Brown - Dark
Bergamak, Omsk, Russia, Soviet Union
Place of Death
Cause of Death
Heart Failure, Complications From Cancer
Claim to Fame
Dobrovoltsy, 1958, Predsedatel, 1964
Profile Bio Text
Mikhail Ulyanov was a notable Russian actor and director, who was also an important Soviet political figure, Member of the Central Committe of the Communist Party, Co-Chairman, with Kirill Lavrov, of Theatrical Union of the USSR, and the leader of Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia.
He was born Mikhail Aleksandrovich Ulyanov, on November 20, 1927, in the village of Bergamak, Omsk province, Soviet Union. His father, Aleksandr Andreevich Ulyanov, was Chairman of a Soviet collective farm, then Mayor of the town of Tara, Russia. His mother, Elizaveta Mikhailovna Ulyanova, was a homemaker.
From 1946 - 1950 Ulyanov studied acting at Shchukin Theatrical School of Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, under Boris Zakhava, graduating in 1950 as an actor. Since 1950 until his death in 2007, Ulyanov was a permanent member of the troupe at Vakhtangov Drama Theatre.
In 1987, Mikhail Ulyanov became artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow. During the course of his career, Ulyanov was closely watched by the Communist Party and also by Ekaterina Furtseva, the most powerful woman in the 1960s - 1970s Soviet Union as Minister of Culture, she ordered Ulyanov to "keep playing Lenin and other role-models" for the Soviet people. Eventually Ulyanov became known for his portrayal of exemplary communists, Soviet-era heroes, and other characters typical of the Soviet propaganda on stage and in film. Ulyanov played the character of Marshal Georgi Zhukov in several Soviet war films. Although, he never met the legendary Marshal Zhukov, Ulyanov became the officially approved impersonator of the famous Soviet military leader. Ulyanov`s facial expression closely resembled that of Marshal Georgi Zhukov, so Ulyanov`s face was used as a model for the monument to Zhukov in Moscow.
With the official recognition in the roles as Lenin and Zhukov, Ulyanov was granted more flexibility in his artistic choices, he enjoyed the privilege of playing several roles that opened the true range of his acting talent. In 1970 Ulyanov played one of his best roles ever as General Charnota, a White Russian émigré, in Beg (1970), an epic film by directors Alov and Naumov. In 1979, a few years after the death of actor-director Vasili Shukshin, Ulyanov directed a stage production of Shukshin`s unfinished project "Ya prishel dat vam volyu" (aka.. I came to let you free). In that production, Ulyanov played the leading role as Stepan Razin, Russian historic hero of the 17 century, who was the Cossac leader of a major popular uprising against the Russian Tzar, and was brutally executed by the Russian government at the Red Square in Moscow.
During the political changes in the 1980s Soviet Union, Ulyanov was critical of dramatic social shifts caused by "perestroika" and "glasnost" initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he expressed his disappointment with the drastic socio-economic changes and cultural chaos in the post-Soviet Russia. He played a number of patriotic, violent and controversial characters in several films made during the post-Soviet era. During the 2000s, Ulyanov used his star power to help his less fortunate colleagues in Russian Theatrical Union. He also supported the politics of Russian President.
From 1976 - 1990, Ulyanov served as Permanent Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR. In the course of his acting career spanning over 50 years, Ulyanov received numerous Soviet and Russian awards and decorations, such as the Order of Lenin (twice), Order of October Revolution, and was awarded Lenin`s Prize and State Prize of the USSR. He died of a heart failure on March 26, 2007, in Moscow, and was laid to rest in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.
Couple Profile Source
Theatrical School of Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, 1950
Full Name at Birth
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Ulyanov
Mikhail Alexandrovich Ulyanov (Russian: Михаи́л Алекса́ндрович Улья́нов; 20 November 1927 – 26 March 2007) was a Soviet and Russian actor who was one of the most recognized persons of the post-World War II Soviet theatre and cinema. He was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1969 and received a special prize from the Venice Film Festival in 1982.
Actor/Actress, Director, Writer
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