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Tatiana Samoilova – Star of Soviet cinema

Tatiana Samoilova

Tatiana Samoilova – Star of Soviet cinema

On May 4, 2014, the day of her 80th birthday, star of Soviet cinema Tatiana Samoilova died of heart disease.
Tatiana was born on May 4, 1934 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). She was the only daughter of remarkable Soviet film and theater actor Yevgeny Samoilov. In 1937 the family moved to Moscow. Tatiana graduated from the ballet studio and even was invited to study at the ballet school of the Bolshoi Theater by outstanding ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. However, Tatiana always wanted to be an actress. And in 1953, Samoilova entered the Shchukin Drama School, where she met her future husband Vasily Lanovoi.
Tatiana played her debut role in 1955 in Vladimir Kaplunovsky’s movie “The Mexican” based on a story by Jack London. The success of the film was huge, but the girl had problems at school. The students of drama schools were strictly forbidden to act in films. In 1956, Tatiana had to leave the school. And in the same year she received an invitation to play the title role in film “The Cranes Are Flying” based on Victor Rozov’s play “Forever Alive”. The role of Veronica was one of her most important roles.

Tatiana Samoilova childhood

Tatiana in her childhood. 1938

Great artist Pablo Picasso, who still didn’t see the film said, “I am sure after this film you’ll become a star”. He was right.
She became world famous after her role in the film “The Cranes Are Flying” directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. The film was a tremendous success, winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes and a special prize for Samoilova as the most “Modest and charming actress”. By the way, “The Cranes Are Flying” was the only Soviet film, received the “Palme d’Or”.
Tatiana received many offers to continue her career in the West, but declined in the face of mounting pressure from the establishment of the day. After the triumph at the Cannes Film Festival, she was invited to Hollywood for the role of Anna Karenina. She really wanted to play with the great Philip Gerard, but Samoilova wasn’t given permission.
The only successful work of Samoilova in the first half of the 60s was the role of Russian radio operator in the Hungarian film “Alba Regia”, where her partner was a wonderful Hungarian actor Miklos Gabor. Filming lasted for almost two years, and Samoilova together with her second husband, writer Valery Osipov, lived in Hungary.

Tatiana Samoilova father

Tatiana and her father Yevgeny Samoilov

In 1967, she appeared in “Anna Karenina” Soviet version of Tolstoy’s novel directed by Alexander Zarkhi. Samoilova appeared in the movie alongside her former husband Vasily Lanovoy (as Count Vronsky) and Maya Plisetskaya (as Karenina’s friend Betsy).
Tatiana starred in Renata Litvinova’s movie, “There is no death for me” where five outstanding actresses talk about themselves.
The film about Tatiana Samoilova “Tragic pause, or Tatiana’s Day” was released in 1997 by Arthur Zarikovskiy.
In 1999, after a long break Tatiana appeared in Alexander Atanesyan’s film “Twenty-Four”.
samoilova tatiana soviet actress
Personal life
Her first husband was actor Vasily Lanovoi. Their marriage lasted for two years (1956-1958). It was quite a youthful, romantic love. Vasily was her first real love, that left a trace in her heart.
Husband once offered to leave her career as an actress and to give birth to many children. Tatiana didn’t want children.
Her unexpected pregnancy became an ordeal for a couple. Tatiana had poor health and the doctor was not sure she could give birth to a healthy child. Abortion was made secretly, without anesthesia, because in those years, the procedure was banned. It turned out that Samoilova had twins. Lanovoi suffered in silence. Tatiana regretted the abortion her whole life.

Samoilova Vasily Lanovoi

Tatiana and her first husband Vasily Lanovoi in “Anna Karenina”

Solomon Shulman, journalist and filmmaker, was her second husband. Their marriage lasted for 4 years (1964-1967).

Writer Valery Osipov became her third husband. The marriage lasted for 10 years. Samoilova called him “my only great love”. It was her longest and happiest marriage. Samoilova madly wanted to be realized as a mother, but Valery Dmitrievich had health problems.

Tatiana Samoilova Osipov

Tatiana and Valery Osipov. Photo:

Edward Mashkovich, who was 7 years younger, became her fourth husband and a father of her child. Son Dmitry was born when the actress was 35 years old. When the boy was two years old, Mashkovich went away and didn’t see his son for about forty years. Their long-awaited meeting took place on September 10, 2013 on Andrey Malakhov’s program “Let them talk”. Now Dmitry lives in the USA.

Samoilova Mashkovich

Tatiana and Edward Mashkovich. Photo:

Samoilova son

Tatiana and her son Dmitry

Samoilova son

Tatiana and her son Dmitry