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Entries / Merkuryev V.V., (1904-1978), actor

Merkuryev V.V., (1904-1978), actor

Categories / Art/Cinema
Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Personalia

MERKURYEV Vasily Vasilievich (1904-1978, Leningrad), actor, People's Artist of the USSR (1960). His stage career started in 1920 in the town of Ostrov. Upon graduating from the Leningrad Dramatics College (1926; today Academy of Dramatic Arts), he worked at several theatres throughout Leningrad: in 1926-28 as an actor at the Laboratory Theatre (the theatre of Leningrad Dramatics College), in 1928-32 at the Theatre of Acting Technique (in 1931 reorganised into a branch of the Akdrama), in 1933-35 at the District Theatre of the Red Army, in 1936 at the L.S. Vivien Theatre and the Drama Theatre, in 1937 at the Leningrad Region Trade Unions Soviet Drama Theatre, and in 1937-78 at the Alexander Pushkin Drama Theatre. In 1933, he also worked at the Regional Drama Theatre of Samara. He was acclaimed as a comic actor, a master of bright and rich characters. Merkuryev's original personality, as an actor and interpreter, was defined by the unity of comic, lyric and romantic elements of acting, and a unique naturalness and charisma. He created two versions of many of his famous characters, one for the theatre and one for the screen: Vosmibratov in The Forest by A.N. Ostrovsky, Malvolio in Twelfth Night by W. Shakespeare, and Matvey Zhurbin in Zhurbin Family by V.A. Kochetov. Other famous theatre parts include Groznov in Truth is Good, but Happiness is Better, Pribytkov in The Last Victim by Ostrovsky, Menshikov in Peter I by A.N. Tolstoy; Famusov in Woe from Wit by A.S. Griboedov; and Berest in Platon Krechet by A.E. Korneychuk. He started appearing in films in 1924, playing about 70 roles throughout his career, including Lieutenant Tucha in The Sky Slow-Mover, Forest Warden in Cinderella, Nestratov in True Friends, Borozdin in The Cranes Are Flying. In 1934-41, 1945-48, and 1961-78, in collaboration with his wife, director and pedagogue I.V. Meyerhold (the daughter of V.E. Meyerhold), he lectured at the Dramatics College (Central Drama School, Leningrad State Theatre Institute, Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography, Professor since 1961), and founded several Russian and national studios, which evolved into new theatres in various regions of the USSR. Among his honours is the Stalin Prizes (1947, 1949, 1952), the State Prize of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1979, posthumous). In 1944-78, he lived at 33 Tchaikovskogo Street (memorial plaque installed). Buried (with I.V. Meyerhold) at Literatorskie Mostky.

References: Цимбал С. Л. Василий Меркурьев. Л.; М., 1963; Василий Васильевич Меркурьев: Воспоминания. Статьи. М., 1986.

A. A. Kirillov.

Griboedov Alexander Sergeevich
Kochetov Vsevolod Anisimovich
Korneychuk Alexander Evdokimovich
Merkuryev Vasily Vasilievich
Meyerhold Irina Vsevolodovna
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolaevich
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Shakespeare William
Stalin (real name Dzhugashvili) Iosif Vissarionovich
Tolstoy Alexey Nikolaevich
Vivien Leonid Sergeevich

Tchaikovskogo St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 33

Цимбал С. Л. Василий Меркурьев. Л.; М., 1963
Василий Васильевич Меркурьев: Воспоминания. Статьи. М., 1986

The subject Index
Dramatic Theatre on Liteiny
Literatorskie (Literary) Mostki, the museum-necropolis