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He did not act in films so often, and the roles of Valery Matveev were not at all the main ones. The audience remembered him, first of all, in the image of the cowboy Frank Scrimgeour in the film "The Adventures of Prince Florizel" by Evgeny Tatarsky. Fans of Soviet cinema will also remember the roles of the actor in "Monologue" by Ilya Averbakh, "Charlotte's Necklace" by the same Yevgeny Tatarsky and other wonderful films. Valery Matveev served for forty years in the legendary BDT, where he came at the invitation of Tovstonogov himself. But, despite such a glorious creative path of the actor, his merits were not marked with any titles and awards.
Following the dream
He was born in the German city of Potsdam, but grew up in Leningrad. Those who happened to study with Valery Matveyev at school 64 still remember that he was invariably benevolent, very well-read, communication with him gave his peers real pleasure. Many noted: even having become a rather famous actor, Valery Matveev did not become conceited, and, meeting with former classmates, was sincerely happy with him. And he was also promised a brilliant sports future. During his school years, he was really passionate about basketball, and could have achieved success in this field.
But Valery Matveev, already in his senior class, began to seriously prepare for admission to the theater institute. He passionately dreamed of acting in films and going on the stage. And the dream led him to the walls of LGITMiK, to the course of Zinovy Korogodsky, which was successfully completed in 1977.
How many students have ever found a place in a good theater right after graduation? And Valery Matveev, receiving his diploma, already knew for sure that Georgy Tovstonogov himself, who invited him to the troupe, was waiting for him in the legendary BDT. And in the theater, he did not play in the crowd, as it often happened with novice artists. He has more than 30 roles, including Listnitsky Jr. in the play Quiet Don, Semyon Godunov in Boris Godunov, Robie in The Old Lady's Visit, Gromilov in Talents and Admirers. Valery Matveev served in this theater until the end of his days.
Cinema came to the actor's life much earlier. He first appeared on the screen in an episode in Leonid Makarychev's film "Red Bees", but many viewers were able to appreciate his talent in the film by Ilya Averbukh "Monologue", where Valery Matveyev played the role of Dima, hopelessly in love with the heroine of Marina Neyolova Ninochka.
In this picture, he had to play together with Mikhail Gluzsky, Margarita Terekhova, Stanislav Lyubshin, Evgenia Khanaeva and other famous actors. And, most importantly, he was not lost against their background and was very organic in his image.
In total, the actor's filmography includes about twenty works in films and TV series, and the most striking role of Valery Matveyev was Frank Scrimgeour in The Adventures of Prince Florizel. This image turned out to be so colorful and juicy that it was simply impossible to forget it. A loud-voiced Texas cowboy, appearing in the frame, immediately attracted attention with his cheerfulness, and Frank's phrases subsequently scattered into quotes and became winged.
Despite the fact that Valery Matveev did not have any more equally bright roles, not a single of his screen work went unnoticed. Duke in "The Comedy of Errors", Gena Melnikov in "Useless", Igor Linev in "Charlotte's Necklace" - each character felt his original talent and reverent attitude to the profession.
By the way, Valery Evgenievich generously shared his attitude to the profession of an actor and his knowledge with the students of the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. Its students still remember their teacher with gratitude and great warmth. Petersburgers could see the actor in the guise of Peter I during the annual celebration of the City Day.
No titles or awards
Despite the many roles played in theater and cinema, Valery Matveev's merits were not noted. Friends and colleagues of the actor are sure: excessive straightforwardness prevented him. He did not know how, and did not consider it necessary to beat around the bush, he always said to a person everything that he thinks about him, regardless of his position and social status.
Perhaps this prevented him, but Valery Evgenievich simply could not live differently. The actor did not consider it necessary to hide his point of view from anyone, and sometimes expressed it in a rather harsh form. Perhaps it was this character trait of his that became the reason for his lack of titles. But he had the main thing - the recognition of the people for whom he worked all his life.
In the last years of his life, Valery Matveev was very sick, but he still went for walks, and fans of the actor's talent could see him walking slowly through the streets of St. Petersburg. On May 17, 2014, he was gone. He left just a week and a half before his 58th birthday.
The main role in the film "The Adventures of Prince Florizel" was played by Oleg Dal, in whose filmography there are only about 50 roles. But there could be twice as many of them if he did not abandon them and did not lose because of his difficult character. They say, he was "uncomfortable" for directors, disrupted performances and often clashed when it was necessary to seek compromises. There were many passions in his life, and one of them ruined him.
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