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Vasiliy Shukshin Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Srostki, Biysk Okrug, Siberian Krai, RSFSR, USSR [now Altai Krai, Russia]
Died in on the Volga river near Kletskaya, Volgograd Oblast, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]
Birth NameVasili Makarovich Shukshin

Mini Bio (1)

Vasili Shukshin, one of Russian cinema's notable figures, was born Vasili Makarovich Shukshin into a peasant family on July 25, 1929, in the village of Srostki, Altai province, Siberian Russia. His father, named Makar Leontievich Shukshin, was a landlord who refused to join a collective farm and was arrested and executed in 1933. A that time Shukshin's mother, Maria Sergeevna, was 22, with two children, and she married another peasant who was soon drafted and was killed in WWII. Young Vasili Shukshin was raised by a single mother.

After WWII Shukshin studied to become a car mechanic, then served in the Navy in the Baltic Sea, then worked as a school teacher in Siberia, then went to study film directing in Moscow. He was accepted by director Mikhail Romm, who recognized Shukshin's natural talent. From 1954-1960 he studied acting and directing at Soviet State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow, and made his big screen debut as cameo in Quiet Flows the Don (1957) by director Sergey Gerasimov. During the 50s and 60s he starred in several popular films. Shukshin published his first short stories in 1958, during the "Thaw" that was initiated by Nikita Khrushchev. In 1964 he wrote and directed Zhivyot takoy paren (1964) and the film was critically acclaimed at XVI International Film Festival in Venice (1965). At that time Shukshin became a well-known party man in Moscow, he was romantically involved with popular poet Bella Akhmadulina. He later married actress Lidiya Fedoseeva-Shukshina, and the couple had two daughters.

In 1965 Shukshin started his new project, titled 'Stepan Razin', about the 17 century Cossac leader who led a major popular uprising against the Russian Tzar, and was brutally executed at the Red Square in Moscow. In 1967 the film 'Stepan Razin' was in development and Shukshin went on location at the Volga river where the historic uprising took place; but the Soviet authorities crashed the film for political reasons. Shukshin eventually had serious problems with alcohol and depression for several years. Only later, after the birth of his second daughter, he completely abstained from alcohol for the rest of his life. In 1969 he was designated Honorable Artist of Russia. In 1971 he was awarded the State Prize of the USSR for his outstanding acting in the leading role as Chernov in the popular film U ozera (1970) by director Sergey Gerasimov.

In 1973, Vasili Shukshin starred in what became his most popular film, The Red Snowball Tree (1974), which he also wrote and directed, earning himself awards and fame. In 1974 Shukshin re-started his film project titled 'Stepan Razin' and also wrote a novel about Stepan Razin titled 'I came to let you free'. Shukshin was found dead on October 2, 1974, aboard the "Dunai" cruise-ship on the Volga river, near Kletskaya in Volgograd province, Russia. He was laid to rest in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.

Shukshin's main novel 'I came to let you free' was published posthumously. His novels and short stories were translated in more than 30 languages and sold over 20 million copies across the world. A comprehensive artistic biography of Vasili Shukshin was written by Evgeni Vertlib, and published in New York, in 1990.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Lidiya Fedoseeva-Shukshina (1964 - 2 October 1974) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Virtually all of Shukshin's books and films take place in the Altay Region of Russia, where he was born and spent his childhood.

Trivia (1)

See also

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