Born July 20, 1941 in Stalinabad.
People's Artist of the USSR (1981).
There were always enough beauties in Soviet cinema, and the most varied - each for its time, each with its own twist. Lyudmila Chursina is a beauty for all time and for all peoples, the so-called world standard. At the zenith of popularity, in the prime of her beauty, she was called Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren of the Russian bottling - the wayward beauty exuded an uncontrolled, stunning energy of temptation, over which nothing had power. Her heroines had different fates, but they all had one thing in common - extraordinary strength of character, deep, passionate nature and some kind of "non-Soviet" appearance.
Lyudmila Chursina was born on July 20, 1941 in an evacuation in Stalinabad (now Dushanbe). According to one version of her birth, this happy event occurred during the bombing, somewhere along the way. Her mother, making her way from Riga to her relatives, was evacuated to Stalinabad, where she registered the birth of the girl.
Here, in Tajikistan, the girl’s family lived the whole war. But then, due to the specifics of the profession of her father, Aleksei Fedorovich, who was a military man, they constantly traveled throughout our vast country, from north to south. Mom, Genovefa Ivanovna, was a physician and everywhere followed her husband.
For a relatively long time, the family stayed in Georgia, where the future actress studied at a Tbilisi school. She mastered the local language well, very fond of melodic Georgian songs. According to Lyudmila Chursina herself, at school age she was a hooligan and, accordingly, she always had very mediocre grades for her behavior, but her academic performance was generally good, especially in the exact sciences - geometry and physics. Closer to the 7th grade, the girl seriously took up her studies and in 1959 she graduated from school with a gold medal. At that time, her family was already living in the small quiet town of Velikiye Luki.
Lyudmila Chursina was not going to become an artist at all; she hoped to enter some technical university, aviation, for example. “I loved serious things, I was going to build planes or stand on the bridge of the ship - I dreamed of something big ...” Dreams of a romantic profession, most likely, were just an expression of its versatile, richly gifted nature.
After graduating from school, the girl in company with a friend who dreamed of becoming an artist went to Moscow. Having risked and submitted documents to three theatrical universities at once - GITIS, VGIK and the B.V. Shchukin Theater School - she passed the selection competition in all three institutions, but in the end, Lyudmila gave preference to the famous "Pike", while her friend never did.
The beginning of a theatrical career
After graduating from college in 1963, at the invitation of Ruben Simonov, Lyudmila Chursina entered the troupe of the Evgeny Vakhtangov Theater, where she served for three years. Starting with roles in extras in "Princess Turandot", "Russian Forest" and other performances, Lyudmila Chursina soon began to play independent roles - the waitress Nastya in the play "New Friends" staged by Yevgeny Simonov, Lady Anna in "Richard III", where she partners were Mikhail Astangov and Mikhail Ulyanov. In the future, there were other, more significant roles - in particular, Simonov promised to try Lyudmila in the role of Nastasya Filippovna in “Idiot”, but Chursina’s theatrical career unexpectedly interrupted, giving way to filming for some time.
First movie roles
Chursina’s film debut took place in 1961 in the film “When the Trees were Big”. The youngest performer with undisguised admiration looked at Leonid Kuravlev, Yuri Nikulin, Vasily Shukshin, overwhelmed with pride that she had the honor of acting with them.
Having played small roles in the films Morning Trains, Two Lives, On Seven Winds, Lyudmila Chursina received a lot of impressions, but these roles did not bring her satisfaction.
A serious, in-depth attitude came only with the first serious, big work - Lyudmila played Daria in the Don Story. In the heroine, Lyudmila was attracted by a strong character, pride and a sharp temper.
Being the protege of the white Cossack gang and experiencing because of this constant fear of exposure, the unmarried wife of the Red Army Shibalok (whose role was played by Evgeny Leonov) Daria carried an unreasonably heavy load; the flames of possessiveness burned her, her hatred of the reds with difficulty restrained her soul. Love, hate, despair - everything was intertwined in it by an insoluble knot. Her soul is tense, brought to a deadly limit by no means solely by external circumstances, this woman is the creator of her misfortune.
It was not in vain that Lyudmila once wanted to become a captain of a long voyage, maneuver in rough seas and fight the rebellious elements. Fate gave her a chance to try her hand at the psychological element, and the natural integrity of nature allowed the actress to play accurately and powerfully, magnificently using all the richest material of the character's character.
