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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 12 July 1946Armavir, Krasnodarskiy kray, RSFSR, USSR (now Russia)
Date of Death 22 March 2010Moscow, Russia  (brain cancer)
Birth NameValentina Vasilevna Tolkunova

Mini Bio (1)

Valentina Tolkunova was a Russian singer best known as the voice on the popular TV show 'Good night, children'. Her lovely delivery of the lullaby 'Sleepy toys' has been bringing peace and happiness to millions of children going to bed.

She was born Valentina Vasilevna Tolkunova on 12 July 1946, in Armavir, Krasnodar province, Russia. Her family moved to Moscow one year after she was born. Young Tolkunova had poor eyesight, but had perfect pitch and impeccable diction. She was fond of singing. At the age of 10 she won a singing competition at her school district. From 1964 - 1967 she studied singing and choir directing at the Moscow State Institute of Culture, then she studied at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music, graduating in 1971.

Since her stage debut in 1966, Valentina Tolkunova had a successful stage career with the Yuriy Saulskiy big band in Moscow. In 1972 she became an instant TV celebrity after her memorable appearance with songs by Vladimir Shainskiy and Lev Oshanin. Later she went on to perform at numerous official Soviet functions and annual celebrations of the Communist Revolution, the Victory Day and other high-level political events. Her touring schedule included concerts in Japan, India, Finland, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel and many other nations around the world.

In 1971, Tolkunova made her film debut in Mikhail Ancharov's Den za dnyom (1972). Then she went on to work with the best composers, filmmakers and songwriters in Russia, such as Mikael Tariverdiev, Oskar Feltsman, Nikita Bogoslovsky, Ilya Kataev, Aleksandra Pakhmutova and many others. In 1973 she appeared singing a song by Vladimir Vysotskiy in _Chyornyy prints (1973)_ by director Anatoly Bobrovsky and later earned wide recognition as the voice on the TV show 'Good night, children'. She also sang in the popular cartoon _Zima v prostokvasino (1984)_ by director Vladimir Popov. From 1989 - 2010 she was artistic director of Moscow Theatre of Musical Drama.

Valentina Tolkunova recorded twelve albums which sold millions of copies. She was designated Honorable Actress of Russia and People's Actress of Russia, and also received numerous awards and decorations from the Soviet state and from the Russian government. Tolkunova was active in various charitable projects in Russia and internationally. She sang for dignitaries and politicians, such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II and other international figures. Among the highlights of her career were performances with Montserrat Caballé, Iosif Kobzon and many other popular singers.

After a five-year marriage to composer Yuri Saulsky, she was married to writer Yuri Paporov and the couple had one son. In spite of her poor health, Valentina Tolkunova toured actively in Russia and in republics of the former USSR. On February 19, 2010, she had to interrupt a concert tour in Belarus due to urgent hospitalization. She died of a coma caused by brain tumor on March 22, 2010, in Moscow, and was laid to rest next to actors, Vladislav Galkin, Yuri Stepanov and Igor Starygin, in Troekurovskoe cemetery in Moscow, Russia. Her death caused a considerable mourning in Russia and in republics of the former Soviet Union, where millions know her songs by heart.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Yuri Paporov (1977 - 22 March 2010) (her death) (1 child)

Trivia (6)

Was hospitalized for intensive care on 16 February 2010 after her concert in Mahiliou, Belarus, and sent from there to the Botkin hospital in Moscow, where she died.
Her performance of lullaby has been the longest running song on Russian TV - over 27 years since 1982.
Her family moved to Moscow soon after her birth and Valentina always regarded herself as a Muscovite.
Was in the jazz band of her first husband Yuriy Saulskiy for five years.
Gave birth to her only child at age 31, a son Nikolai Paporov on October 10, 1977. Child's father is her 2nd husband, Yuri Paporov.

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