Marina Vlady – Russian Frenchwoman
Marina Vlady is a French actress and singer of Russian origin, writer, was engaged in sculpture. The actress has played in more than 100 films and has written more than a dozen books. Her real name is Ekaterina Marina Polyakova-Baydarova, also known as Catherine Marina de Poliakoff-Baydaroff.
Marina was born on May 10, 1938 in Clichy-la-Garenne, France in the family of Russian immigrants. She was the youngest of four daughters. Her father, Vladimir Polyakov-Baydarov, actor of opera houses in Paris and Monte Carlo, left Moscow for France during World War I. Her mother Milica Envald was a dancer, daughter of a Russian general.
“I am Russian, only with a French passport. My father graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. When the First World War began, he went to France, to go a volunteer into the army. He was the only son of a widowed mother, and he wasn’t taken to the Russian army. My father became a pilot, was wounded and was awarded the military cross. After the war, he stayed in France, worked at the Paris Opera, sang at the Opera de Monte Carlo. He was familiar with Modigliani, Matisse, Delaunay. My mother’s family left Russia in 1919. Mom was in Belgrade when she met my father – Vladimir Polyakov, who came on tour. My mom grew up in St. Petersburg.”
Marina’s sisters: Olga (May 5, 1928 – September 3, 2009) was television director, pseudonym Olga Varen; Tatiana (June 14, 1930 – June 23, 1980) was an actress, pseudonym Odile Versois; Militsa (February 2, 1932 – August 1, 1988) was an actress, pseudonym Helene Vallier.
According to Paris Match magazine (June 11, 1955) the capital letter V in all their pseudonyms means victory.
Marina dreamed of becoming an actress, and always wanted to be a ballerina, and even studied at the Ballet School at the Grand Opera in Paris.
The girl took the pseudonym Vlady in honor of her father after his death.
As an actress Marina debuted at the age of 11 in the melodrama Summer Storm (1949). The girl had a cameo role and the main one was played by her sister Odile Versois.
Marina’s first serious roles were in the films First-class Girl and First Love.
At the Cannes Film Festival 1954 Marina became the winner of Suzanne Byanshetti Award as best young actress for her role in Andre Cayatte’s film Before the Flood.
In the USSR the actress became popular for her role in the film Witch (Bewitched, 1955), based on a Kuprin’s story Olesya.
Vlady starred not only in France, but also in Italy. She played the role of peasant Angela in the movie Days of Love (1954), which became a classic of Italian neorealism.
She won Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Marco Ferreri’s movie Queen Bee (1963).
In 2012, Vlady received Henri-Langlois Award.
In her memoirs 24 Frames per Second Marina says that 27-year-old Marcello Mastroianni was one of her first fans. She played with him in the movie Black Feathers. And on the set of the film Love Days he gave the young girl the first flirting lesson.
Then she had a love affair with handsome Marlon Brando.
The beautiful girl had a lot of fans, famous directors Orson Welles and Jean-Luc Godard made a marriage proposal. But she chose Robert Hossein, an unknown actor and film director with Russian roots. When they got married Marina was only 17 years old. They were one of the most beautiful couple of French cinema. Vlady gave birth to two sons Igor and Pierre.
But after some time their marriage broke up, and Vlady married ex-pilot and owner of the airline in Africa Jean-Claude Brouillet. She gave birth to a son named Vladimir.
Vlady and Vladimir Vysotsky. Star romance began with the release of the film Witch. Sixteen-year-old Marina charmed all viewers. Vladimir was no exception, but they only met when Vlady was invited to Taganka Theatre in 1967. The actress was offered to watch a rehearsal of the play Pugachev and she was impressed by Vysotsky as Pugachev. On December 1, 1971 they got married. “Vladimir was the greatest passion of my life.” They were together for 12 years. Marina became his last wife and wrote a book of memoirs about him “Vladimir, or Aborted Flight” (1987), which was staged in 2009. After the Vysotsky’s death Vlady even tried to commit suicide.
Oncologist Leon Schwartzenberg saved her. They met in 1981 in Paris. At first they were just friends. Then Marina and Leon got married and were together for 23 years until his death. Wicked irony: Schwarzenberg died of cancer.
Her latest book A Man In Black On The Beach, Marina devoted to Leon Schwarzenberg.