Table of contents:

Secrets of the Eremenko acting dynasty: How father and son played their own fates in the cinema
Secrets of the Eremenko acting dynasty: How father and son played their own fates in the cinema

20 years ago, on May 27, 2001, the life of the famous actor and director Nikolai Eremenko Jr. ended. Just a year before that, his father, the movie star of the 1960s - 1970s, People's Artist of the USSR Nikolai Eremenko Sr., had passed away. When his father started filming in "Eternal Call", his son was just beginning his career in the acting profession, and when the last episodes of the epic came out, the name of Eremenko Jr. was already thundering all over the country after the films "Red and Black", "June 31", "Pirates of the 20th century". But the roles that brought them all-Union glory, and those in which they seemed to play themselves, became special for both father and son.

Youth in the camps

Nikolay Eremenko Sr. in the film Ahead - a sharp turn, 1960

Nikolai Eremenko Sr. had to grow up very early. His parents divorced shortly after his birth. To help his mother, after graduating from a seven-year school and a vocational school, he went to work as a turner at a factory. When the war began, he was only 15 years old. He falsified his documents, attributing 3 years to himself to enter the school for junior lieutenants, and at the beginning of 1942 he went to the front. In July of the same year, Nikolai was captured and spent 3 years in quarries in a concentration camp near Stuttgart. After the victory, he was released, but from one camp he immediately ended up in another - a filtration camp organized by the NKVD. After lengthy checks, he was released and reinstated in rank.

Nikolay Eremenko Sr. in the film Ahead - a sharp turn, 1960

In the autumn of 1945, Nikolai went to his mother in Vitebsk. Even at school, he liked to perform on stage, he participated in all creative evenings and festive performances, and after returning from the front, Eremenko got a job in the district House of Culture and began to study in a theater studio. The famous Belarusian actor Alexander Ilyinsky was the first to draw attention to his acting talent: once a theatrical review was held in Vitebsk, and the artist advised him to get an acting education. Eremenko graduated from the drama school at the Yakub Kolas Theater and began performing in the same theater. There he spent 11 years, and then he was invited to Minsk, to the Belarusian Academic Theater. Ya. Kupala, to whom he gave 40 years of his life.

How Sergei Gerasimov lit the star of Nikolai Eremenko

Shot from the movie The Pursuit, 1965

Once someone advised the actor to send his profile and photographs to the Belarusfilm studio, and in 1960, at the age of 34, Nikolai Eremenko made his film debut, who shot in the films Ahead - A Sharp Turn and First Trials. Perhaps the actor's name would never have become known to a wide audience if it had not been for the fateful meeting with Sergei Gerasimov. For the first time, the famous director saw Nikolai Eremenko in Minsk at a play where he played a pilot and impressed the director in this way so much that Gerasimov came backstage and said to him: ""

Nikolay Eremenko Sr. in the film People and Beasts, 1962

And in 1961, Eremenko saw in the Literaturnaya Gazeta the script for the future film by Sergei Gerasimov, People and Beasts, written by his wife, actress Tamara Makarova. This story struck him by the similarity with his own fate: the main character, the commander of the Red Army, was taken prisoner by Germany, and after 1945 he did not dare to return to his homeland for a long time, fearing to get into the GULAG. After reading the script, Eremenko immediately wrote a letter to Gerasimov asking him to summon him to audition.

Nikolay Eremenko Sr. in the film People and Beasts, 1962

Later Sergey Gerasimov recalled: "".

Still from the film Eternal Call, 1973-1983

In 1962, the film "People and Beasts" was watched by more than 40 million viewers, and all-Union popularity came to Nikolai Eremenko.It so happened that the role in which he recognized himself opened the way for him to big cinema. After that, the actor regularly received new proposals from directors, and in the 1960s - 1970s. he became one of the most sought-after artists of Soviet cinema, having played memorable roles in the films "Flight Days", "Pursuit", "Eternal Call", etc. In the 1970s. they began to add “senior” to his surname, because already 10 years after his own film debut, the star of his son, his full namesake, rose.

Heir to the acting dynasty

Nikolay Eremenko with his parents

Nikolai's mother was an actress of the same National Academic Theater. Y. Kupala, People's Artist of the Byelorussian SSR Galina Orlova. She practically did not act in films, devoting her whole life to the theater and caring for the family. Her own career was never in the foreground for her, because the successes of her husband and son were much more significant for her. She was proud of her husband and wrote about him: "".

Nikolay Eremenko in the film Red and Black, 1976

In 1949, they had a son, who was named after his father Nikolai. He spent all his childhood behind the scenes of the theater, and already in his school years he had no doubts about the choice of his future profession. Eremenko Jr. did not hide the fact that his father helped him get into VGIK on the course of Sergei Gerasimov. Thanks to the director who lit the star of Eremenko Sr., his son made his film debut in Gerasimov's film "By the Lake". And wide popularity came to him after 7 years, after the main role in the film "Red and Black".

Nikolay Eremenko in the film June 31, 1978

In the 1970s. Eremenko Jr. was already no less famous actor than his father, and because of this, confusion often arose. He recalled: "".

Still from the film In Search of Captain Grant, 1985

In the 1970s-1980s. resonant films with the participation of Eremenko Jr. came out one after another: "Tavern on Pyatnitskaya", "June 31", "Pirates of the XX century", "Youth of Peter", "In Search of Captain Grant" and others. The actor did not hide the fact that he did not managed not to succumb to star fever: all-Union fame and incredible success with the opposite sex turned his head. He admitted that he was then too arrogant and arrogant, which is why he lost many friends. Eremenko began to abuse alcohol, which negatively affected his health.

Eremenko Sr. and Eremenko Jr. in the film Son for Father, 1995

In the 1990s. his father was offered less and less roles, his health deteriorated, he suffered a heart attack. In 1995, Eremenko Jr. made his directorial debut and directed his only film, Son for Father, in which they starred with his father. This film work was one of the last in the filmography of Eremenko Sr. It was the story of the founder of a private clinic, a businessman-doctor, helping his father, a professor of medicine, to adapt to new life realities under capitalism. Unfortunately, behind the scenes, Eremenko Sr. could not get used to the new reality. Both in life and in cinema, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, completely different heroes ruled the show. On June 30, 2000, he passed away after a heart attack.

Self-destruct mode

Actor with parents

The son survived him by only 11 months. Those close to Eremenko Jr. believed that he himself had brought his departure closer. His mother said that in the last 10 years he had a self-destruction mechanism, and his fellow student Nina Maslova said: "". The departure of his father completely knocked him down.

Shot from the movie Give me the moonlight, 2001

One of the last roles in the cinema of Eremenko Jr. was the protagonist of the film "Give me the moonlight." Many of his acquaintances said that he seemed to play himself - a successful television star going through a midlife crisis. Fame and recognition could not fill his inner emptiness, which destroyed personal relationships. His character reflected on love and nothingness, trying to understand why he came to this world, and uttered the phrase "", which made the audience cry at the premiere of the film. After all, when it took place, the actor was no longer alive. One evening he drank, he felt bad, but Nikolai forbade his common-law wife to call an ambulance. And when, nevertheless, she did it, it was already too late - the actor had a stroke, and it was not possible to save him. On May 27, 2001, he was gone. He was only 52 years old. His mother suffered the hardest of all, because she had a chance to survive both her husband and her son …

People's Artist of Russia Nikolay Eremenko Jr

Unlike his father, the son was not monogamous and spent his whole life in search of happiness: Three beloved women of actor Nikolai Eremenko.

Popular by topic