Bruno Freindlich went down in history of dramatics as “the patriarch of Aleksandrinsky Theater”, an actor with an amazing variety of the roles he played. He was said to have a special flair and nobility of the last actor of the imperial theater. Now the actor Bruno Freindlich is mostly remembered as the father of Alisa Freindlich. However, it never offended him; on the contrary, he was proud of it and claimed that the role of the father was the best one in his life.
Nonetheless, Bruno Freindlich had his own life and actor’s career, which was no less interesting than the destiny of his daughter.
Bruno Arturovich Freindlich was born on October 10, 1909 into a German family in St. Petersburg. In 1931 he entered the Theatre of Young Workers. It was there where he played his first roles and got acquainted with Xenia Fiodorovna Fedorova, the would-be mother of Alisa Freindlich. Before the war he went with the theater on a tour to Tashkent, and it rescued him and his family from the repressions that ethnic Germans were subjected to. In Tashkent he met his new love. He returned to Leningrad with his new wife and their daughter Irina, however, he never lost touch with his daughter Alisa. From 1948 Bruno Freindlich worked in the Aleksandrinsky Theater, one stage of which he played for more than half a century. In this theater he played his two best and very different roles: those of Hamlet and Khlestakov. However, his most favourite role for many years was Turgenev's role in the stage production Elegy. He did not leave it for long 23 years.
The actor started to film rather late, in 1949, but it did not prevent him from winning acknowledgment of the audience, and creating most versatile characters for 40 years. For his role of Marconi in the historical and biographic movie Alexander Popov the actor was conferred the Stalin award on.
Among his other film works there are roles in The Dirk (1954), Two Captains (1955), The Twelfth Night (1955), Don Quixote (1957), Fathers and Sons (1958), Two Tickets for Matinee (1966), End of “Saturn” (1968), The Run (1970), Timur and his Team (1976), Russia the Young (1981), Fight for Moscow (1985), Stalingrad (1989), etc. Altogether the filmography of Bruno Freindlich includes about 40 roles.
Bruno Arturovich Freindlich died on July 9, 2002 in St. Petersburg and was laid down to rest at the Volkovsky Cemetery.