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 Lyubov Orlova


Born:   February 11, 1902
Deceased:   January 26, 1975

Legendary Soviet actress

      

Lyubov Petrovna Orlova - the well-known Soviet actress and an idol of Soviet public of the 1930s-1950s - was born on February 11 (January 29), 1902 into a noble family in Zvenigorod town near Moscow. 

 
The father of the future Soviet movie star served in a military department. Her mother descended from an old noble family. The parents wanted their daughter to become a professional pianist, and so at the age of 7 she started attending a music school.
 
The first person to admire Lyubov Orlova’s gift was Fyodor Shalyapin himself, who was a friend of the Orlovs family. Lyubochka was 6 years old then. Fyodor Shalyapin turned to be the one who first predicted the glory of an actress to her. 
 
After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory and Choreography Department of the Moscow Theatrical College, Lyubov Orlova worked at the Moscow Musical Theater, which was headed by Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. She took the stage as an opera singer and a dance performer there.
 
Lyubov Orlova made her film debut with the role of Grushenka in Petersburg Night by the film director Grigory Roshal in 1934; it was made still in the era of silent cinema. The role of housemaid Anyuta in Grigori Aleksandrov’s movie Jolly Fellows became a turning point in her creative career.  It was appreciated by Joseph Stalin himself, when he watched this comedy in the Kremlin in 1934. 
 
The following film was The Circus, based on the musical Under a Circus Dome by Katayev, Ilf and Petrov
 
The invariable team of the film director Aleksandrov, the composer Dunaevsky, and the poet Lebedev-Kumach were tagged as “Orlova’s trotters” since the viewers took The Circus for the movie of Orlova. 
 
Lyubov Orlova became a part of every family of the Soviet people. When she was walking in the street people would shorten their stride, men would take their hats off, and the most severe faces would start having a kind and joyful expression. The entire country sang the songs performed by Lyubov Orlova.
 
In the last years of her life the actress almost stopped film acting and worked at the Moscow Mossovet Theater, where she created a number of remarkable works in stage production by the director Yury Zavadsky.
 
She always looked perfectly, looked after herself, and the hall always applauded to her phrase in the Lovely Liar performance, on behalf of the character Mrs. Patrick Campbell: “And I will never turn over the age of thirty nine, even for a single day!”. And it was true about the actress: she was ever-young.
 
Lyubov Orlova died of pancreas cancer on January 26, 1975 in Moscow and was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery.


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