Yevgeny Leonov

(biography, photos, videos) Evgeniy Leonov

photo by Yevgeny Leonov

  • Name: Yevhen Leonov ( Evgeniy Leonov )
  • Date of birth: 2 September 1926
  • Age: 67 years
  • Date of death: 29 Jan 1994
  • Place of birth: Moscow
  • Height: 165
  • Activities: actor, people’s artist of the USSR
  • Marital status: married

    Yevgeny Leonov biography

    A brilliant Soviet comedian Yevgeny Leonov was born in Moscow to the family of simple aircraft and Housewives, two years after his older brother Koli. Leonova lived in a communal apartment on the street Vasilevsky, but despite the close quarters, their house was always full of guests. Mother Anna was the soul of the company. She was so funny to tell any, even the most ordinary stories that the guests were ready to listen to them for hours. Little Eugene is clearly borrowed from the mother of this talent.

    When Leonov graduated from the seventh grade, the war began. To the front the boy went, he performed labor feats in the rear. The war Leonova whole family worked at an aircraft factory: the father – an aircraft designer, his mother – the timekeeper, brother copiers, and Zhenya – an apprentice Turner.

    In the beginning of the war, the future actor entered the Aviation technical school. Ordzhonikidze, but it never finished. Amateur in College are obsessed with Eugene, the third year he went to Moscow experimental theater Studio by Rostislav Zakharov, the famous choreographer of the Bolshoi theatre.

    Far from art ignorant young man, who even the jacket asked for the exam from his older brother, conquered the admissions office with their charm. He read serious theater teachers all learned in Amateur theatre College: Zoshchenko, Chekhov, and at the end, and his favorite poem Block «restaurant». The teachers conferred and decided that with this textured men can do a wonderful actor. And I was right.

    Eugene went into the development of the acting profession with his head. He came to the Studio at eight in the morning and left well after midnight.


    After graduating from the drama Studio, Yevgeny Leonov joined the Moscow theatre of Dzerzhinsky district. The hallmark of the theater was the play «the Age» where the young actor playing Kolya. But in less than a year as the theater disbanded, and instead organized the famous Moscow drama theatre of Stanislavsky, which was headed by the famous Soviet theatrical Director Vladimir Dudin. The troupe Leonov took in the new theatre, but the main roles, the young actors are not trusted, so Eugene played in the crowd. Money to pay for it a little, and the actor had to go to work in the movies, first also in the crowd.

    Leonov gradually began to offer more serious roles, but the real recognition of his dramatic talent on stage came to the actor when he was already the star of the show. In 1966, by the time the famous for the whole Soviet Union comedian played a serious dramatic role of CREON, the king of the tyrant in the play «Antigone» by ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, which has been put at theatre of a name of Stanislavsky Boris Lvov-Anokhin. In 1979, the artist retired from theatre of a name of Stanislavsky to his former teacher Andrey Goncharov, who at that time was the artistic Director of Mayakovsky theater.

    Yevgeny Leonov was fond of his profession to workaholism. He went on stage with fever and pneumonia. But despite all this, Goncharov was upset with him, because the actor often refused to participate in performances due to filming a movie. The last straw was shooting a popular actor in advertising fish. The Director in anger and gathered the whole company and insulted Leonov to the staff, offering to put the hat around to collect the actor’s money if he so needs them, that goes down to advertising. Leonov went to Mark Zakharov at the Theater of the Lenin Komsomol.

    In 1988, during a tour of the «Lenkom» in Hamburg Yevgeny Leonov survived clinical death. He played the Defendant in the performance «Dictatorship of conscience», and three days after the play he heart stopped. Leonov did a coronary bypass, but immediately after surgery, the actor suffered a massive heart attack. The actor was in a coma for sixteen days, and all this time for the beloved actor worried the whole country. And he came back.

    Less than six months after clinical death, Leonov went on stage in the play with the symbolic name «Memorial prayer», starring Tevye the milkman. The artist was involved in this production for six years.


    Debut Yevgeny Leonov in the movie took place in 1947. His first cameo role was so small that their history is not preserved. In 1949 the actor showed up in the film Vladimir Nemolyaeva «Pencil on ice» and «Happy flight», but again in the episodes. The young actor began to trust more serious roles, and in 1961 on the Soviet screens released film Patina «Striped flight», after which he woke up famous. If the Soviet Union believed the box office, this Comedy would have broken all records: in just one year it looked more than thirty two million people.

