Mikhail Ulyanov

People’s Artist of the USSR, Lenin Prize and USSR State Prize LaureateThe Art Director of the Vakhtangov Theatre (1987 -2007)Mikhail Ulyanov was born on 20 November 1927 in Bergamak, Omsk Oblast, Muromtsevsky district.In 1950 he graduated from the Schukin Theatre School.From 1950 till 2007 worked at the Vakhtangov Theatre.September, 1927 – March, 2007 – The Art Director of the Vakhtangov Theatre1986 — 1987 —Secretary of the Board of the USSR Association of Cinematographers. 1986 — 1991 — Chairman of the Congress of the RSFSR All-Union Theatrical Society. 1991 — 1996 — Chairman of the Russian Theatre Union. Since 1996 — Honorary Chairman of the Russian Theatre Union. 1989 — 1992 — People’s Deputy of the Soviet Union, Member of the Central Auditing Commission of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1976 — 1990), Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1991 — 1991).Mikhail Alexandrovich Ulyanov is one of the most brilliant and original actors of the Russian theatre and cinema.Mikhail Ulyanov’s artistic career is a splendid chain of characters, distinguished for their scale, national spirit and deepest humaneness. It is his huge artistic talent, his personal and civil involvement in joys and sorrows of the contemporary life that made it possible for him to create a general picture of the XX century Russian in his characters’ images.His characters are nation’s own flesh and blood. That is why they took part in the Revolution, fought during the civil war, set back national economy to its feet, fought during World War II, restored damaged industry. First and foremost, each of his characters was a Man. This is the main essence of his humanistic art, which gave birth to the images of Belous (“The City at the dawn”), Rogozhin (“The Idiot”), Sergey (“Irkutsk Story”), Victor (“The Warsaw Melody”), Gulevskiy (“The Konarmia (The Horse Cavalry)”), Gorlov (“The Front”), Gaidai (“Destruction of the Squadron”), Razin (“Stepan Razin”), Yedigei (“The Life Lasts More Than a Hundred Years…”) and many others.Not only did the creation of Russian national characters reflect a wide range of his unlimited stage abilities.What was stated above can be applied both to his theatre and cinema work. The only difference is that due to its facilities the screen has enlarged Ulyanov’s characters, facing the audience of many millions.Among many characters, marked by the talent, intellect, energy of their creator, are: Kaytanov (“Dobrovoltsy (Voloteers)”), Bahirev (“Battle on the Way”), Trubnikov (“Predsedatel (The Cahairman)”), Dmitriy Karamazov (“Karamazov Brothers”), Charnota (“On the Run (Beg)”), Abricosov (“Private Lives”), Tevye (“Tevye the Dairyman”), Dyakov (“Composition for Victory Day”), Ivan Timofeyevich (“The Rifleman of the Voroshilov Regiment”), and, of course, Marshal Zhukov. Films “The Blockade”, “The Counterattack”, “Stalingrad” with Ulyanov playing Zhukov actually have become a cinematographic epic of the World War II.Being an outstanding actor, a man of great artistic experience and knowledge of life, he couldn’t bypass one of the world theatre key topics – Power. What rulers hasn’t he played: Lenin and Stalin, Caesar and Antony, Richard III and Napoleon. Pushkin’s perception of power had become for Ulyanov a clue in the search for better means to create images of historical figures (not without reason his graduate work was devoted to Pushkin’s image of Boris Godunov). The actor interpreted the issue of power in a moral aspect, as relations between Power and Human. Even in this question he was true to the main theme of his artistic life: what is a human?Even in his 80s, Mikhail Ulyanov was in the van of the social life. He was concerned about society losing its moral standard, the process that could lead to destruction of the society. It was “The Rifleman of the Voroshilov Regiment” where his call sounded with special power and passion. Obsession, fervent desire for justice, civil enthusiasm, and aspiration for truth was the core of Ulyanov’s strong individuality. At the same time the state of creative confusion, doubts, discontent, permanent need to work, search and experiment was also characteristic of him.In 1973 Mikhail Ulyanov debuted as a stage director with Rozov’s play “The Situation” staged in the Vakhtangov Theatre; in 1976 he co-directed the staging of Shakespeare’s “Richard III”; and in 1979 staged Vasily Shukshin’s epic novel “I have come to give you freedom”, where he starred as Stepan Razin. In 1985 Mikhail Ulyanov staged the satirical pamphlet “The Child Buyer” by the American playwright John Hersey.Mikhail Alexandrovich Ulyanov died on 26 March 2007.

