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For which he received 10 years of camps "aristocrat of Soviet cinema" Leonid Obolensky
For which he received 10 years of camps "aristocrat of Soviet cinema" Leonid Obolensky

This Soviet actor was considered a descendant of the Obolensky princes, and he himself supported the image of an aristocrat. True, his genealogy did not contain any information about the progenitors of the princely family. He was remembered by the audience for his striking work in films, and the role of the old Lord Warbeck in "Purely English Murder" became the actor's calling card. But there was a rather dark page in his biography, which Leonid Leonidovich tried not to advertise, explaining the disfavor of the authorities and his presence in places not so remote by repression due to origin.

Wrong Obolenskies

Leonid Obolensky in the film "The Descendant of Genghis Khan", 1928

The father of Leonid Obolensky, who was born in 1902 in Arzamas, was an ordinary bank clerk. His grandfather served as a journalist, moreover, maintaining contact with the revolutionaries, for which he ended up at one time in the Peter and Paul Fortress. By the way, he enjoyed the respect of Leo Tolstoy himself, who gladly entered into polemics with Obolensky the elder.

The dad of the future artist was also no stranger to revolutionary sentiments, and after the revolution he made a very successful career in the People's Commissariat of Finance. Then he served in the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, served as head of the Main Directorate for Arts of the People's Commissariat of Education and even headed the Hermitage.

Leonid Obolensky in the film "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Country of the Bolsheviks", 1924

There is no mention of princely roots in the pedigree of the actor Leonid Obolensky. However, this does not detract from his merits in the least. From the age of 16, he already worked as a correspondent for the front-line Red Army newspaper, often visited the front line, where he met the famous Soviet director Lev Kuleshov. Thanks to him, Leonid Obolensky appeared for the first time on the screen, starring in the film "On the Red Front".

Movie star

Leonid Obolensky

After a rather successful first experience in cinema, Leonid Obolensky became seriously interested in cinema. He studied at the First State School, the same one that would later become one of the most prestigious universities in the country - VGIK. The time was difficult, and Leonid Leonidovich was not accustomed to sit on the neck of his relatives. Therefore, he made full use of his talent as a dancer, learned to tap dance masterly and performed in a restaurant, where he was quite decently fed.

Once he met a young man whose views on art simply amazed him. He himself later introduced a new friend to Lev Kuleshov, contributing a lot to his introduction to the world of cinema. The friend was none other than Sergei Eisenstein.

Leonid Obolensky

Leonid Obolensky tried himself in directing, wrote scripts, acted and played in the legendary Meyerhold Theater, was a real star of silent films, and after the appearance of sound films he studied with masters in Berlin, getting acquainted with the latest recording equipment and filming techniques. During his internship with Joseph von Sternberg, he worked on the film Blue Angel, on the set of which he became friends with Marlene Dietrich.

Leonid Obolensky

After returning to the Soviet Union, he actively worked in cinema and continued his collaboration with Lev Kuleshov. Together with him, he was attacked for "formalism" and was later forced to leave for a while to Ashgabat, but there he was arrested. He was saved only by the fall of Yezhov, after which Leonid Obolensky was able to return to Moscow, continued his work and began to teach at VGIK.He was a man of versatile talents, which Lev Kuleshov noted in his memoirs, admiring Leonid Leonidovich's ability to combine so many different talents. Actor and director, engineer and linguist, photographer, cameraman and art historian - in every field Obolensky was a real specialist.

Fatal mistake

Leonid Obolensky

At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, when the fascist troops approached Moscow, Leonid Leonidovich joined the people's militia. And together with the 38th rifle regiment of the Moscow militia, he was surrounded, and then captured. And in 1943 he voluntarily decided to serve the Wehrmacht. He served in a veterinary company, became a secretary for a representative of the Russian Liberation Army "at the headquarters of the German infantry division at number 306. At that time, he personally helped compose leaflets, and also made anti-Soviet speeches in the front line, addressing directly to the soldiers of the Red Army.

In 1944, he became a caretaker in a rest house for volunteers who had gone over to the side of the Germans, where, in addition to his official duties, he monitored the mood of vacationers and helped to identify candidates for the subsequent staffing of corporal schools and propagandists of the ROA.

Leonid Obolensky

Later, Leonid Obolensky admits: at that difficult time, he did not believe in the victory of the Red Army and was simply trying to adapt to new life realities. When in 1944 the outcome of the war had already become clear, and Soviet troops were rapidly advancing towards Berlin, Leonid Obolensky changed his military uniform to civilian clothes, deliberately "lagged behind" the convoy and soon became a novice in the Kitskansky monastery, where in the spring of 1945 he was tonsured Monk Lawrence. It was there that the NKVD officers found him. The tribunal sentenced the actor to 10 years in prison.

From imprisonment to People's Artists

Leonid Obolensky

Leonid Obolensky was serving his sentence in the North, where he first worked on the construction of the railway, later served in Pechora in the NKVD theater, and in a settlement in Michurinsk became the director of the local theater. In 1952 he was amnestied without the right to live in the capital. Subsequently, he served as a second director and sound engineer at the Sverdlovsk film studio, and later became a reporter and operator of the Chelyabinsk television studio.

Leonid Obolensky

He managed to fully return to cinema as an actor in the early 1970s, he acted quite actively: every year 2-3 films with his participation were released. He has starred in many great films and won the Golden Nymph in Monte Carlo, the 20th IFF Television Films Prize for Best Actor in Late Summer.

Leonid Obolensky

In 1991, Leonid Obolensky was awarded the title of People's Artist of the RSFSR. He received rehabilitation after repeated unsuccessful attempts at the same time, in 1991. He was a man of amazing fate and incredible talent, Leonid Leonidovich Obolensky. He spent the last years of his life almost without a break in Miass due to an injury, and died on November 19, 1991.

40 years ago, in the presence of non-worker-peasant roots in the pedigree, they could attach the stigma "unreliable", and in Stalin's times even subject them to repression. Therefore, this part of the biography the artists had to hide carefully.

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