figaro’s Wedding” in 1987). And when her grandson was born (Fedor Udalov-Mironov, who is now an actor of the Yevgeny Vakhtangov Theater), she decided to devote herself entirely to her family.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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