2 March 1947|
Riga, Latvian SSR, USSR
|Died||2 February 1989
Yuri Georgiyevich Bogatyryov (Russian: Ю́рий Гео́ргиевич Богатырёв, IPA: [ˈjʉrʲɪj ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪjɪvʲɪt͡ɕ bəɡətɨˈrʲɵf]; March 2, 1947, Riga, Latvian SSR — February 2, 1989, Moscow, USSR) was a Soviet film and theater actor, best known for his roles in five Nikita Mikhalkov films, including At Home Among Strangers (1974). Bogatyryov, well known for his work in leading Moscow theaters, Sovremennik and MKhat, was designated People's Artist of Russia in 1988. A year later he died of heart failure caused by an emergency clonidine injection that clashed lethally with anti-depressants he'd been taking.
Yuri Georgiyevich Bogatyryov was born in Riga, Latvia, a son of a Soviet Navy officer Georgy Andrianovich Bogatyryov. In 1953 the family moved to Moscow. At school he was fond of painting and after the 8th grade left it to join the Mikhail Kalinin Art college. After meeting member of a youth puppet theatre/studio Globus, Bogatyryov got interested in theater. In 1966 he enrolled into the Schchukin theatre college and after the graduation in 1971 joined the Moscow Sovremennik Theatre where he worked up until 1977. Theatre critic and writer Vitaly Wolf remembered: "I remember him joining the troupe in 1971 very well. He was well received: everybody saw the boy has had talent. He was very nervous, very kind and extraordinary open-hearted. Even his mentor Katin-Yartsev was telling me he was worried about Bogatyryov and the way how open and vulnerable he was."
In 1970 Bogatyryov debuted on big screen in Nikita Mikhalkov's short film The Calm Day in the End of the War. The actor became famous four years later after starring in Mikhalkov's 'Soviet western' At Home Among Strangers where he played a Red Army soldier Shilov who, fleeting his comrades has to retrieve gold caught by bandits to prove his own innocence. Critics noted that it was Mikhalkov's films - The Unfinished Play for a Mechanical Piano (1976, based on Chekhov's stories), Several Days in the Life of Oblomov (1979, Ivan Goncharov's classic's adaptation), Family Member (Rodnya, 1981) - where Bogatyryov played his best roles. Among other films he starred in was the TV series Two Captains (1976) after Veniamin Kaverin's novel where he played a villain Romashov and an epic A Declaration of Love (Obyasnenye v lyubvi, 1978, journalist Filipp).
In his later years Bogatyryov experienced severe psychological problems, having to do with his bi-sexuality (the homosexual side of which he apparently was trying to suppress), troubled personal life, financial problems, drugs and alcohol abuse. He died on February 2, 1989, apparently as result of consuming of incompatible drugs including a doze Clonidine injected by a paramedics' team (called for after he's had a heart attack) which clashed with anti-depressants he had taken earlier and a large dose of alcohol. Yuri Bogatyryov was buried at the Vagankovo cemetery on February 6.
Yuri Bogaturyov's sudden death at the age of 41 has been seen as a tragic loss of the country's one of the most gifted and unusual actors. "There was no one like him – not before, nor after. It looks like he'd come and gone so quick just to leave us this unfathomable enigma of his phenomenon to marvel at", wrote Encyclopedia of the Soviet Cinema (2001). According to critic I. Pavlova, Bogatyryov belonged to none of the known type of actors. "Two-meter giant, he could easily play a bravest knight (like Cheka man Yegor Shilov in At Home Among Strangers), then turn into an ecstatically maudlin idiot Manilov (Gogol's Dead Souls). One moment his body could be steel- and spring-like and then he was unequalled in strength and agility. The next - wadded and quilt-like, it demonstrated total lack of spinal cord. <...> Gifted with unique abilities, he was 'material' as such: fantastically pliable, filling any shape or form, easily meeting any director-poised challenges, be it dramatical or intellectual."
- 1974 — At Home Among Strangers (Свой среди чужих, чужой среди своих) — Yegor Shilov, leading role
- 1974 — Tanya (Таня) — Andrey
- 1975 — A Slave to Love (Раба любви) — Vladimir Maksakov
- 1975 — Beyound Horizon (Там, за горизонтом) — Dmitry Zherekhov, leading role
- 1976 — Martin Eden (Мартин Иден, TV play) — Martin Eden, leading role
- 1976 — Two Captains (Два капитана) — Mikhail Romashov, leading role.
- 1976 — Sometime in California (Когда-то в Калифорнии) — Тwing
- 1976 — Forever Alive (Вечно живые) — Мark
- 1977 — The Unfinished Play for a Mechanical Piano (Неоконченная пьеса для механического пианино) — Sergey Voinytsev
- 1977 — Declaration of Love (Объяснение в любви) — Philippok
- 1977 — The Nose (Нос) — Tzar Nicolas I
|This section requires expansion. (May 2011)|