Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Nonna Mordyukova, Soviet actress

Nonna Mordyukova
Nonna Mordyukova (November 25, 1925 – July 6, 2008) was a Soviet actress and People’s Artist of the USSR (1974). She co-starred with the best actors of the Soviet era, among them Vasily Shukshin, Yuri Nikulin, Valentin Zubkov, Mikhail Ulyanov, Vyacheslav Tikhonov and others.
Her real name was Noyabrina as she was born in November. Nonna had three sisters and two brothers. In 1945 young girl moved to Moscow from Yeisk.
After graduation from VGIK in 1950, Nonna played in the Actors Studio Theatre.
Mordyukova’s first role was the role of Ulyana Gromova in the film “The Young Guard”, directed by Sergei Gerasimov in 1948. In the film also starred Sergei Bondarchuk, Inna Makarova, Sergei Gurzo, Vyacheslav Tikhonov…
In 1949, Mordyukova was awarded the Stalin Prize for her debut role.
It was on the set of the film when Nonna fell in love with Tikhonov, her future husband, whom she lived for 13 years with.

But at the same time the actress rejected director Gerasimov’s love and he then took revenge on her for a long time. Because of Gerasimov she wasn’t given any role in the movie for five years.
Mordyukova was one of the first Soviet actresses, who bared breasts (she breastfed the child) on the screen in the film “Commissar” (1967), directed by Alexander Askoldov. It was her most memorable work. The fate of the film was difficult. It was recognized as ideologically harmful one, because the director showed bloody revolution. The movie was ordered to destroy and Askoldov was banned from the profession.
But the film miraculously survived and was found in 20 years. For her role Nonna was recognized as one of the world’s best actresses. She received FIPRESCI Award, Otto Dibelius Film Award, and Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, and Silver Spur Award (Flanders International Film Festival) for The Commissar.
Mordyukova was included in the top ten actresses of the 20th century by the drafters of the British Encyclopedia “Who Is Who” in 1992.
Nonna Mordyukova Soviet actress
In November 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree awarding the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, third degree, to Mordyukova.
The asteroid 4022 Nonna is named after Mordyukova.
The actress wrote a book “Do not cry, Cossack!”, she also wrote poems.

Personal life
In 1948, she married Vyacheslav Tikhonov, but in 1963 they divorced. He never loved her.

mordyukova tikhonov

Mordyukova and her husband Vyacheslav Tikhonov

Then Nonna tried to build a family, as every woman she wanted to have a loving husband and children. But all her men were handsome as gods, but weak in life. One was 16 years younger, the other 10…
There were writer Boris Andronov, actor Vladimir Soshalskiy, opera singer, purebred Prince in her life. But everyone wanted her to provide them with presents, love, money, tasty dinners…
“No, I cannot love – just turn into a slave”, said Nonna.
Her son Volodya Tikhonov was the only loving man. He was married twice, but both marriages broke up. Actress Natalya Varley was his first wife, on January 26, 1972 their son Vasily was born. In 1975 Tikhonov married skater Natalia Egorova, in 1982 their son Vladimir was born.
Mordyukova’s son died on June 11, 1990 in Moscow from heart failure. She sobbed so it seemed, the world would fall from her mother’s grief.

Mordyukova son

Mordyukova and her son Volodya in the film “Russian field”

Mother and son starred together in the film “Russian field”, where Nonna’s character buried her son, whom played her son Volodya.
They say Mordyukova had a love affair with young singer Yulian. They met a year after her son’s death in 1991 on tour in Cherepovets. Yulian was 17 years old, he studied in GITIS and Nonna treated him like a son. They were friends.

Russian singer Yulian

Russian singer Yulian

Mordyukova was buried at Kuntsevo Cemetery next to her son Volodya.

Nonna Mordyukova, Soviet actress