Soviet Russian actress Vera Altaiskaya 1919-1978
Soviet Russian actress Vera Altaiskaya
Born on May 21, 1919 in Petrograd, Vera Altaiskaya was a popular Soviet theater and film actress. After finishing secondary school in the second half of the 1930’s, she then moved to Moscow, where she entered the acting school at the Mosfilm studios. Having graduated in 1940, she was admitted to the Theater-Studio of the actor. Altaiskaya began her acting career in 1938, playing an episodic role in the film “The Great Account.” And she performed her first prominent role in G. Alexandrov’s film “The Bright Way” (1940, weaver Klava).
Then there was another notable role – in “Mashen’ka” (1942), where the Altaiskaya played Vera, the girlfriend of the main heroine of the film. After that, the roles followed one after another: Lermontov (1943), “Big Land” (1944), and “It was in Donbass” (1945).
Noteworthy, in her youth Altaiskaya was a very interesting girl with a charming face and a chiseled figure. And soon she married the handsome actor Alexei Konsovsky (he played prince in Cinderella), having given birth to their daughter. However, with age, the former beauty left the actress, which changed her roles as an actress. In particular, she began to play mostly the roles of negative and even evil characters. For example, in the film “Bridegroom from the Other World” directed by Leonid Gaidai. However, these very negative roles of witches brought her real fame. Indeed, the real upsurge in the popularity of Altaiskaya happened in the 1960s, when she became a real talisman of the great storyteller, director Alexander Rou.
In the film by Gaidai “The Bridegroom from the Other World” it was a negative role – Petukhov’s fiancée, Nina Pavlovna is just a disgusting woman. Having learned that her fiancé has got into an absurd situation, which threatens to crash his career, she leaves him without regret. In addition, said a phrase: “I understand when they get married and the husband dies. But to marry a dead person? .. ”
The actress played this role with her inherent inspiration, and that only strengthened her reputation as an actress of negative types. For example, it was she who played in the film “Evdokia” (1961), the mother-cuckoo (mother who abandoned the child) Anna Shkapidar. By the way, in the life of Altaiskaya herself happened a kind of similar story when her husband Alexei Konsovsky left her and took his daughter with him. According to him, he could not trust her to raise a child. In any case, such rumours spread in the cinema environment.
The real upsurge in popularity began in 1960 with the role of aunt-unfriendly in Alexander Rowe’s film Maria-iskussnitsa (“Mary the Master”). After that, followed lots of roles: “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” (1961), “Kingdom of Curved Mirrors” (1964), “Morozko” (1965), “Fire, Water and … Copper Tubes” (1967), “Varvara-Krasa – a long spit” (1968), and ‘The Golden Horns’ (1972). In all these films she played traditional evil creatures of Russian folk tales.
Noteworthy, for all years of her film career Altaiskaya played either roles of the second plan, or episodes. But there was one main role in her career, though, in a short film. It was the film “Anette” by the Odessa film studio (1967), where the she reincarnated a cook, Anette, who works on a river boat. However, in view of its short footage, the film was not destined to become a notable event.
After the death of Alexander Rou in December 1973, the “fairytale” career of Altaiskaya was over. And she returned to the roles of her contemporaries, playing them in such films as “Seeking my fate” (1974; Daria), “Birds over the city” (1975, teacher), “So began the legend” (1977, village resident), “Clamp for the Marquis” (1978, woman in the corridor).
In the year of the release of the last film, Altaiskaya died at the age of 59 (December 28, 1978). The urn with her ashes rests on the Vagankovskoye cemetery in Moscow.
Given the pronounced comedic talent of this actress, it seems strange that Gaidai never invited Altaiskaya to any of his films after the “Bridegroom from the Other World”. Perhaps, because she was the talisman of one director-storyteller Alexander Rou?
Soviet Russian actress Vera Altaiskaya
Soviet Screen magazines, kino-teatr.ru