    The artist became so popular that it wanted to remove almost all of the Soviet filmmakers. Suddenly, the actor changed his comic roles, playing a Cossack Yakov, Sibelco in the romance of Vladimir Fetina «don story» on the stories of Mikhail Sholokhov. Dramatic role was Leonov performed so brilliantly that he received two nominations in the all-Union festival in Kiev and at the Third International film festival in new Delhi.

    The artist loved not only the audience, but the most vivid Soviet Directors. George Danelia, he played in a tragicomedy «do Not cry,» Victor Merezhko «Zarechensky grooms» Peter Todorovski – «the Magician», with Eldar Ryazanov in the satirical Comedy «the Zigzag of success», and in 1969, the voice Leonova spoke one of the most famous Soviet cartoon characters – Winnie the Pooh.

    Together with Anatoly Papanova, Vsevolod Safonov and Alexei Glazyrin Yevgeny Leonov embodied the image of a whole generation, was a war in the piping of this tale of Alexey Smirnov’s «Byelorussian station», which won the prize at the festival in Karlovy vary. And soon the actor impressed the audience with his reincarnation in two roles in eccentric Comedy Alexander Gray «Gentlemen of fortune». In order to convincingly play a cruel thief, nicknamed the Professor, the actor went to Butyrskaya prison to see how inmates behave real.

    Leonov played the father of Nelly’s Leneveu in the «Big change» and one in mount Athos «mount Athos,» but one of his best roles is considered the role of Sarafanov in the film-drama «Eldest son» by Vitaly Melnikov. Surprisingly subtly managed to convey to actor rich inner world of inarticulate protagonist.

    In 1978, mark Zakharov, who by the time Leonov played in the theater, offered the actor the role of the king in «Ordinary miracle». It was a real professional challenge. Leonov had to translate the same way that it played great Erast Garin. What came out of it, know of any fan of romantic Soviet cinema. Leonov played the heroine’s father Evgenia Simonova so convincingly that until now, legend has it that the actor is really her father.

    In the mid-eighties Leonov played in the movie George Danelia, who later became a cult classic. It was a fantastic satirical Comedy «kin-DZA-DZA». The movie was shot in the Karakum desert. The working conditions were so severe that the crew fought constantly. The Director then was surprised that he even managed to quarrel with peaceful Leonov, which for twenty years have not heard any harsh words.

    In 1978 the Commission was going to give Yevgeny Leonov the title of people’s artist of the USSR. Members wondered why they had not done so before. Evgeny Pavlovich by that time was without exaggeration a popularly beloved actor.

    Personal life

    Leonov with his youth, he was very shy in dealing with women, knowing that outwardly he is not a hero-lover. His future wife, the actor met on the street. He arrived in Sverdlovsk on tour with the theater of Stanislavsky and the first thing, along with a friend went to see a new city. Comrade, unlike Eugene, was not timid and very quickly found them both pleasant female company – two students of musical-pedagogical College. One’s name was rare and mysterious name Wanda. Leonov was so entranced by the girl that same evening invited her to his show, and then took walks at night on Serdlovsk reading poetry.

    School in Sverdlovsk Wanda never finished. Back in Moscow, Leonov broke her phone, trying to persuade to come, and she surrendered. Parents Eugene came to the delight of his lady, and he immediately proposed to her. But parents Wanda saw his daughter married to a serious person, not «some actor», at that time, unknown. But she still Leonov answered, «Yes.»

    November 16, 1957, the lovers got married and lived together their entire lives. Wanda graduated from GITIS and became a theater critic, and in 1959 gave birth to Eugene’s son Andrew.


    January 29, 1994, when Leonov went to go to the theater to play Tevye the milkman, he had a clot. He came to «the prayer for the dead» viewers learned that the show is cancelled due to the sudden death of the actor, but none of them was handed a ticket. All the time, which was supposed to be a play, the audience stood outside the theatre with candles, which were brought from a nearby temple.

    On the house at the Komsomolsk Avenue in Moscow, where Evgeni Leonov lived for nearly thirty years, a memorial plaque.


    • Striped flight
    • Don story
    • Belorussky railway station
    • Good luck gentlemen
    • A big change
    • Athos
    • The eldest son
    • Mimino
    • Ordinary miracle
    • About the poor hussar say a word
    • Kin-DZA-DZA!
    • To kill the dragon
    • American grandpa


    Yevgeny Leonov

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