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 Stanislav Lyubshin

Born:   April 6, 1933

famous Russian film and theatre actor



Stanislav Lyubshin was born into a village family and grew up in the village of Vladykino near Moscow (now it is already a part of Moscow).

As a schoolboy he started attending the village drama circle. Then he studied at oxygen welding college and afterwards served the army. In 1959 Stanislav Lyubshin graduated from the Shepkin Theatre School. His graduation work was a role in the play Optimistic Tragedy. There he was noticed by Oleg Tabakov, who worked with young actors. With his reference Stanislav Lyubshin was admitted to the company of Sovrmennik Theatre.

Soon he debuted on stage: there happened to be urgent need to replace Oleg Tabakov in his role of Slavka the Student in Five Evenings and Lyubshin succeeded in playing it. Afterwards he came to play the role alternately with Oleg Tabakov. Stanislav Lyubshin worked in Sovremennik for four years.


The young actor made his film debut right after graduating from the Theater School. However, in spite of several successful works, he gained fame only after his role in Marlen Khutsiyev’s film I am Twenty in 1963.

In the 1960s he acted in feature films about war, such as The Third Missile (1963) by director Richard Viktorov after Vasili Bykov’s story and The Alpine Ballad (1965) by director Boris Stepanov. Afterwards, in 1967 Stanislav Lyubshin was invited to the TV series The Shield and the Sword (1968).

In the adventure series The Shield and the Sword by the outstanding film director and actor Vladimir Basov he played the role of the Soviet intelligence officer Aleksandr Belov, who worked in Berlin under the name of Johann Weiss during the war.


After starring in The Shield and the Sword Lyubshin became immensely popular with viewers and film directors. However, as it often happens, he started to be offered roles of one type only.

“That is an end to all. I am a character actor, and I kept refusing and waiting for something different” – the actor recalls.



Fortunately, the unlucky period did not last long. In 1970 Lyubshin appeared on screen as Commissar Amelin in Vasili Ordynsky’s historical revolutionary drama Red Square (1970). He portrayed a person possessed by lofty revolutionary ideas and ready to sacrifice for their sake. In 1972 film lovers saw Lyubshin as a young impulsive scientist Samson Kotikov in Ilya Averbakh’s drama Monologue. In a couple of years he starred in the melodrama Ksenia, the Beloved Wife of Fyodor as “a half-criminal, who pilfers everything to bring it home”, as the actor said.

The 1970s can be considered the period of true flourishing of Stanislav Lyubshin’s talent. Apart from the above mentioned works the actor played very interesting roles in the biopic series My Life (1972) after Anton Chekhov’s stories, in Vasili Shukshin’s movie-essay Pechki-lavochki (1972), and Sergei Bondarchuk’s drama The Steppe after Anton Chekhov’s story, etc.

After some break Lyubshin returned on stage as an actor of Yermolova Theatre in 1974.


Stanislav Lyubshin was approaching his debut as a film director for many years. In 1964 during shooting of the children’s movie-essay What is it Like, the Sea? he got acquainted with Vasili Shukshin. In the early 1970s Stanislav Lyubshin dreamt of making a film after some of Shukshin’s works. Luckily, Shukshin gave him his scenario for his story Call Me from Afar. At once Lyubshin set off to petition for it in Goskino, but was turned down. Shukshin was never in high favour with authorities, and moreover started working on his new film The Red Snowball Tree and so, the officials decided that there would be too much of Shukshin on screen.

Nevertheless, Lyubshin released the film in 1977, but that was already after the death of Shukshin in 1974. He did not only direct the film, but also brilliantly played one of the main roles, portraying an alcoholic and looser.


One of the best works in Stanislav Lyubshin’s career was his role in Nikita Mikhalkov’s film Five Evenings (1979). The picture became a token for Lyubshin: he had started his theatre career with the play Five Evenings in Sovrmennik, and then, after 20 years, he again appeared in Five Evenings, but already on screen.

In the 1980s Stanislav Lyubshin was already a star of worldwide recognition. By that time another film with his notable work had been released - Rodion Nahapetov’s drama Do Not Shoot White Swans after the same-name novel by Boris Vasilyev. Lyubshin portrayed a forester who tries to fight poachers alone.

The same year 1980 Stanislav Andreyevich directed his second film – the drama Three Years after Chekhov’s play.


In the 1980s Lyubshin was rarely into filming, but the releases with his roles became great events. In Georgi Daneliya’s comedy Kin-Dza-Dza (1986), which became a truly cult film, Lyubshin showed himself as a superb comedy actor, capable not only of serious drama roles.

In the early 1990s Stanislav Lyubshin played in a few mediocre films and afterwards focused on stage play. Actually the actor did not have a choice – Russian cinema was in utter devastation during that period.

Altogether Stanislav Lyubshin has played more than 40 film roles. Since 1980 he has played in the company of the Moscow Art Theatre.

Tags: Russian cinema Russian actors Stanislav Lyubshin   

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