Unknown Natalya Varley: why "an athlete and just a beauty" left the cinema
Unknown Natalya Varley: why "an athlete and just a beauty" left the cinema
Theater and film actress Natalya Varley

June 22 marks 71 years of the popular theater and film actress, Honored Artist of the RSFSR Natalya Varley… For a long time she has not been offended by the fact that many call her Nina - after all, everyone knows her from her role in the film "Prisoner of the Caucasus", but viewers do not even suspect that Natalya Varley is not only "a Komsomol member, an athlete and just a beauty." In addition to the acting profession, she has many talents and hobbies that allow her to remain young, beautiful and in demand.

Natalya Varley

Natalya Varley owes her beauty and rare surname to her Welsh ancestors who once came from Wales to Russia. She was born in 1947 in the Romanian city of Constanta, and spent her childhood in Murmansk. Already in childhood, she showed her outstanding abilities: she wrote poetry, studied at a music school, drew well, later graduated from a circus studio and the acrobatics department of a circus school. From 1965 to 1967 she worked as a balancing act in the Moscow circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. She had a chance to perform with the legendary clown Leonid Yengibarov.

Circus performer Natalya Varley Natalya Varley

Once, at a performance in a circus, the director Georgy Yungvald-Khilkevich drew attention to the young artist. It was thanks to him that she first appeared on the screen in the film "Formula of the Rainbow". And during the filming of this film, Varley caught the eye of Leonid Gaidai's assistant, and she was invited to audition for the film "Prisoner of the Caucasus". More than 500 actresses applied for the role of Nina, but the director preferred Varley due to her immediacy, courage and charm.

Theater and film actress Natalya Varley

After the premiere of the film, Varley became a real star. She received bags of letters, fans did not give her a pass. But the actress really did not like it when later they began to call her the first Soviet sex symbol: “I am jarred when my heroine from the“Caucasian Captive”Nina is called the first sex symbol of the USSR. Is it called that word? It seems to me that they love Nina because they want to be friends with her, and her beauty and charm are purity plus reliability … In my life they began to associate me with Nina, although I do not at all look like my "captive", by nature I am more of a lyricist, a certain romantic Assol. But I'm used to the name Nina, I'm proud and not offended."

Theater and film actress Natalya Varley Shot from the film Prisoner of the Caucasus, 1966

In 1967, another film was released that brought Varley all-Union glory - "Viy". After this role, there were many rumors about her - both that after that a black streak began in her life, and that it was because of the troubles that followed her that she became a believer. In fact, a difficult period, not connected with filming in "Viy", brought her to faith, although then many incidents really happened: “On the set of this picture, I was scared more than once. For example, when I fell out of the coffin. The coffin was tied on a long rope to the boom of the crane and swept at high speed in a circle. At some point, I lost my balance and fell, flying upside down. Lenya Kuravlev caught me. Nothing happened to me, but a rumor spread throughout the country that I had died … Actually, only much later I realized what a terrible sin it was to act in the film Viy.

Natalya Varley in the film Prisoner of the Caucasus, 1966 Natalya Varley in the film Viy, 1967

The actress had a lot of fans, including Leonid Filatov and the son of the Belgian Defense Minister Lucien Harmegins. Her first husband was the actor and director Nikolai Burlyaev, but the marriage soon fell apart. In the early 1970s.the actress married her classmate Vladimir Tikhonov, the son of Nonna Mordyukova and Vyacheslav Tikhonov, and gave birth to a son, Vasily. Only after the wedding did she find out that her husband had problems with alcohol and drugs. She tried to fight this addiction, but she could not do anything. They divorced, and Vladimir soon died of an overdose. Varley's third marriage was also short-lived: all that is known about her husband is that he was engaged in construction and was much younger than his wife.

Natalia Varley and Vladimir Tikhonov Still from the film 12 chairs, 1971

Natalya Varley continued to write poetry in the 1980s. entered the Literary Institute. When she was in her second year, she gave birth to her second son, Alexander. She always kept his father's name a secret. Later she released a collection of her poems and two discs with songs of her own composition.

Natalya Varley in the film Guest from the Future, 1984

In the 1990s. Varley, like many Soviet artists, was left without movie roles. Then she took up dubbing and dubbing films. The heroine of the series "Wild Rose" Veronica Castro spoke in her voice. Later, proposals from the directors began to come again, but Varley rejected almost all of them: “Recently I read a script, according to which I was assigned the role of a woman giving birth in an elevator. Or a scenario in which I don't have to get out of bed. I'm not a prude, but I still belong to the actors of the old school."

Theater and film actress Natalya Varley Natalya Varley

Now she can often be seen on TV, she hosted the program "Household chores", participated in the project "The stars of theater and cinema sing", where she performed with her own songs, sang in the project "Two stars".

Theater and film actress Natalya Varley

And viewers still call her Nina and associate her with only one film: what was left behind the scenes of "Prisoner of the Caucasus".

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