In memory of Valentin Gaft: Unsuccessful love scenes, fake epigrams and other little-known facts about the famous artist
In memory of Valentin Gaft: Unsuccessful love scenes, fake epigrams and other little-known facts about the famous artist

The famous theater and film actor, writer, People's Artist of the RSFSR Valentina Gafta became widely known not only as a performer of vivid roles in the films "Garage", "Say a Word about the Poor Hussar", "Forgotten Melody for the Flute", "Sorcerers", but also as the author of philosophical poems and poignant epigrams, because of which his relations with colleagues often deteriorated. Who actually created some of the texts attributed to Gaft, for which the actors were offended at him, and why the actresses did not want to play love scenes with him - we recall the bright moments of the life of the brilliant artist.

Valentin Gaft in the film Say a word about the poor hussar, 1980

On the screens, Valentin Gaft looked like a real handsome man, self-confident, courageous, ironic - the same as his character was in the film "Say a Word about the Poor Hussar." And in life he was quite modest, shy and constantly doubting himself and his acting abilities, especially in his youth. The actor said that whoever looked at him always mattered to him - depending on this, he was transformed.

Valentin Gaft as a child

So, during his school years, Valentin was in love with a girl from his yard, and as soon as she appeared in the window, he began to demonstrate his football skills to her - despite the fact that in fact he played football rather weakly. When she looked at him, he became a real daredevil, and the rest of the time he was timid and awkward. This trait was preserved in adulthood - Valentin Gaft felt very constrained in love scenes with partners and was embarrassed to kiss them.

Actor in his youth

Marina Neyelova more than once appeared with Gaft on the stage of the Sovremennik Theater, and in the play Three Sisters, her partner had to kiss her. At first, he categorically refused to do it, one young actor even volunteered to demonstrate to him how it should look, and at the premiere Gaft promised to play the scene with a kiss. Neelova recalled: "".

Marina Neelova and Valentin Gaft Valentin Gaft in the movie Thieves in law, 1988

On the screens, Valentin Gaft embodied diverse images - from hussars to bandits, and he succeeded equally convincingly. In 1988, the movie “Thieves in law” by Yuri Kara was released, where Gaft played the mafia leader so authentically that criminal authorities began to take him for their own. The actor grew up in Moscow, on Matrosskaya Tishina Street, where a prison, a market, a psychiatric hospital and a student dormitory were in the neighborhood - “the whole world in miniature,” as Gaft joked. Even then, he had seen enough of former prisoners, and later, on the set of the film "Thieves in law" in Yalta, he met a real thief in law. And many of his phrases were included in the film ("I am rich in the morning, and poor in the evening", "Everyone is tied to each other"). After the premiere of the film, the bandits once invited the actor to a meeting, and another time the thief in law came directly to the set and invited Gaft to contact him for help if necessary.

Stills from the movie Thieves in law, 1988 People's Artist of the RSFSR Valentin Gaft

Many colleagues feared Gaft - due to the fact that he was always very sharp-tongued, straightforward, quarrelsome and merciless to their shortcomings. In theatrical circles, they said that he "eats directors like a child of candy," and the satirist Grigory Gorin once said that "Gaft is not a surname, but a diagnosis." Nobody wanted to become the object of his well-aimed and biting epigrams - they hit not in the eyebrow, but in the eye.

Valentin Gaft in the movie Garage, 1979

However, Gaft was always the most ruthless in relation to himself - as a rule, he was dissatisfied with his roles, Eldar Ryazanov wrote about him: "", and stressed that there was not an ounce of cynicism in the actor: "".

Eldar Ryazanov and Valentin Gaft on the set of the movie Garage

Gaft chose only the most worthy and talented colleagues as the objects of his epigrams. If they were offended by his taunts, he never tired of apologizing. The actor claims that, for all his causticity, he did not write a single evil epigram, and most of those who publish under his name, especially on the Internet, have nothing to do with him at all.

Valentin Gaft as Woland in The Master and Margarita, 1994 Actor on the stage of the Sovremennik Theater

Gaft admits: "".

People's Artist of the RSFSR Valentin Gaft Valentin Gaft

In recent years, the actor has been ill a lot - he suffers from Parkinson's disease, but continues to appear on stage. Just as once in childhood he was transformed under the gaze of the girl with whom he was in love, now he is transformed on stage before the eyes of the audience in love with him. His relatives tell that sometimes he can hardly move and cannot get to the stage on his own, but as soon as he appears in front of the audience, he seems to have a second wind. Recently, the actor was hospitalized with a stroke, and all this time he was in the hospital under the supervision of doctors.

Actor with his third wife, Olga Ostroumova People's Artist of the RSFSR Valentin Gaft

For more than 20 years, his third wife has remained with the actor, who gives him inspiration and the desire to live: Valentin Gaft and Olga Ostroumova.

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