The life drama of the beloved Soviet comedian: 4 years of war and the dream of cinema
The life drama of the beloved Soviet comedian: 4 years of war and the dream of cinema
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Alexey Smirnov is a favorite actor of millions of Soviet viewers

Tuneyad Fedya, mechanic Makarych, sailor Mitya Knysh … Roles Alexey Smirnov loved by everyone who is familiar with Soviet cinema. In the actor's creative biography, almost all the roles were of a comedic plan, although in the film "Only old men go to battle" he masterfully revealed the dramatic image. To convey the character of a man in war, the actor was helped by his own experience as a soldier. Few people remember that Alexei Smirnov spent 4 years at the front, performed heroic deeds and received a severe concussion, just barely reaching Berlin.

Front pictures by Alexey Smirnov

From his youth, Alexei Smirnov dreamed of an acting career: at school he attended a drama club, and then enrolled in a theater school in Leningrad. True, the hopes to shine on the stage were not destined to come true for a long time: in 1940, Alyosha was drafted into the army. Alexey Smirnov went to the front from the first days of the war. In battles, he was distinguished by courage and prudence, unnecessarily did not climb under the bullets, but more than once he helped out the situation with heroic deeds. He received a large number of military awards and orders, among them the Medal for Courage and the Order of the Red Star. Alexey Smirnov repeatedly took part in reconnaissance operations, took prisoners during battles, went one-on-one in hand-to-hand combat with the Nazis.

Front pictures by Alexey Smirnov Front pictures by Alexey Smirnov Front pictures by Alexey Smirnov

Alexei Smirnov walked almost the entire war, but was shell-shocked during one of the battles. After treatment, he was discharged, and he returned to Leningrad. The dream of theater and cinema did not leave the brave soldier all the years: at the front he actively led amateur circles, organized concerts, supporting the soldier's spirit, his regiment really became "singing".

Alexey Smirnov's award list

In the post-war years, Alexei Smirnov still fulfilled his dream: he began to play in the theater. True, this did not bring significant income, the situation was aggravated by the fact that he was caring for a sick mother, whose health deteriorated after the notification of the death of Arkady's second son.

Operation Y, still from the film

The directors stubbornly saw in Alexey a comic actor, perhaps, the actor's broad smile won over, perhaps the dense build was suitable for the images of good-natured characters. Films with his participation have replenished the golden fund of Soviet cinema. These are such tapes as "Striped Flight", "Leader of the Redskins", "Business People", and, of course, "Operation Y". After the epic about Shurik's adventures, the comic role seemed to accompany the actor forever.

Welcome, or no unauthorized entry, still from the film

The turning point was the participation in the film "The Scouts". On the set, the actor met Leonid Bykov. Feeling a dramatic talent in Alexei, he persuaded the artistic council to approve him for the role of mechanic Makarych in the film "Only Old Men Go to Battle". The choice of the director turned out to be absolutely accurate: perhaps, it was this film that revealed the real essence of Alexei Smirnov, gave him the opportunity to immerse himself in his own memories of the war, to pay tribute to the memory of his comrades who did not return from battles.

Striped flight, still from the film

Unfortunately, due to his deteriorating health, Aleksey Smirnov was unable to participate in the next film by Bykov, "Aty-Baty, Soldiers were Walking." Due to heart problems, he was undergoing treatment for a long time, I wanted to believe that the actor would recover and would continue to delight the audience with his acting. However, the miracle did not happen.Like a bolt from the blue, Alexei Smirnov was hit by the news that his friend Leonid Bykov died in a car accident without surviving grief, the actor died of a heart attack at the age of 59.

Business people, still from the film

The film "Only Old Men Go to Battle" is rightfully considered one of the the best Soviet films about the Great Patriotic War, which need to be shown to your children.

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