The phenomenal success of the Don Story covered the actress with her head - viewers and critics immediately noticed her, so beautiful, young and talented.
At the peak of popularity
After 3 years, Lyudmila played the role of a young girl of easy virtue, Inca-Estonian in the film “Two tickets for a day session”. “... I was lucky, we had an Estonian woman in the studio, and I decided to learn from her an Estonian accent. I listened to her reading, I read it myself, and when she said: “Well, Lyudochka, now you speak Russian perfectly,” she calmed down. I understood that I’ve mastered the specifics of the accent. ”
In 1968, the country again saw its heroine in the usual image of a woman with a strong character - Lyudmila Chursina played the main role in the film "Virineya". The main character represents a new type, a new character of millions of women in Russia, who have come under the banner of the proletarian revolution.
In the same year, the movie “The Crane” was released, where Lyudmila played Marfa Lunina, the best milkmaid, the head of the farm. Chursina understood the complexity of the image immediately. Crane (as her husband called Martha) looks very smooth, inconspicuous; there is neither the violent obsession of Virinea, nor the tragic doom of Daria. This is a narratively developing character in which it is difficult to find a specific act or its motive, so that, pushing off from them, to explode the image from the inside. In addition, Martha is the first heroine, whose whole life - from the youngest years to adulthood - the actress had to live in just one hour of screen time. The courage and cunning of the Crane, its affection, cheerfulness and ordinary human weaknesses are shown by the actress very naturally and organically.
Following this work, roles followed: Tatyana’s Ryazanki in the film “In Russia” (whose only passion is to find real human happiness for herself), Anfisa Kozyreva from the legendary film “The Sullen River”, Lyubov Yarovaya from the film of the same name (a woman capable of self-sacrifice for the triumph of the truth of the revolution). All these roles embody the strength and pride of a Russian woman, capable of accomplishing a real feat in the name of her homeland. “I definitely knew that I wanted to play Yarovaya, that the fate of this woman, the time during which she lived and fought, attracted me uncontrollably. But can I? Will there be enough strength, skill, and exactingness for oneself to raise this block in order to play this unique character? Of course, I already had some experience gained over the years of work in the cinema, there were Daria, Virinea, Martha. With them I felt stronger, but there was no complete confidence. And then I realized: I need to look for a new Spring, my own, close in spirit to both me and those whom I have already played on the screen. "
Throughout her long career, Lyudmila Chursina did not lack the proposed roles, the image of a stately beautiful woman has always been and remains in demand. Among a considerable number of the main roles of the actress, one can note such as Claudia in "The Pursuit Race", Nina Yanson in "Remember or Forget", Zoya and Tatyana Malinins in "Jewelry", Anna in the "House on the Promenade des Anglais", Anna Sergeyevna Granovskaya in the "Jubilee". In addition, Lyudmila Chursina was even awarded the USSR KGB Prize for the role of Svetlana in the film “Dossier for a Person in a Mercedes”.
The actress took part in the TV shows “Such a strange evening in a narrow family circle” by Yuri Krotenko (the role of Dina Alexandrovna) and “White Roses and Pink Elephants” by W. Gibson (the role of Molly Egan), and in 1997 participated in the play “I Don't Remember Nothing” "N. Kosenkova, who was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the American playwright Arthur Miller.
Chursina also played three different heroines in three television novels based on the stories of K. Paustovsky. Three images that are not alike, different, but united by femininity, female suffering, female joys and hopes. Having accumulated her understanding of life, the actress was looking for roles adequate in depth and decision. To express the very essence of the suffering and joys of the feminine is her goal.
For his role in the film "Crane" in addition to the State Prize of the RSFSR them. the Vasilyev brothers actress was also awarded the Grand Prix of the XVII International Film Festival in San Sebastian, for which she was invited to Hollywood. The business trip was planned quite long, for 3 years - in the proposed contract there were as many as 15 paintings! “At that time, I did not know English to the extent that I worked in 15 films. And this, from experience I will tell you, is not so simple. Great stress. In addition, at that time I went to shoot in Hungary, where I realized how hard it was in someone else’s linguistic environment, ”the actress admits. However, "from above" were not delighted that our actress would go to act in Hollywood: "Suddenly you will be asked to undress in the film, and you are a member of the CPSU!" It is not known what actually caused the rejection of such an attractive offer - rather I’m not a language barrier, but a simple reluctance of the leadership to let go of our "pride and beauty" to the "bourgeois". Be that as it may, but the fact remains - the invitation to Hollywood was ignored.
