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How the best mother of Soviet cinema lost her only son: The unhappy fate of one of the most filmed actresses in the USSR Lyubov Sokolova
How the best mother of Soviet cinema lost her only son: The unhappy fate of one of the most filmed actresses in the USSR Lyubov Sokolova

July 31 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous actress, People's Artist of the USSR Lyubov Sokolova. Millions of viewers will remember her in the image of Nadia Sheveleva's mother - the main character of the film "Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!", As well as dozens of images from other films. But behind the scenes, her female and maternal fate was very difficult: the actress miraculously survived in besieged Leningrad, having lost her husband, later married a famous director, lived with him for a quarter of a century and gave him a son, but his life was cut short on takeoff …

Actress in her youth

In the first 20 years of her life, Lyubov Sokolova felt like the favorite of Fortune. She grew up in Ivanovo, her father was a cabinetmaker and her mother was a store director. No one in her family had anything to do with the world of art, but Luba dreamed of becoming an artist since childhood. At the age of 5, she already staged home performances, at school she participated in amateur performances, attended the drama club, in the 10th grade she performed a role in the play "Marriage", at the age of 16 she first appeared on the stage of the local theater of musical comedy, where she recited poetry. After graduating from school, she went to Leningrad, entered the pedagogical institute and the acting school at the Lenfilm film studio to Sergei Gerasimov himself, having withstood a competition of 1200 people and being among the 22 lucky ones.

Blockade Trial

Actress in her youth

In acting school, Georgy Arapovsky studied with her, who began to look after her and literally carried her in his arms. In May 1941 they got married, Lyuba moved out of the hostel to live with her husband. A month later, the war began. Her wife, due to poor eyesight, was not drafted into the army; together with him and his mother, Sokolova worked at an aircraft plant, where they made parts for military aircraft. A blockade ring was closed around Leningrad. The film school was closed, dreams of an acting future had to be abandoned. They disappeared for days in the shop, fainting from hunger.

People's Artist of the USSR Lyubov Sokolova

First, the mother-in-law passed away, then Sokolova's husband died. She herself miraculously survived. When the blockade was partially lifted, Lyubov received an evacuation ticket and, under constant bombardment, got out of Leningrad along the Road of Life. She returned to Ivanovo, and then, on the advice of her mother, went to Moscow. There she learned that blockade people are admitted to universities without entrance exams, and she chose VGIK. The institute was then in evacuation in Alma-Ata, Sokolova got there for 2 weeks, but the efforts were not in vain - she was accepted into the course of Boris Bibikov and Olga Pyzhova.

A quarter of a century of happiness

Shot from the movie Walking in agony, 1957-1959

In 1943, VGIK returned to Moscow, after 3 years Lyubov Sokolova completed her studies and entered the staff of the Film Actor's Theater Studio. At first, she not only performed in the theater, but also lived there - she slept in the dressing room on chairs put together. At first, she starred in films in such tiny roles that her name was often not even mentioned in the credits. But the young actress agreed to all the proposals and plunged into work, not even thinking about the arrangement of her personal life. Only at the age of 37, on the set of the film "Walking in Torment," she allowed herself to respond to courtship, especially since an extraordinary person showed interest in her - the novice director Georgy Danelia.He was 9 years younger than her, at that time he had not yet made a single of his films, his name had not yet thundered throughout the Union, but all this was not at all important for her. They began to live in a civil marriage, at 38, the actress first became a mother, giving her husband a son, Nikolai.

Actress in the early 1960s

During that period, she often refused large roles so as not to leave her family for a long time. She enthusiastically engaged in household chores and raising her son and did not think at all that this could somehow hinder her film career. Moreover, Sokolova always starred a lot, albeit in small roles, but with the most famous directors. Sokolova became one of the most filmed Soviet actresses, different sources indicate different numbers - from 180 to 380 film roles. In any case, she became the record holder for the number of episodes and supporting roles.

Still from the film The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath !, 1975

For a few minutes of screen time, the actress managed to live the entire fate of her heroines, and even in tiny episodes she was remembered by the audience. Fame came to her already in adulthood, and most often she was offered the role of mothers of the main characters. Being a kind, open and sympathetic person, the actress endowed her heroines with these qualities, flatly refusing negative roles.

Georgy Danelia with his son Nikolai

The actress later told about her family life: "".

The personal hell of the "all-Union film mom"

Lyubov Sokolova in the film Two Captains, 1976

They broke up when the director once again became interested in another woman and decided to leave the family. Sokolova found the strength to accept his choice and say goodbye peacefully. But then a disaster struck, which knocked the ground out from under her feet: at the age of 26, their son passed away under mysterious circumstances. Friends found him lifeless in an apartment with a telephone receiver in his hands. The reason has not yet been established.

Lyubov Sokolova in the film A few days in the life of I. I. Oblomov, 1979

How Lyubov Sokolova managed to cope with this loss - only she herself knew. At 64, the actress was left alone, but even then she did not give up and survived. Her daughter-in-law and granddaughter helped her to survive the pain. As always, she found consolation and salvation in her work. She was called the main Soviet film mother, dozens of the most famous Soviet actors became her screen children. One can only guess what Sokolova felt, once again playing maternal feelings and not being able to pour them out on her own child.

Shot from the film The Long Road in the Dunes, 1980-1981

20 years ago, one of the most filmed and recognizable domestic actresses passed away, one and a half months before her 80th birthday. In the House of Cinema, her anniversary evening was being prepared, but it never took place. After her departure, the diaries of Lyubov Sokolova were discovered, and these records make you once again amazed at the amazing strength of the spirit of this unyielding and incredibly bright woman. She wrote: "".

People's Artist of the USSR Lyubov Sokolova

Whether Lyubov Sokolova was the absolute record holder for the number of film roles played is a moot point, but she was definitely one of the 24 most filmed actors of Soviet cinema.

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