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.