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Leonid Bykov and his permanent muse: " We had a beautiful life with her "
Leonid Bykov and his permanent muse: " We had a beautiful life with her "

The name of the actor and director Leonid Bykov is still widely known, although 40 years have passed since his death. He was a talented actor and no less talented director, and without watching his film "Only Old Men Go to Battle" it is difficult to imagine Victory Day. He was an amazing person, and also an amazingly caring husband and father. He lived with his only wife Tamara Konstantinovna until the very last day.

Happy failure

Leonid Bykov

Since childhood, the famous actor passionately dreamed of becoming a pilot and, being evacuated during the war, even made an attempt to enter the flight school, attributing himself a couple of extra years. True, the deception was quickly revealed and the teenager was refused admission. But he did not even think to retreat: in 1945 he still entered the Leningrad Flight School, but soon after the victory he was disbanded.

Leonid Bykov did not tempt fate anymore and decided to enter the theater, especially since his dreams of cinema were in second place after heaven. However, he also did not succeed in becoming a theater student right away. At first, he applied to the theater in Kiev, but the admissions committee still refused the boy, who dreamed of playing Hamlet, but spoke with an eerie southern accent.

Leonid Bykov

A year later, Bykov decided to try his hand again, but this time his choice fell on the Kharkov Theater Institute. At the audition, he enthusiastically read Hamlet's monologue and did not understand why the entire selection committee was almost crying with laughter. But listening to a serious work read with a characteristic South Russian accent was impossible without a smile. Nevertheless, he was admitted to the institute, deciding that a good comedian would turn out from Bykov.

Leonid Bykov

Time has shown that the teachers were not mistaken in their decision, and already in the first year Leonid became the best student. He managed to practice dancing and fencing, learned to sing, and also went to the mountains with friends. He wrote scripts for student speeches, could make any audience laugh, earned the fame of the soul of the company and enjoyed success with the fair sex.

Leonid Bykov himself fell in love almost immediately after admission. Tamara Kravchenko studied with him on the same course and liked the future director.

Hard choise

Tamara Bykova

The girl also clearly sympathized with the cheerful and open classmate. Moreover, it was simply impossible to resist his charm. Young people began to meet and soon registered their relationship.

They lived, as many in those years, difficult. The student dormitory did not even allow them to live in the same room, and therefore for some time the couple lived, as before, separately. However, even after the institute, they did not immediately manage to get an apartment, they even spent the night in the dressing room of the Kharkov theater, where Leonid served immediately after the institute.

Leonid Bykov

Money was desperately lacking, but they, young and happy, did not even think to lose heart: they had a whole life ahead of them, which they intended to live happily. True, fate decided to test them for strength at the very beginning of a long life path.

Leonid and Tamara Bykovs with children

When Leonid was on tour, his wife was taken to the hospital. And then the phone rang, and the doctor put the actor in front of a difficult choice: childbirth is difficult, and only one person can be saved, either a wife or a child. Bykov chose a spouse, without whom he could not imagine his life.Tamara was saved, but the children in the family appeared a little later, the son Alexander and daughter Maryana.

Happiness loves silence

Leonid and Tamara Bykovs with their daughter

Tamara could also become an actress, but she made her choice in favor of her husband and children. Much later, when Bykov is already known, rumors will appear that the talented actor is forced to put up with the mental illness of his wife, and Tamara Konstantinovna is not at all concerned with home and family.

Daughter Maryana categorically denies this fact. From her words it becomes clear: the parents could not imagine their life without each other, even the children always felt the tender love that once held the parents' student marriage together.

Leonid and Tamara Bykovs with children and the director's mother

As soon as the next film by Leonid Bykov was released, Tamara Konstantinovna took a single ticket for herself and went to the cinema so that no one would interfere with her and spoil the impression of the film. Her husband was looking forward to her at home and greeted her with a question: "Well, how?". Bykov greatly appreciated the opinion of his wife, often consulted with her, discussed controversial aspects of his future masterpieces, whether it concerned his acting or director's work.

I didn't finish it, I didn't finish it …

Leonid Bykov

The audience was very fond of Leonid Bykov, but the high authorities constantly put sticks in the wheels. He was not allowed to make films, he himself was rarely approved for roles. They even wanted to put the famous film "Some old men into battle" on the shelf due to the fact that the Minister of Culture of Ukraine considered that this could not be so in the war. The only thing that saved the picture was the intervention of the Deputy Minister of Defense, who after watching it directly asked who would have thought of forbidding the film.

Leonid Bykov

Things were not going smoothly at home either. While serving in the army, my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, actually avenging the conflict with the command staff. After his son was discharged, Bykov tried to remove the diagnosis, but he did not succeed, and Alexander, out of despair, went all out: contacted a bad company and was even detained while trying to rob a store. True, he went for it with the expectation of a medical examination, which would give a conclusion about his mental health. It ended even more sadly: Alexander Bykov was placed in a psychiatric clinic for another year.

All these problems did not add to the health of the director, he suffered three heart attacks. But he was destined to die not from heart disease, but in a car accident on April 11, 1979.

Leonid Bykov

In a letter that would later be called the actor's will, Leonid Bykov wrote: “Tom, my wife, unfortunately, is disabled: she will not be able to work. Yes, she will not stay for a long time without me, she will catch up, since we have lived a beautiful life with her …”True, Tamara Konstantinovna outlived her husband for 31 years, categorically refusing all interviews and participation in programs. According to her daughter, she did not want to participate in all this hypocritical show, when her husband was oppressed during his life and began to sing only after he was gone.

In 1974, the film “Only Old Men Go to Battle” was released. He became one of the highest grossing in those years and one of the most beloved. It is still watched and revised, observing the fate of the brave pilots. And today, few people know that the film might not have been on the screens, and the love story of an Uzbek pilot and a Russian girl is not fiction. And these are far from all the real facts and mystical coincidences associated with this film.

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