1966 — Lenin Prize – for his performance as Yegor Ivanovich Trubnikov in the feature film “The Chairman”
1975 — RSFSR State Prize, Stanislavsky – for his role in the play Druyanova “Day in and day out”
1983 — USSR State Prize – for playing Sergei Nikitich Abrikosov in the movie “Private Lives”
1986 — Hero of Socialist Labour
Two Orders of Lenin
1996 — Order of the October Revolution
1996 — Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class
1974 — Honoured Worker of Culture of the Polish People’s Republic
1998 — Russian Federation President Prize in Literature and Art
2005 — Order “For honour and valour” – for service to the Russian people and the badge “Golden Olympus”

1997 — Prize “Crystal Turandot” (For continuous and valorous theatre service)
1999 — Award “Idol”
1999 — Theatre award “Golden Mask”

The Situation, 1976
Richard III, 1976 (co-director)
Stepan Razin, 1979
The Child Buyer, 1985

Kolyvanov (They Were the First, 1956)
Sutyrin (Ekaterina Voronina, 1957)
Kashirin (The House I Live In, 1957)
Kaytanov (Dobrovoltsy (Voloteers), 1958)
Prokhorov (Knock on Any Door, 1958)
Rassokhin (Baltic Sky, 1960)
Roles in TV series:
Bryzgalov (The Department, 1963)
Tevye (Tevye the Dairyman, 1965)
Lenin (Traits to the Portrait, 1969)
Bagrov (Tranzit, 1969)
Hudson (Islands in the Stream, 1978)
Danilov (A Simple Story, 1960)
Bakhirev (Battle on the Way, 1961)
Bykov (The Silence, 1963)
Member of the Military Council (The Alive and the Dead,1964)
Gorbatov (Motionless Lightning, 1966)
Frolov (While I’m Alive, 1967)
Egor Bulychev (Egor Bulychev and others, 1971)
Kovalev (The Very Last Day, 1972)
Marshal Zhukov (The Liberation, 1976)
Klaas (The Legend of Till Ullenspiegel, 1976)
Nikolay (Call Me to the Shining Distance, 1976)
Nurkov (Feedback, 1978)
Marshal Zhukov (The Blockade, 1978)
Kim Esenin (Tema, 1979)
Kustov (The Last Escape, 1980)
Mikheev (Facts of the Day Passed, 1981)
Abrikosov (Private Lives, 1982)
Filimonov (February Wind, 1982)
He (Without Witness, 1983)
Marshal Zhukov (The Counterattack, 1985)
Vasilyev (The Choice, 1987)
Ivan Savich (Nash bronepoezd (Our Armoured Train), 1989)
Marshal Zhukov (Stalingrad, 1989)
Bashkircev (A House Under Starry Skies, 1992)
Pontius Pilate (The Master and Margarita, 1995)
Grandpa (Everything Will Be All Right, 1996)
Dyakov (Composition for Victory Day)
Ivan Timofeyevich (The Rifleman of the Voroshilov Regiment, 1999)

Mikhail Ulyanov wrote four books:
“My profession” (Molodaia gvardiya, 1975),
“I work as an actor” (Iskusstvo, 1987)
“Going back to myself” (Centrpoligraph)
“Love potion” (Algoritm, 2001)
After Mikhail Ulyanov’s death the book “Unknown Mikhail Ulyanov” was published. It comprises all his preserved diaries and notebooks (1927-2007).