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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

The People’s Artist of the Russian Federation passed away on November 21. She was 75 years old.

During her life, Nina Ruslanova has created dozens of vivid images in theater and cinema. Famous directors loved to work with her, and the spectators recognized themselves in her heroines. She often played ordinary women and knew how to find something special in each of the roles. Perhaps life experience helped – for example, long before Ruslanova played the plasterer Luba in the film “Knowing the White Light”, she had to work at a construction site.

The main stages of the actress’s biography can be found in the article.

Beginning: youth and first role

Who were her parents, where and when she was born, Nina Ruslanova never knew. A two-month-old girl was found in February 1946 in the Ukrainian city of Bohodukhov and was transferred to an orphanage. She was named Nina, the most common patronymic was given – Ivanovna. She got her surname when she grew up a little: Ruslanova, in honor of the famous singer Lydia Ruslanova, was named by the inspector of orphanages, who came with a check. Nina Ruslanova chose her birthday herself – December 5th. In the USSR, it was a day off – the Day of the Stalin Constitution was celebrated (canceled in 1977), in honor of which the children from the orphanage were fed delicious food.

Thoughts about an acting career did not come to her right away. First, Nina got another profession, graduating from a construction school with a degree in plasterer. Together with classmates, she worked at a construction site, while studying at an evening school, and dreamed of becoming a geologist. Film critic Elga Lyndina tells about this in her biography. This was in the 1960s, at a time of increased interest among young people in this profession, fanned by romance. In 1960, two films about geologists were shot at once – the melodrama “Aleshkin’s Love” and the drama “Unsent Letter”. Maybe she first thought about searching for kimberlite pipes and songs by the fire in the cinema hall.

The first step towards the dream was moving to a big city, Kharkov, but Ruslanova there suddenly radically changed her plans … and entered the theater institute. True, not the first time. The talent in her was discerned by the teacher Trofim Olkhovsky, later, as the actress said, who took custody of her. Even after Ruslanova decided to leave the institute and go to Moscow – to try her luck at the Shchukin Theater School – Olkhovsky did not leave her, often visited her, was worried like a father.

“Trofim Karpovich was afraid that I might say something wrong to someone, be rude and they would judge me, they would not understand … He knew that my harshness came from a difficult life, from the environment in which I grew up. Protected me. “

(Quoted from the book Nina Ruslanova by Elga Lyndina.)

Although the selection committee was initially embarrassed by the bright dialect of the applicant Ruslanova, she was enrolled. She studied on the course of Vera Lvova and Leonid Shikhmatov together with Alexander Kaidanovsky, Leonid Filatov, Ivan Dykhovichny. During my studies, I worked part-time at night on an ambulance – the scholarship was very modest – and during the day “stretched on tiptoe” (as Ruslanova herself said) for strong classmates.

When Nina was in her sophomore year, they approached her and offered to play in a movie – in a big role. Having received the rector’s permission, Ruslanova went to shoot in Odessa. So her acquaintance with Kira Muratova began. In 1967, the film “Short Encounters” was released, in which Ruslanova played the girl Nadia, who decided to move from the village to a big city in search of a man whom she met by chance. Perhaps this work reminded her of her recent dreams: the man with whom her heroine is in love is a geologist who always disappears on expeditions. In the city, he has a wife – an official, passionate about her work. Having settled down to her as a housekeeper, Nadya understands: there is no need to invade someone else’s family – and leaves. The partners of the young actress on the site were Vladimir Vysotsky and Kira Muratova herself. True, the audience did not see it right away – the film lay on the shelf for about 20 years.

Theater: Margarita, Domna Platonovna, Comrade Polyakova

After graduating in 1969, Nina Ruslanova received invitations from three theaters at once – Sovremennik, the Taganka Theater and the Vakhtangov Theater. Choosing the latter, she worked there for 15 years. Among the roles played on this stage by Nina Ivanovna are Nicole in “Bourgeois in the Nobility” by Vladimir Schlesinger (1969), Charmian in “Antonia and Cleopatra” by Evgeny Simonov (1971), Marusia in “Front” by Evgeny Simonov (1975), Margarita in Rachyi Kaplanyan’s Richard III (1976).