Years later, the actress was again drawn to the theater. Since 1974, Lyudmila Chursina worked at the A.S. Pushkin Academic Drama Theater. During this period, she worked a lot with the honored worker of culture of the Russian Federation R. A. Sirota.
10 years later, in 1984, the Moscow Theater of the Soviet Army offered Lyudmila Chursina the role of Nastasya Filippovna, whom she had dreamed about for a long time, and the decision to move to another theater was made.
The actress recalls how painfully this role was given to her, but, despite this, she still managed to embody the contradictions of this complex nature, a mixture of passionate bitterness, furious pride and generosity, the rejection of a woman in whom all the dirt of life could not kill the moral cleanliness. And in every appearance on the stage, Nastasya Filippovna Lyudmila Chursina revealed some unexpected facet of her character, causing the audience a sense of empathy.
In the Theater of the Russian Army, Lyudmila Chursina also played Baroness Strahl in Lermontov's “Masquerade”, Ernestin Tyutchev in the play “Farewell Light” by Pavlovsky, roles in Dudarev’s play “Ordinary” and in “Leningrad” by Chervinsky - maybe there were not so many roles many, but they can’t be called second-rate.
In the film “Arap of Peter the Great,” directed by Mitta, Lyudmila Chursina, the role of Catherine I fell, which was difficult to play in the most direct physical sense: her headgear weighed sixteen kilograms, and the dress with all the attributes was twice as much, and all this had to be walked up stately easy and easy.
Now, today, Lyudmila Chursina takes part in the entreprise project “Empress” based on the play by Elena Gremina “Behind the Mirror”, where Catherine II plays.
The natural becoming and beauty of the actress significantly influenced the choice of roles throughout her film and theater career - she repeatedly tried on the roles of “royal persons”, both in appearance and character implying innate grandeur and pride ... The Empress Maria Fedorovna was in her biography in the high-profile performance of Leonid Kheifits “Pavel I”, Princess Olga in the eponymous performance of the theater center “The World” and the Youth Theater based on the play by Yuri Volkov and directed by Olga Garibova, which, in fact, was a monologue, a bene Isom Chursina. Yes, and the non-royal heroines of Chursina always looked regal: the Shakespearean lady Macbeth and the same Nastasya Filippovna on stage, Anfisa in the "Sullen River" - fatal, with witching charms women of great natural strength and attractiveness.
In recent years, Lyudmila Alekseevna acted in films much less often. Among her last works over the past 2 decades, the most famous series are “Goryachev and Others” (Zinaida Vasilievna), “Another Life” (Katya’s mother), “Hope Last Leaves” (Lidia Mikhailovna), “House on Angliyskaya Embankment” (Anna), "Anniversary" (Anna Sergeyevna Granovskaya), the series "Margosha" (Irina Mikhailovna).
Lyudmila Chursina devoted herself entirely to theatrical life - she is currently involved in two theater performances that are successfully performed on the Small Stage: “Duet for Soloist” by Tom Kempinski and “God Save the King!” By Somerset Maugham directed by Leonid Heifitz.
The heroine of Chursina in “Duet for a Soloist” - Stephanie Abrahams - is a world famous violinist suffering from a serious illness and whose future is absolutely bleak - only an illness and a wheelchair. All the stage time - from the beginning of the performance to its end - the heroine Chursina is in the office of a psychoanalyst, with whom she talks exhaustingly and painfully. Given the monotony of the play, which is difficult to overcome, the role gives the performer the benefit opportunities, allowing the actress to show herself in full - a beauty who is not afraid to be on stage at some moments practically old and capable of regaining perfection in a few moments.
The role of Yves in the play “God Save the King!” Demanded serious passion from Chursina, since the heroine, crushing everything around, accused her father of mortal sin. At the time, this performance was on the Big Stage and has been in the repertoire for more than 10 years.
