July 4, 1930|
Leninakan, Soviet Armenia
|Died||December 29, 1993
Mher Mkrtchyan (Armenian: Մհեր Մկրտչյան), better known by his stage name Frunzik (Armenian: Ֆրունզիկ; Russian: Фрунзик; 4 July 1930 – 29 December 1993), was a Soviet Armenian actor. He is widely considered as one of the greatest Armenian actors of the Soviet period.
He was born in Leninakan (now Gyumri) Armenian SSR. He studied in Leninakan Art College and Theatre Studio, then graduated from the Acting Department of Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and Theatre. Beginning from 1953, he performed in the Sundukyan Drama Theatre of Yerevan. He also directed many successful productions, the best of which was Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths". His cinema career began in 1955.
His famous roles in Rolan Bykov's Aybolit-66 (1966), Leonid Gaidai's Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (1966), and Georgi Daneliya's Mimino (1977) earned him a reputation as one of the Soviet Union's leading comedy actors. But that reputation sometimes overshadowed his real talent and emotional depth which he put into his roles in such classics of Armenian cinema as Yerankyuni ("Triangle") (1967), Menq enq, mer sarere ("We are Our Mountains") (1969), Hayrik ("Father") (1973), Nahapet (1977), Hin oreri yerge ("The Song of the Old Days") (1982), Mer mankutyan tangon ("Tango of Our Childhood") (1985). Among his many awards was the USSR State Prize for 1978. He died in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1993.
Personal life and death
Even though he was known as a comedic actor, Mkrtchyan's personal life was filled with tragedy. His first wife, Donara Mkrtchyan, became mentally ill and was sent to a mental institution for the rest of her life. Mkrtchyan became a single parent of two young children. His son inherited his mother’s mental illness. His daughter was killed in a car accident. Thousands of people attended the funeral of their beloved actor.
- Thirty Three (1965)
- Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (1966)
- Mimino (1977)
- Soldier and Elephant (1977)
- Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1979)
- Հովհաննես Պապիկյան, Շուշանիկ Սահակյան։ Լույս ... Մհեր Մկրտչյան 80. Yerevan 2010. ISBN 978-9939537894
Mkrtchyan's monument at the Komitas Pantheon