In 1985-1988, the actress worked at the State Theater named after V.V. Mayakovsky. The most famous role of Ruslanova here is Polyakov in the play “Tomorrow was the war” (1985). This performance became one of the first theatrical performances based on the story of the same name by Boris Vasiliev, written in 1984. In 1987, her screen version, directed by Yuri Kara, was released. For the role of comrade Polyakova, a principled party worker, raising her daughter Iskra in accordance with the party line, Nina Ruslanova was chosen without hesitation.

Simultaneously with her work at the Mayakovsky Theater, Ruslanova served at the Ruben Simonov Moscow Drama Theater (now the Simonov Stage of the Evgeny Vakhtangov State Academic Theater). Here she played Domna Platonovna in the play “Warrior” based on the story of the same name by Nikolai Leskov and Merchutkin in “Jubilee” based on Anton Chekhov.

Cinema: working with Muratova, German, Nathanson

11 years after filming “Short Encounters” Kira Muratova again invited the actress to work together. Ruslanova played in her melodrama “Knowing the White Light” Lyuba, a woman who accidentally found love in the person of the chauffeur Mikhail and broke the heart of another chauffeur, Nikolai. Later Ruslanova would appear in Muratova’s films more than once – in Chekhov’s Motives (2002), The Adjuster (2004), Melodies for the Organ (2009).

By the time of the second meeting with Muratova at the site, Ruslanova had accumulated a lot of experience. She starred in films of various genres: in comedies, for example, in “Athos” by Georgy Danelia (the role of the friend of the title character Tamara), and in the drama “The Orlovs Spouses”, filmed by Mark Donskoy based on the early stories of Maxim Gorky (the main role is Matryona Orlova). TV viewers knew her for her roles in the series Gypsy (Ekaterina Filippovna) and Shadows disappear at noon (Marya Voronova).

In 1984, the film “My friend Ivan Lapshin” by Alexei German was released, in which Ruslanova played one of the main roles – the actress Natasha Adashova. At first, the director wanted to give her one of the episodic roles, but when he met, he decided to try the actress in the role of Adashova. Ruslanova was surprised: she read the script and was sure that she would not be able to cope with this role. But Herman still insisted and tested. Soon it was approved. In 1998 Ruslanova again starred with Herman – in the drama “Khrustalev, a car!” played the general’s wife.

Another striking role played by the actress in the cinema in the 1980s is Lisa, Valentine’s mother in the film by Georgy Natanson “Valentine and Valentine”. The film tells about an 18-year-old boy and a girl who fell in love, regardless of the difference in social status: she is from an intelligent family, he is from a simple one. Mothers of lovers are not delighted with the choice of their children, but the heroine of Ruslanova in the end still finds the strength to side with her son and his love.

Larisa, the friend of the main character of the film “Winter Cherry”, was especially loved by the audience. Ruslanova played in a melodrama in 1985, as well as its sequel (1990 and 1995).

Also among the films, in which the actress starred, – “Sign of Trouble” (1986), “Promised Heaven” (1991), “Mom, Do not Cry” (1997), “Frenchman” (2003), “Father” (2007), “Chinese grandmother” (2009). In the filmography of Ruslanova there are more than 100 works in films and television series.


In 1982, Nina Ruslanova was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR, in 1998 – People’s Artist of Russia.

In 1986, for her work in the film “My friend Ivan Lapshin” she became a laureate of the State Prize of the RSFSR named after the Vasilyev brothers.

The Nika Award recognizes her roles in Brief Encounters (awarded after the film was released in 1988), The Humble Cemetery (1990), The Adjuster (2005) and The Chinese Grandmother (2011).

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

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