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In the filmography of Roman Filippov, there are very few main roles, although he starred quite a lot. But each character played by the actor became bright and unforgettable: Nikola Pitersky in "Gentlemen of Fortune", a guy from Kolyma in "Diamond Hand", Vasya Zaitsev in "Girls" and others. The colorful actor had many fans, but he remained faithful to his wife, with whom he lived together for 30 years. At one time, he won the rivalry with Vladimir Vysotsky himself in the fight for the heart of Ekaterina Shelikhina.
At first sight and for life
In 1959, Roman Filippov came to Minsk to star in the film by Joseph Shulman "The Man Does Not Give Up", where he played the fascist saboteur Paul. The director of the film, Vladimir Shelikhin, was driving to the set with his 18-year-old daughter Catherine in a bus carrying actors. Later, Ekaterina recalled how at some point the bus that was parked tilted slightly, and in the empty cabin it suddenly became crowded: a huge Roman Filippov appeared in the aisle.
He instantly drew attention to a fragile girl in a light dress, and a minute later he struck up a conversation with her. Less than half an hour later, the colorful actor was already kneeling in front of Katya and offering her his hand and heart.
Vladimir Shelikhin almost choked with indignation, he thought that his daughter was still quite a child, although she had already celebrated her majority. The enraged father pounced on the unlucky gentleman with fists, and Roman Filippov rushed to run away from him, although he was twice as tall and heavier as his future father-in-law.
The actor was 26 years old, he was cheerful and hot, ran away from Vladimir Shelikhin with laughter and loud screams, and then, completely dressed in clothes, rushed into the pond and swam. Catherine's dad did not climb into the water, but began to throw stones at him from the shore. Roman Filippov dived, shortened himself and did not stop laughing.
How the chase ended, Catherine never saw: from the experiences she simply fainted. She already fell in love with Roman, at first sight and for the rest of her life. But Filippov had to endure rather unpleasant moments when Vladimir Vysotsky himself, a famous womanizer and a favorite of women, tried to charm Catherine.
Duel of two talents
For a year and a half, Ekaterina Shelikhina and Roman Filippov met and often called each other. Once the actor had the imprudence to invite Katya to the Moscow region for an exit performance, in which he played with Vladimir Vysotsky. The actors were tied by friendly relations, but Vysotsky, seeing Catherine for the first time, immediately decided to charm her.
He gazed at the girl and sang love songs. And Roman Filippov unceremoniously interrupted his friend, and with his unique bass he read epigrams of his own composition to famous actors. Catherine laughed to tears, smiled at Vysotsky, but looked only at Filippov with enthusiastic adoration. Neither the charm, nor the songs, nor the voice of Vladimir Semyonovich made any impression on the girl. Her heart was forever given to Roman.
After this story, the friends agreed never to compete for the attention of women and, as a sign of reconciliation, acquired the same Georgian caps-airfields, in which they looked like real Caucasians and even somewhat resembled brothers.
Soon Katya graduated from the institute, went to work in her native Minsk and did not even want to hear about any move to Moscow. Roman Filippov served at the Maly Theater, but after the management considered it impudent to announce an increase in his salary, he was forced to leave the troupe. For another year he worked at the Pushkin Theater, then the same at the Mosconcert and concurrently at the All-Russian Touring Association. And then he decided to move to Minsk, where his beloved Katyusha was waiting.
The actor was immediately accepted into the Yanka Kupala Theater, and soon he was already leading Ekaterina Shelikhina to the registry office. The newlyweds did not have their own housing, and at first they huddled in the same room with Katya's parents, later the whole family moved to a small two-room apartment. Anna, the daughter of Catherine and Roman Filippov, was also born there.
Vladimir Shelikhin, who at the time of his first acquaintance accepted his future son-in-law with hostility, already managed to make friends with him and even taught Roman the Belarusian language with his wife, speaker Lilia Stasevich. Filippov had a clear talent for languages: he soon played on the theater stage and even conducted literary programs on Belarusian radio. He also got carried away with translations into Belarusian and did it professionally. At the same time, the actor was fluent in German, Polish and English and even played Hamlet in the original language.
In 1969, Roman and Ekaterina Filippov, together with their daughter Annushka, moved to Moscow, the actor was again accepted into the troupe of the Maly Theater, where he continued to play until the last days of his life. He was generally an amazing person: he spoke different languages, played chess professionally, wrote poetry, taught artistic word at GITIS, where he even received the title of associate professor. Despite his rather harsh appearance, he was a very vulnerable and sensitive person, taking everything that happened around him to heart.
Roman Filippov devotedly and selflessly loved his Katyusha and daughter Anya, took care of them touchingly, but left them too early. He was only 56 years old when a detached blood clot ended the life of a talented actor. Ekaterina Filippova survived her husband by 24 years. And she continued to love him until the end of her days.
Without this charismatic big man, it is impossible to imagine a single cult Soviet film. Supporting actor Roman Filippov is so colorful and natural that it is even difficult to call him a minor figure. And despite the appearance of a big kind simpleton, in life he was a very intelligent and multifaceted person, capable of courageous deeds, with an incredibly interesting fate.
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