Evgeny Lebedev: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

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Evgeny Lebedev: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Evgeny Lebedev: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Evgeny Lebedev: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Evgeny Lebedev: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Video: More Voices are Being Heard than Ever Before | Digital Journalist Evgeny Lebedev | Google Zeitgeist 2023, October

Evgeny Lebedev is a Soviet actor who has played about a hundred roles in the theater and a little less in the cinema. An amazing talent for reincarnation allowed him to organically live a variety of roles - comedic, lyrical, female, fabulous, playing, at times, on the verge of grotesque and drama. The famous director Georgy Tovstonogov said about his favorite artist that "he combines the traditions of realistic theater and modernity."

Evgeny Lebedev: biography, creativity, career, personal life
Evgeny Lebedev: biography, creativity, career, personal life

Biography: childhood and years of study

Evgeny Alekseevich Lebedev was born on January 15, 1917 in the family of a clergyman. The place of his birth was the small town of Balakovo, Saratov province, located on the banks of the Volga River. According to the artist, in childhood he was literally fascinated by steamers, their strength, power, deafening horns. In his dreams, he became now a stoker, now a sailor, now a captain. Although the family was also interested in the theater, they discussed the play of the actors.

In the 1920s, the fight against "anti-Soviet elements", to which the clergy were equated, forced the Lebedev family to constantly change their place of residence. They roamed the Saratov province, not staying anywhere for a long time. To keep their son safe, in 1927 his parents sent him to his grandfather in Samara. Here Evgeny Lebedev studied at a secondary school, then at a factory apprenticeship school organized at the Kinap plant. Carried away by amateur performances, in 1932 he became an actor in the Theater of Working Youth.

To move to Moscow in 1933, Lebedev was prompted by the revealed truth about his origin. As the son of a cleric, he faced a labor camp. I had to, following the example of my parents, flee. Unfortunately, his father and mother were repressed during the Great Terror (1937-1938). So Evgeny Lebedev from the son of "churchmen and sectarians" became the son of "enemies of the people." He recalled how his father admonished him at the last meeting: “Remember: never lose faith. Never part with her. Whatever you do, you must have Faith in your work. " The fact that Lebedev had a little sister in his arms added to the drama of what happened. The actor had to send her to an orphanage.

In Moscow, he studied a lot and took on any job (handyman, loader, prop, roller operator). Sometimes he even spent the night on the street, suffered from exhaustion. He learned the basics of acting from the actor Alexei Petrov, when he worked in the studio at the Theater of the Red Army. Then she studied at the Institute of Theater Arts named after Lunacharsky (1936-1937), at a school at the Chamber Theater. In 1938, in connection with the merger of three theatrical educational institutions, Lebedev ended up at the Moscow City School at the Theater of the Revolution, from which he graduated in 1940.

Creative activity

After drama school, the actor ended up in Tbilisi, where he appeared on the stage of the Russian Theater for Young Spectators. He was great at the most diverse roles, be it the poodle Artemon, Baba Yaga, Truffaldino, Mitrofanushka from "The Minor" or the socialist hero Pavel Korchagin. In Tbilisi, Lebedev took up teaching activities: he taught acting at the Georgian Theater Institute, led a school drama club.

It was during this period that the fateful acquaintance with Georgy Tovstonogov happened for the actor. Yevgeny Lebedev rented a room from his mother, opera singer Tamara Papitashvili. In the Youth Theater, they managed to work together for a short time, and then Tovstonogov left for Moscow. During the Great Patriotic War, Lebedev actively participated in concerts for military personnel, was awarded medals "For the Defense of the Caucasus" and "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War."

In 1949, the actor returned to Moscow, got a job at the Theater of Industrial Cooperation. Having met Tovstonogov again, he accepted his offer to go to the Leningrad Theater named after the Lenin Komsomol. Their cooperation began with the play "Two Captains", the next work was the role of Stalin in the production of "From the spark …" In 1950, for this role, Lebedev received the Stalin Prize of the 1st degree.

When Tovstonogov became the head of the Gorky Bolshoi Drama Theater in 1956, Lebedev followed him again. He found his acting temple, to which he remained faithful until the end of his life. The most striking roles of Evgeny Lebedev on the stage of the BDT include:

  • Rogozhin - "The Idiot" by FM Dostoevsky (1957);
  • Monakhov - "The Barbarians" by M. Gorky (1959);
  • Arturo Ui - "The Career of Arturo Ui" by B. Brecht (1963);
  • Bessemenov - "The Bourgeoisie" by M. Gorky (1966);
  • Kholstomer - "The History of a Horse" based on the story of Leo Tolstoy (1975);
  • Firs - "The Cherry Orchard" by A. P. Chekhov (1993).

The audience highly appreciated the acting talent of Evgeny Lebedev, his skill in reincarnation, immersion in the role, the ability to organically combine the funny and the scary in one image. The actor was greeted with delight and applause in Poland, Argentina, Japan and many other countries, without translation, understanding and living the fate of his characters.

Lebedev's first cinematic award was associated with the festival in Argentina. In 1966, he won the Best Actor Award for The Last Month of Autumn. The first role on the big screen was Romashov in the 1955 film adaptation of Kaverin's novel "Two Captains". From that moment on, Lebedev regularly starred in films, most often playing secondary, but memorable characters. His last film was the 1994 comedy "Who Will God Send To".

Since 1959 he took part in the filming of television plays. At about the same time, he took up teaching activities, for many years he taught acting at LGITMiK.

Personal life

Evgeny Lebedev's personal life was not without drama. When he moved to Tbilisi in 1940, he already had a wife and daughter. This fact is not particularly highlighted in the official biography of the actor, it is mentioned only in passing in separate memoirs of contemporaries. The circumstances of Lebedev's separation from his first family are unknown.

His second wife was the sister of Georgy Tovstonogov Natela (1926-2013). They met when the actor lived with her mother in Tbilisi. But at that time Natela was still very young. In 1949, she moved to her brother in Leningrad and married Yevgeny Lebedev. Mother Tamara Grigorievna did not approve of this marriage because of the actor's first family and the difference of almost ten years between the spouses.


Be that as it may, Lebedev lived with his second wife until the end of his life. In 1952, they had a son, Alexei, who found his calling in the profession of a film director.

Evgeny Lebedev passed away on June 9, 1997. A local drama theater was named after him in his small homeland in Balakovo, and in 2001 a monument to the great actor was erected in front of the building.

State awards and titles:

  • Stalin Prize of the first degree (1950);
  • Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1953);
  • People's Artist of the RSFSR (1962);
  • People's Artist of the USSR (1968);
  • Order of Lenin (1971, 1987);
  • Lenin Prize (1986);
  • Hero of Socialist Labor (1987);
  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland, III degree (1997).