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 Mark Zakharov

Born:   October, 13th, 1933

Mark Zakharov is an outstanding Soviet and Russian stage and film director, the art director of Lenkom Theatre



Mark Anatolyevich Zakharov was born on October, 13th, 1933 in Moscow into the family of teachers. His mother used to be an actress, but after the arrest of his father she was compelled to leave stage to support the family. Therefore Mark Zakharov spent most of his childhood with his grandmother - Sofia Bardina. In 1943 the Zakharovs family returned to Moscow. Mark’s mother worked as a teacher in children's theatrical circles. So the future stage director took a great interest in theatre early in childhood. As a schoolboy he visited theatrical hobby groups. After finishing school he entered the Actor's Faculty of GITIS (State Institute of Theatre Art).

In 1955 he graduated GITIS and afterwards worked as an actor in the Perm Regional Drama Theatre, in the Moscow Gogol Theatre, and then was an actor and the stage director of the Moscow Theatre of Miniatures (1960-1964), Students’ Theatre of the Moscow State University (1964-1965), and the director of the Moscow Satire Theatre (1965-1973).

Since 1973 Mark Zakharov has been the chief director of the Moscow Theatre of Lenin Komsomol (nowadays known as Lenkom). During the years of his art management Zakharov managed to make Lenkom a remarkable phenomenon in the Russian theatrical life. The secret of Lenkom’s enormous popularity, according to Mark Zakharov, is that the theatre «aspires to follow great precepts of MKHAT teachers, but most of all fears boredom, when it is clear to everyone, what is happening and, especially, what is going to happen”.

Among the most known stage plays by Mark Zakharov is A.N.Ostrovsky ‘s A Profitable Post (staged in 1967), L.S.Petrushevskaya’s Three girls in blue (1985), M.F.Shatrov’s Dictatorship of conscience (1986), G.I.Gorin's Prayer for the dead (1989).) Tremendous success was Mark Zakharov’s staging of the rock opera Juno and Avos (1980) starring Nikolai Karachentsov as Count Rezanov and it holds stage till date.


Mark Zakharov is also the director of such films favoured by spectators as An Ordinary Miracle (Obyknovennoye chudo) (1978), That Same Munchausen (Tot samyy Myunkhgauzen) (1979), The Formula of Love (Formula lyubvi) (1984) , Kill the Dragon (Ubit drakona) (1988).

Extremely popular has been his TV screening of the novel Twelve Chairs (12 stulyev) (1977) written by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov and starring brilliant Andrei Mironov and Anatoli Papanov. Besides, Mark Zakharov is the author and the co-author of scenarios for such well-known films as The Captivating Star of Happiness (Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya) (1975), The Sannikov Land (Zemlya Sannikova) (1973); he also contributed considerably to creation of the legendary film White Sun of the Desert (Beloe solntse pustyni) (1970) as the author of the well-known letters of Fyodor Sukhov, the Red Army soldier.

Mark Zakharov is the author of numerous articles tackling issues of theatre and politics, and also books on modern directing.

Tags: Russian cinema Russian film directors Mark Zakharov   

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