Lyudmila Alekseevna Chursina has always been distinguished by her activity in public life - she worked in trade unions, organizing committees of numerous exhibitions and competitions, was a member of the jury at festivals in Argentina, Syria, and Moscow; traveled all over the country as part of creative teams; I went to BAM, other "construction sites of the century", visited Afghanistan. She often had to speak on the pages of newspapers, setting out her views on various social and political events, up to assessing the significance of Lenin's work “Tasks of Youth Unions” and perestroika.
Lyudmila Chursina after filming the film “Don Tale” married the director of the film Vladimir Fetin, but Vladimir’s addiction to alcohol caused the divorce of this talented couple. Desperate to save her husband from this addiction, the actress even thought about suicide at one time - she wanted to drown herself in the Neva. And if it weren’t for a casual passerby who saw a bawdy girl on the bridge and took her home, it is still unknown how it would end ...
The second husband of Lyudmila was an oceanologist, but this marriage quickly broke up. Her third husband, with whom the actress lived for 7 years, was a diplomat Igor Andropov, the son of Secretary General Yuri Andropov. Many did not believe then, it seemed to them that this was another “duck” of idle gossipers, but soon these rumors were confirmed - on all theatrical posters the name of the actress began to be written longer, with a double surname - Lyudmila Chursina-Andropova, although the second part of the surname was soon removed from the posters at the request of the actress herself.
In interviews, she is often asked the question of what are the reasons for the collapse of all three of her marriages. “There came a time when it turned out that there was no love, but economic relations: a common house, business, responsibilities ... And then I left first because the Karenins, when the husband and wife“ continued to live in the same house, saw each other but they were alien to each other "seems to me immoral" - frankly admits Lyudmila Chursina.
It so happened that the actress did not experience the joy of motherhood - at first it was difficult with housing, then one after another roles appeared that were hard to refuse ... But she always, in her words, “adopted” relatives, husbands and created around herself a big adult "kindergarten".
Nevertheless, Lyudmila Chursina does not like to spread about many things from her personal life. “I do not like to invite under the covers. Old fashioned? I think I'm the queen of spades from the naphthalene age. To each his own!"
In 1981, Lyudmila Chursina was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR. To get such a high rank at 40 is a rarity. She was ahead of the famous Marina Ladynina, Tamara Makarova and Lyubov Orlova, who received a similar title at 42 years old, 43 at 48 years old, respectively.
A funny incident happened with the film “Don Tale”, which ended up being happy. The fact is that this was the first big film by Vladimir Fetin, all the artists were great, but, having looked at the shot, he despaired - everything turned out somehow fresh, boring, flat ... From the work of Mikhail Sholokhov, which was used to shoot the picture, little is left. But it was already too late to shoot something, and Fetin decided to submit the film to the selection committee in the form in which it was shot.
To the director’s chagrin, the mechanic who launched the film mixed up the parts and began the show from the finale of the picture. Vladimir Fetin waved a doomed hand, letting it go by itself - what a difference now ... But it turned out that it was in this form that the film shown from the end turned out to be much more interesting, which all members of the selection committee unanimously noted and recognized as a very successful cinematic find!
P.S. To play love and to hate so much as Chursin did and does, people are capable of either experiencing a lot, which the artist did not have at the beginning of her career, or are deeply artistic in nature. We are all incredibly lucky that we are contemporaries of this amazing actress and have the opportunity to enjoy her play in the cinema and theater. For Lyudmila Chursina, her profession is a real drug, from which it is impossible not to become addicted. In Soviet times, there was such an anecdote among filmmakers: “Entrance to the cinema costs 30 kopecks, but there is no way out of it.”
Prizes and awards
- The best actress of 1969 according to the survey of the magazine "Soviet Screen"
- Laureate of the Grand Prix of the XVII International Film Festival in San Sebastian (1969, for the film "Crane")
- Laureate of the State Prize of the RSFSR them. Vasiliev brothers (1970, for participating in the films “Virineya”, “Sullen River”, “Crane”)
- Winner of the KGB Prize of the USSR (for the film "Dossier per person in a Mercedes")
- Cavalier of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" IV degree.
- Cavalier of the Order of M.V. Lomonosov (2005)
- Academician of the Russian Academy of Motion Picture Arts "NIKA"