In the 1960-1970s. he was a very popular artist, in his filmography there are more than 110 works, although most of them are supporting roles. The audience remembered him from the films "The Last Inch", "On Thin Ice", "Andromeda Nebula", "Petrovka 38" and others. during the war, he performed in the theater in the occupied territories, and that another action-packed film could have been made about his fate.
Nikolai Kryukov became interested in theater in his youth, when after school he got a job as a worker at the Sevkabel plant in Leningrad and began to study in an amateur art circle. In 1935, at the age of 20, he graduated from the drama school at the Bolshoi Drama Theater and was accepted into the troupe of the theater-judge under the direction of S. Radlov. His film debut took place in 1938 in the film "Sea Post".
In 1940, he began acting in the film "Political instructor Kolyvanov", but the shooting was not completed - the war began. Later Kryukov recalled: "". He went on stage in besieged Leningrad - despite all the hardships of wartime, people continued to go to theaters. This continued until the actor was hospitalized, losing strength from exhaustion. In February 1942 it was decided to evacuate the theater.
In Pyatigorsk the performances resumed, but in the summer of 1942 the Germans entered the city. The actors did not have time to evacuate - the local authorities feared that this could provoke panic in the city, and the troupe, along with the director Radlov, ended up in the occupation. Kryukov said: "".
Both the local population and the Leningrad actors did not lose hope of liberation - the battles were fought close, but before the retreat from Pyatigorsk, the Germans sent the actors under escort to Zaporozhye, and then from there they were transported to Berlin. There the troupe broke up, Nikolai Kryukov and several of his colleagues moved to the south of France, where they continued to give performances. After the liberation of France, they finally managed to meet with representatives of the Soviet command, and in 1945 they returned to their homeland.
In the USSR, a sad fate awaited them: the director and his wife were accused of treason and cooperation with the invaders and were given 10 years in the camps. Anna Radlova died in prison in 1949, her husband was released and rehabilitated in 1953. Nikolai Kryukov managed to avoid arrest, but he was deprived of the right to work in Moscow and Leningrad theaters. At the age of 40, he had to start his acting career almost from scratch - he played in provincial troupes and only after 1953 was he able to return to the set. And at 43, he finally moved to Leningrad and was admitted to the Lenfilm film studio.
Popularity came to him in adulthood. In 1958, he played a pilot in The Last Inch, winning the All-Union Film Festival award for Best Actor of the Year. Film critic A. Shpagin wrote about this work: "".
In the 1960s. Kryukov starred in 30 films, and after that films with his participation were released annually until the 1990s. And only in 1991, the actor, who played more than 100 roles in theater and cinema, received the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR. He performed his last role in 1992, and a year later Nikolai Kryukov died. On the pedestal of the Serafimovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, the inscription was engraved: "Truly popular."
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