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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Vintage

Yul Brynner – American actor from Russia

Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner – American actor from Russia


Yul Brynner is an actor who was born in Russia, lived and worked in America, and his parents had Swiss citizenship. Brynner had starred in more than forty films. He was famous throughout the world, talented, rich and handsome.
Julius Briner (his real name) was born on July 11, 1920 in Vladivostok. That year was difficult for his family, as there was a civil war in the country. And four months before the boy’s birth, his grandfather, owner of mines and a transport company, died. Parents named the son in honor of the grandfather.
The first seven years of his life, Julius spent in Vladivostok. When he was 4 years old, his father left the family because of the actress of the Moscow Art Theater.
Brynner’s mother obtained permission from the Soviet authorities to travel abroad and emigrated with children to Harbin (China). Yul studied at the best school, where he showed a musical talent. At the age of 10, he played the guitar and sang. In 1932, when Japan occupied Manchuria, the mother decided to move with her children to Paris.
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Alexander Liberman, Russian tsar of New York

Alexander Liberman

Alexander Liberman, Russian tsar of New York (photo: November 8, 1965)

Creativity without waste is impossible — Alexander Liberman

Alexander Liberman was a prominent representative of the American intelligentsia, Russian emigre, who changed the pop culture of the twentieth century. You know, he was the king and god of the publishing house Conde Nast. By the way, Alexander was an editor, a publisher, a painter, a photographer, and a sculptor.
The boy was born on September 4, 1912. Nine years later his family fled from Moscow.
Young Liberman was educated in Russia, England, and France. He studied mathematics and philosophy at Sorbonne in Paris and architecture at the School of Fine Arts in London.
In Paris Alexander fell in love with Tatiana Yacovleff du Plessix, who was six years older. Their love affair began when the Viscount du Plessis was alive. In 1940 Viscount was killed by Nazis.
Alexander, Tatiana and her daughter Francine fled first to the south of France, and then to New York, the city where Lieberman was destined to become a ruthless and ironic shark of bohemian world.
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Lilya Brik and Vladimir Mayakovsky

Lilya Brik and Vladimir Mayakovsky

Lilya Brik and Vladimir Mayakovsky


On August 4, 1978, at the age of 87, Lilya Brik committed suicide by taking a lethal dose of sleeping pills. She made a difficult decision because she was confined to bed and could not have a normal life.
And the life of the great muse and temptress was truly remarkable until the end. In her appearance there was nothing that could be called beautiful. But she could be fatal and drove men crazy.
By the way, she was one of the most famous and influential women in Russian and Soviet culture. She was admired by men and helped many talented people to become famous. Pablo Neruda called her “muse of Russian avant-garde”.
When great poet Vladimir Mayakovsky met Lilya in 1915, he fell in love at first sight. Later Vladimir constantly confessed his love to her, claiming that he had written everything only thanks to her.

Lilya Kagan was born on November 11, 1891 into a wealthy Jewish family in Moscow. Her father worked as a lawyer, and in his free time he read books and visited literary and art circles. And her mother, who graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, brought up children.
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Mata Hari and her Russian love

Well-known Mata Hari

Well-known Mata Hari


Mata Hari was one of the most famous and desirable women in history. She is widely known as a resourceful double spy.
Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (her real name) was born on August 7, 1876. She was the daughter of a Dutch hat-maker.
Margaretha always wanted to have a close family: loving husband and children. So in 1895 19-years-old girl married 39-years-old military man Rudolph MacLeod, who moved her to Java. Margaretha gave birth to a son and a daughter.
But MacLeod’s bad temper strained their marriage, and nothing could repair the damage done.
On June 27, 1899 a terrible tragedy happened and it finally ended the marriage. Their children were poisoned and only the daughter survived. MacLeod blamed his wife in son’s death and beat Margaretha brutally. She obtained a divorce and stayed with the daughter, but MacLeod refused to pay any support. Unable to care for the girl, Margaretha left the daughter in her father’s house and moved to Paris.
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Tamara Syomina – Russian actress

Tamara Syomina

Tamara Syomina – Russian actress


Tamara Syomina is a Soviet and Russian actress, People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1978). She became popular Soviet actress after the roles of Katyusha Maslova in the drama Resurrection and Anfisa in the TV series Eternal Call.
Pretty girl was born on October 25, 1938 in Lgov, Kursk region. Her father, a commander of a tank platoon Pyotr Fedorovich Bokhonov, was killed on the front lines. In 1942 the family was evacuated and later Tamara came to her grandparents in Bryansk, where she went to school.
In 1946, her mother married Peter Vasilievich Syomin, who adopted two children and became a loving father and a true friend for them.
After school Tamara entered the school of working youth, where famous poet Bulat Okudzhava was her Literature teacher. Later Tamara entered the Teachers College, but left it and went to Moscow to become an actress.
In 1961 she graduated from the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) and became the actress of the Theatre-Studio.
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Tatiana Yakovleva – Leading Designer of Hats

Tatiana Yakovleva

Tatiana Yakovleva – Leading Designer of Hats

Tatiana Yakovleva (fr. Tatiana Yacovleff) was born on March 25 (April 7), 1906 in Saint Petersburg, into a professional family that found sanctuary in Paris after the Bolshevik Revolution. Mr. Citroen (founder of the Citroen automobile company) helped the Yakovlevs to leave Russia. Andre Citroen was a friend of famous artist Alexander Yakovlev (Tatiana’s uncle), who helped Andre to create sketches of future cars.
You know, Tatiana arrived in Paris at the age of 19. The beauty helped her a lot and soon there were many advertising posters with her face in the Parisian streets.
By the way, Tatiana was acquainted with the dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexander Godunov, poet Joseph Brodsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Feodor Chaliapin, made friends with the artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova.
Yakovleva studied painting and sculpture, but also learned millinery to earn a living.
Moreover, Tatiana was an imperious fashion icon and the leading hat designer for Saks Fifth Avenue for 20 years.
Yakovleva was beloved and the recipient of two love poems by the famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1928-1929.
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Galina Grigorieva, Soviet actress

G. Grigorieva, beautiful Soviet theater and film actress

Galina Grigorieva, beautiful Soviet theater and film actress

Galina Grigorieva was Soviet theater and film actress, Honored Artist of Kabardino-Balkaria (1959).
Pretty girl was born on June 28, 1917. In 1932, Galina graduated from the Moscow school. Then she studied at the Moscow Radio Engineering School for a year and at the Moscow Art Theater School. In 1932-1933 she worked as a secretary.
Later, Galina worked in the Studio Theatre. From 1949 to 1969 she was the actress of the Mayakovsky Theater.
Grigorieva played Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark, in the famous play Hamlet (directed by Nikolai Okhlopkov). A notable role was the role of Olga Pavlova Kosogorova in the play Escape from the Night staged by Vladimir Dudin.
By the way, Galina’s most well-known roles in the movie are the role of Masha (Dubrovsky) and Maria Morevna (Kashchei Immortal). Also the actress played in the films Old House (1969), Reporter (1967), May Night, or the Drowned (1952), Mikluho-Maclay (1947), Two Bothers (1936) and others.
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