- May 29, 1953
- Tobolsk, Russia, USSR (now Tobolsk, Russia)
Bio: Aleksandr Abdulov, one of Russian cinema's best known sex symbols who refused to serve the Communist Party and suffered a blow to his career, was one of the most celebrated Russian film stars.
He was born Aleksandr Gavrilovich Abdulov on May 29, 1953, in Tobolsk, Siberian Russia, into the family of a theatre director from Fergana, Uzbekistan. His father,… More Bio: Aleksandr Abdulov, one of Russian cinema's best known sex symbols who refused to serve the Communist Party and suffered a blow to his career, was one of the most celebrated Russian film stars.
He was born Aleksandr Gavrilovich Abdulov on May 29, 1953, in Tobolsk, Siberian Russia, into the family of a theatre director from Fergana, Uzbekistan. His father, named Gavriil Abdulov was a wounded veteran of the Second World War decorated for his courage at the front-line tank battles against the Nazis. Abdulov's mother was a make-up artist at several Russian theatres. Young Abdulov grew up in Uzbekistan, where he finished high school and also became the Master of Sports in fencing. He was admitted to a local college where he had the chance of becoming a sports coach.
His dream of becoming an actor was almost ruined when he failed the admission tests at the Moscow State Institute of Theatrical Arts (GITIS). He could not go back to Uzbekistan so he stayed in various gloomy dorms in Moscow, working hard labor jobs at railway stations just to survive. He then studied acting at GITIS, made very little money working as an extra, and still was a hard laborer in order to pay for his living in Moscow. In 1975 he graduated from GITIS and was hired by the Lenkom Theatre director Mark Zakharov.
Abdulov revealed the full range of his talent in popular films Obyknovennoye chudo (1978) (TV) and S lyubimymi ne rasstavaytes (1979). The public adored Abdulov and he became the first big sex-symbol amidst the gloom of Soviet mass-zombification. Millions of his pictures has been decorating homes and student dorms in every big and small town of the former Soviet Union. His popularity made the Communist Party demand his performances at the Party Congresses, offering him such lines as "We are entering communism", but he refused to serve the Communist Party. Abdulov boldly turned down such offers twice. Then he suffered for several years from invisible interference with his work hurting his income, and his way of life. But the public still loved Abdulov - the actor and the man - for his sincere talent and for his devotion to his ideas.
Despite the political pressure threatening his film career during the 1970s and early 1980s, Aleksandr Abdulov made a strong comeback and gained even more popularity. He played his best roles under the direction of Mark Zakharov in such films as 'Obyknovennoe Chudo (1978), 'Tot samyi Munchgausen (1979), 'Formula Lyubvi' (1984), and _Ubit Drakona (1988)_. His best film partners were Oleg Yankovsky, Evgeni Leonov, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Evgeni Evstigneev, Leonid Bronevoy, Andrei Mironov, Irina Kupchenko, Leonid Yarmolnik, Semyon Farada, Aleksandr Zbruyev, Sergei Nikonenko, Irina Alfyorova and others. This ensemble of fine actors and directors evolved into a special and uniquely Russian milieu, where Abdulov's multifaceted talent was supported by other actors.
His range and nuanced acting reached a new level in the films made in the late 1980s and 1990s. Abdulov created powerful roles in a tandem with the masterful Innokenti Smoktunovsky in the innovative film 'Geniy' (1991) by director Viktor Sergeyev. At that time, Abdulov also received a Nika Award nomination for supporting role in Sukiny deti (1990) by director Leonid Filatov. Abdulov made two equally interesting works in collaboration with director Sergei Solovyov in 'Chyornaya roza - emblema pechali, krasnaya roza - emblema lyubvi' (1989) and in 'Dom pod zvyozdnym nebom' (1991). Both works were awarded, acclaimed by critics, and loved by the public.
Abdulov showed his gift for transformation in the devilish character Korov'ev in 'Master i Margarita' (2005), a TV-series from director Vladimir Bortko based on the eponymous book by Mikhail A. Bulgakov. Abdulov's energy helped the film making him the most lively nerve in the group of 'super stars' (some say super old stars). His acting became more classic and restrained in the traditionally Russian period-film 'Anna Karenina' (2005) based on the eponymous novel by Leo Tolstoy from director Sergei Solovyov. Later Abdulov worked with director Aleksandr Buravsky in the epic film Leningrad (2007), about the historic siege during the Second World War; where his acting partners were Gabriel Byrne, Mira Sorvino, Kirill Lavrov, Mikhail Yefremov, Donatas Banionis and other notable actors.
Aleksandr Abdulov was designated People's Artist of Russia. He received numerous awards and nominations for his performances in film and on stage. He was a permanent member of the troupe at Lenkom Theatre in Moscow. He also directed several films as well as stage productions.
Aleksandr Abdulov died of lung cancer, on January 3, 2008, and was laid to rest in Vagankovskoe cemetery in Moscow, Russia.
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