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In the Soviet Union, it was very difficult to find a more popular pioneer than Ekaterina Derevshchikova. Lively cheerful Zhenya from the film "Timur and his team" was noticed and remembered. It seemed that the young actress was waiting for a brilliant career. But life turned out to be much more prosaic: the glory of Ekaterina Derevshchikova did not last long, and her film career did not work out. The main reason for this was called Tamara Makarova's dislike for her young colleague.
Ekaterina Derevshchikova admitted in one of her interviews: as a child, she was very cheerful and not frivolous, but as if unencumbered by any difficulties. Maybe because my mother diligently protected her daughter from problems?
Several sources indicate two different years of birth of the actress - 1926 and 1929. In 1934, her father, a diplomat and orientalist, was arrested. He died in Solovki from typhus, and my mother, in order to save Katya from the stigma of the daughter of an enemy of the people, very soon married a second time. However, the change of her surname herself helped her to start life as if from a clean slate.
Once on the street in 1939, an unknown woman approached Katya, who was running in the yard with her peers, and asked a question, the answer to which was almost obvious: "Girl, do you want to act in films?" It was an assistant director who selected actors for the filming of the film "A Personal File" based on the story of Arkady Gaidar. But Katya did not want to act at all, but her mother, after talking with a stranger, still took her daughter to Mosfilm, where the girl was persuaded to try by common efforts.
When the film "Timur and His Team" was being prepared for the launch, the writer himself insisted on the candidacy of Ekaterina Derevshchikova, especially since Arkady Gaidar practically copied the image of her heroine Zhenya from the young actress. On the set, Katya asked what to do in a particular scene, the writer most often answered: “Do nothing, you know what you need to say, so do it”.
After the release of the film, Katya Derevshchikova became a real celebrity. At the entrance of the house where she lived, fans were constantly on duty, and her mother even instructed them to take out the trash instead of Katya. She was accompanied to school all the time, and she often risked to be left without a single button on her coat by the beginning of lessons, because fans took them apart for souvenirs.
In 1941, when the war was already going on, Katya Derevshchikova again left for the shooting, this time in the continuation of such a successful film about teenagers. Unfortunately, "Timur's Oath" never appeared on the big screen.
And Katya Derevshchikova, the most exemplary screen pioneer, has never actually been a member of a pioneer organization, although many sources indicate that she was, "like all children" - a pioneer and a Komsomol member. The actress herself admitted in an interview: on the advice of her grandfather, she did not become a pioneer. The grandfather, who had lost his son, Katya's father, advised his granddaughter not to go to the pioneers. And the girl, by hook or by crook, avoided joining the children's organization, and then into the Komsomol.
Katya graduated from school ahead of schedule in 1944 and entered VGIK, having entered the course of Tamara Makarova and Sergei Gerasimov. Everyone knows that teachers treated their students like their own children, but Derevshchikova's relationship with Tamara Makarova did not work out.
Already in the first year, the girl was approved for the role of the bride of the protagonist in the film "Stone Flower" by Alexander Ptushko. She auditioned after being seriously ill with typhus, and at first she did not like the director at all. However, neither Lyudmila Tselikovskaya nor Elena Izmailova came up either, and as a result, Pavel Bazhov himself was able to convince Alexander Ptushko that the role of Katenka was simply created for Derevshchikova.
But work on the same set with Tamara Makarova, who played the Mistress of the Copper Mountain in the fairy tale, turned out to be not very successful for the young actress. Sergey Gerasimov, the husband of Makarova, was too supportive of his student. Tamara Makarova did not say anything, but when it came to approving the lists for the Stalin Prize, the teacher did everything so that the name Derevshchikova, along with the names of other young actors, was deleted from there. By the way, she was expelled from VGIK because of the ban on filming for students.
The girl still graduated from the institute, but later, becoming a graduate of the course of Mikhail Romm. And with Tamara Makarova, she later established quite normal relationships, they even lived close to each other and even called up from time to time. Ekaterina Derevshchikova herself noted: she does not hold a grudge against the teacher, think of the Stalin Prize.
Life after glory
In the same year, when "Stone Flower" was released, Ekaterina Derevshchikova played another major role, this time in the film "Center of the Attack". Mark Bernes persuaded her to agree to shoot in Kiev. As a result, the actress married one of the film's directors, Igor Zemgano, with whom she lived together for 12 years, gave birth to a son, Fedor, from him.
At that time, Yekaterina Derevshchikova served in the Lesia Ukrainka Theater, where she played many bright roles. But she stopped acting in films. She phoned the film studio herself and asked to exclude her from all filing cabinets. The actress explained simply: she did not like the scripts that were offered by the Dovzhenko film studio, and she did not want to play the roles worse than they were until now.
At that time she felt rather well in Kiev: her husband provided his wife and son with a completely comfortable life, and housekeepers helped the actress to cope with the household. True, many of Derevshchikova's colleagues in the theater soon moved to Moscow, and her husband increasingly took alcohol. A divorce followed and the move of Ekaterina Derevshchikova and her son to Moscow.
She received a residence permit in her mother's apartment with great difficulty, but it did not work out with work. At first, the actress, together with Oleg Borisov, went to concerts in libraries and prisons, they performed in psychiatric clinics and hospitals. Later, Oleg Borisov left at the invitation to Leningrad, and Ekaterina Derevshchikova, finally, was lucky. She was offered a place in the puppet theater troupe, led by Sergei Obraztsov, where the actress served her whole life. She has traveled all over the world with the theater.
The son of Ekaterina Derevshchikova Fyodor was a herd restorer, he was a deeply religious person and painted icons. Fedor did not live long - at the age of 35 he died of hepatitis. At that time, the actress was already in a second marriage with the Pole Piotr Szczesniewski, who became her support and support in a difficult period.
Their love story was amazing: Peter saw the photo of the actress thanks to her mother, who had Polish relatives. She went to visit them in the early 1970s, and Peter, drawing attention to the photographs of Catherine, promised to marry her. They met, for many years they met in fits and starts, but after his move to the USSR they lived together for only five years and were incredibly happy. But a serious illness claimed the life of Ekaterina Derevshchikova's second and last husband.
The actress lived out her life alone and died in 2006.
One of the most striking works of Tamara Makarova, the teacher of Katya Derevshchikova, was the role of the Mistress of the Copper Mountain in the movie fairy tale "Stone Flower". Although this film received international recognition, none of the actors who played the main roles were able to take advantage of these privileges, and their creative destinies can hardly be called happy …
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