Russian actress Lyudmila Chursina
Few Russian actresses experienced such artistic success and admiration from people, as Lyudmila Chursina. Since the mid 1960s, she has never left the screen. Her portraits adorned not only covers of magazines, but the walls in “red corners”, army barracks, student and workers’ hostels. Thousands of letters from fans came to her from all over the Soviet Union, even wrote from prison. And in addition to declarations of love she was asked to help, advice. She was the youngest of the awarded the title of People’s Artist of the USSR (1981). For participation in the movies “Virineya”, “The Ugryum river”, “Crane” Chursina was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR. For “Crane” won the Grand Prix at the XVII International Film Festival in San Sebastian (she received a prize from the hands of the American actress Audrey Hepburn). Then she was offered a three-year contract for the 15 films in Hollywood. She even got the KGB Award for her role in “Dossier on Mercedes Man.”
The more interviews and published materials about the actress are published, the more mysterious and romantic figure she appears. Even about her birth the press tells different versions. According to one, this happy event occurred during the bombing, somewhere along the way. Her mother had made her way from Riga to relatives, was evacuated to Stalinabad. There the birth of girl was registered. Lyudmila Chursina was born 20 July 1941 in Stalinabad (now – Dushanbe, Tajikistan).
In Tajikistan, the family lived through the war. Subsequent life of Chursina associated with continuous crossings. Her father Alexei Fedorovich Chursin was a military man, mother Genowefa Ivanovna Chursina – a doctor and followed her husband everywhere – from the polar region of Chukotka, Kamchatka and the Caucasus to Velikie Luki.
Lyudmila went to school in Tbilisi. She knew the Georgian language, loved Georgian songs. She herself admits that during her school years was a hooligan, the ringleader of a street scale. But since 7th grade studied well and graduated from high school with a gold medal.
Lyudmila Chursina was not going to become an actress, or a model (she is 177 cm tall). She was closer to the sciences, and hoped to enter some technical college, such as aircraft. After high school, in company with a friend, who dreamed of becoming an actress, Chursina went to Moscow. She has qualified in three film institutes – GITIS, VGIK and Shchukin. Lyudmila chose the famous “Shchukin”. But her friend failed.
After graduating from the Shchukin Drama School, Lyudmila Chursina was admitted to the troupe of Vakhtangov, where she was invited by Ruben Simonov and where she served for three years. She played in “Princess Turandot”, the “Russian forest” and other productions. Then came the distinct roles. For example, the waitress Nastya in the play “New friends”, staged by Yevgeny Simonov, Lady Anne in “Richard III”, where her partners were Michael Astangov and Mikhail Ulyanov. Upcoming other more significant roles. So, Simonov promised to try Lyudmila as Nastasya Filippovna in “The Idiot.” But theatrical career of Chursina unexpectedly cut short, for some time to make way for filming.
Chursina film debut took place in 1961 in the film “When the trees were big.” The youngest performer admiringly watched Leonid Kuravlev, Yuri Nikulin, Vasily Shukshin, she was proud to be their partner. Then there were small roles in the films “Morning Train” (1961), “Two Lives” (1961), “On Seven Winds” (1962). Had a lot of experiences, but they did not bring satisfaction.
The first and most serious work in the film – the role of Darya in “Don story” – took place at the end of the study in the school. There wa love, hate, and despair – all tied in a tight insoluble knot. By the end of filming, it became clear that the young actress and film director Vladimir Fetin loved each other. Chursina moved with her husband to Leningrad, where she had to live for more than 15 years.
Fantastic success of “Don story” brought real fame to the actress – beautiful, young, talented, she immediately caught the attention of audiences and critics. The rest is known: the exceptional demand in the movie, membership in the arts council “Lenfilm” social work. Lyudmila Chursina played in more than 50 films, and her role in the “Crane” (1968), “Virin” (1968), “the Ugryum River” (1969), “Love Spring” (1970), “Olesya” (1970) , “Privalov’s Millions” (1972), “Open book” (1973) have become classics of the national cinema. Her heroines had different fates, but they all have one thing in common – the extraordinary strength of character, deep, passionate nature and some “non-Soviet” beauty.
If you look at the list of roles played by Chursina in movies, among them many adaptations: Mikhail Sholokhov, L. Seyfullin, A.Kuprin, D. Mamin-Siberian, V. Shishkov, M. Alekseev, Kaverin. Over the years, she has pulled back to the theater. Since 1974, Lyudmila Chursina worked in the Academic Drama Theatre named after AS Pushkin. In 1984, Lyudmila Chursina becomes an actress of the Moscow Theater of the Soviet Army. Her transition from “Alexandrinka” was associated with an invitation for the role, she had dreamed for a long time – Nastasia Filippovna (play “Idiot” on Dostoevsky).
Today, the actress is busy in two theater productions (both are on the small stage): “Duet for Soloist” by Tom Kempinski and “God save the King!” on Somerset Maugham in Leonid Heifits. Once the play “God save the King!” was on the big stage and has over 10 years kept in the repertoire. Chursina’s heroine in “Duet for Soloist” – Stephanie Abrahams – the world-famous violinist. She is seriously and dangerously ill. Leading the way – just a disease and a wheelchair. All stage she is in a doctor’s office, a psychoanalyst with whom talks are exhausting and difficult. The role gives the possibility of a benefit, allows the actress to show herself in full beauty, is not afraid to be on stage in different moments of almost an old woman in a matter of minutes to regain perfection.
Lyudmila Chursina participates in a project “Empress” on the play of Elena Gremina “Behind the Mirror”, where she plays Catherine II. With this performance she has quite a lot of travel around the country. In her biography were royal roles – Empress Maria Fyodorovna in a loud performance by Leonid Heifits “Paul I” and Princess Olga in the eponymous ballet theater center “whole world” and the Youth Theatre on the play by Yuri Volkov directed by Olga Garibova. Chursina always looks royal: Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Nastasia on stage, Anfisa in “the Ugryum River” – the witch woman of great natural strength and appeal.
Ludmila has always been social activist. Worked in the trade unions, organizing committee of numerous parades and competitions, was a member of the jury at festivals in Argentina, Syria, in Moscow. Toured the country as part of creative teams. Went to BAM, other “project of the century”, visited Afghanistan. She often had to act on the pages of newspapers, express her views on a variety of socio-political events.
In recent years, Lyudmila hardly appeared in films and devoted herself to the theater. She has been involved in the television production of the play “White roses and pink elephants” on W. Gibson (director I. Ungureanu), in 1997 she participated in the show “I do not remember anything”, which was staged at the 80th anniversary of the American playwright Arthur Miller.
Lyudmila Chursina was awarded the Order “For Services to the Fatherland” IV degree. In August 2002, in Moscow, in the alley of cinematic glory was laid slab with the imprint of the hands of the People’s Artist of the USSR, LA Chursina. Lyudmila Chursina lives in Moscow.