Liya Akhedzhakova

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Liya Akhedzhakova
People's Artist of Russia
At the premiere of Generation P in 2011
Native name Ли́я Меджи́довна Ахеджа́кова
Born (1938-07-09) 9 July 1938 (age 78)
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, USSR (present-day Ukraine)
Residence Maykop, Moscow
Citizenship Russian SFSR, USSR (1938–1991), Russian Federation (1991–present)
Alma mater Moscow State University of Nonferrous Metals and Gold
Russian Academy of Theatre Arts – Lunacharsky State Institute
Occupation Actress
Years active 1961–present
Notable work The Irony of Fate (1975), Office Romance (1977), The Garage (1979), Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980), Say a Word for the Poor Hussar (1981), Sons of Bitches (1990), Promised Heaven (1991), Dandelion Wine (1997), Old Hags (2000), Playing the Victim (2007)
Home town Dnipropetrovsk
Spouse(s) Valeri Benediktovich Nosik
Boris Petrovich Kocheishvili
Vladimir Nikolaevich Persiyanov (m. 2000)
Parent(s) Medzhid Salehovich Akhedzhakov (stepfather)
Yuliya Alexandrovna Akhedzhakova
Relatives George Akhedzhak
Murat Akhedzak

Liya Medzhidovna Akhedzhakova (Russian: Ли́я Меджи́довна Ахеджа́кова, Ukrainian: Лі́я Меджи́дівна Ахеджа́кова; born 9 July 1938) is an eminent Soviet and Russian film, stage and voice actress who received the title of People's Artist of Russia in 1994. She won two Nika Awards for Best Actress for her performances in Promised Heaven (1991) and Playing the Victim (2006). She was also awarded the Nika Honorary Prize in 2015. She has been also known for her political and social activism since early 1990s.

Early life and career[edit]

Akhedzhakova was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR. She grew up in a theatrical family in Maykop, Russian SFSR. Her stepfather, Medzhid Salehovich Akhedzhakov (1914–2012), was a Circassian nobleman[1] who served as the Principal Director of the National Theatre of the Republic of Adygea. Her mother, Yuliya Alexandrovna Akhedzhakova (1916–1990), was also an actress at the same drama theatre. At the age of 10, when her mother and aunt was suffering from tuberculosis, she wrote a letter to Joseph Stalin with a request for help. In response, a rare drug was delivered to her family.

In 1956, she entered the Moscow Institute of Nonferrous Metals and Gold where she studied for eighteen months. She first appeared on stage in 1961 at Moscow Youth Theatre. In 1962, she graduated from Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts (GITIS). Her first film appearance was in Ishchu cheloveka (1973) (Russian: Looking for a Man). Her debut in this drama was awarded several prizes at international film festivals in Locarno, Switzerland and Varna, Bulgaria.[2] In 1977, she joined the Sovremennik Theatre. In 1986, she played four main roles in the play Apartment Columbine, directed by Roman Viktyuk.

As a film actress, Liya Akhedzhakova became widely known due to her roles in Eldar Ryazanov's films, including Tania in The Irony of Fate (1975), Verochka in Office Romance (1977) and Fima in Promised Heaven (1991). In the 2000 film Old Hags, she played alongside her stepfather.

Her relatives include Murat Kazbekovich Akedzhak, Deputy Head of the Administration of Krasnodar Region, and George Akhedzhak, Honored Coach of the USSR.

Personal life[edit]

Akhedzhakova's first husband was Valery Nosik, an actor of Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre and Maly Theatre. Her second husband was artist and poet Boris Kocheishvili. In the summer of 2001, Liya Akhedzhakova married the Moscow-based photographer Vladimir Persiyanov. She has no children.

Political views[edit]

Akhedzhakova became politically active when Boris Yeltsin came to power. During the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis she attended a live TV show where she gave a speech in support of Yeltsin's actions, encouraging the army to «protect us from the goddamn Constitution» and start storming the White House, or «the Communists will return».[3] As a result of the armed conflict, from 158 to 2000 people (mostly civilians) were killed and hundreds were injured. It also led to a forceful liquidation of the Soviet model in Russia. The actress has been personally blamed by her opponents for escalating the conflict ever since.[4][5]

Akhedzhakova is a critic of the contemporary Russian politics and Vladimir Putin in particular. Together with Eldar Ryazanov, Yuri Shevchuk, Andrey Makarevich, Andrey Konchalovsky and others, she protested against Russian policy towards Ukraine.[6] Following the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, she publicly read a poem of Andrey Orlov, Requiem for MH17 that ends with words «I'm guilty, because I'm Russian».[6] In 2013, Akhedzhakova received a prize from the Moscow Helsinki Group for "the protection of human rights by means of culture and arts".[6]

Eldar Ryazanov characterized Akhedzhakova as follows: "She sympathizes with the weak, and despises the cruel. In that her artistic credo coincides with the stance of the great Chaplin".[7]

Honours and selected awards[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1970 Honored Artist of the RSFSR Meritorious Artist Won
1973 Prize of the 8th International Film Screening in the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Varna[7] Won
1975 Prize of the 8th All-Union Film Festival in Chișinău[7] Sports Films Won
1979 Vasilyev Brothers State Prize of the RSFSR[7] Laureate of RSFSR State Prize Office Romance Won
1992 Nika Award[7] Best Actress Promised Heaven Won
1994 People's Artist of Russia[7] Won
1999 Order of Honour[7] Won
2001 "Olmypia" National Award[7] National Prize of Public Recognition for Women's Achievements Won
2006 Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"[7] Cavalière (4th class) Won
2007 Nika Award[7] Best Actress Playing the Victim Won
2008 Star of Theatre Prize[7] Won
2008 Award of "Star teatral" Civic Courage Won
2013 Award of "Star teatral" Best Actress Won
2013 Award of the Moscow Helsinki Group Won
2015 Nika Award Honorary Prize Won

Selected filmography[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Vozvrashchenie Petya
1970 The Blue Bird Young boy Voice
1970 Otvazhnyy Robin Hood Little John Voice
1973 Glasha and Kikimora Pioneer cyclist Voice
1973 Ishchu cheloveka Anna Kuznetsova
1974 Tanya Mistress, housekeeper
1974 Ivan da Mariya Princess Agrippina
1975 The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! Tanya, Nadya’s friend Television film
1975 Poshekhonskaya starina Polka
1975 U samogo Chernogo morya Viola Smyr
1976 Po sekretu vsemu svetu Yelizaveta Nikolaevna, geography teacher
1976 Twenty Days Without War Clock woman
1977 Zhikharka Voice
1977 Dva klyona Ivanushka Voice
1977 Zhuravl v nebe
1977 Office Romance Vera "Verochka", secretary
1978 Krasavets-muzhchina Lupacheva Television film
1978 When I Will Become a Giant Julietta Ashotovna, nicknamed “Smiley”, English teacher
1978 Podarok chyornogo kolduna Pugalitsa
1979 Pogovori na moyom yazyke Claudia
1979 Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears Olga Pavlovna, club manager
1979 The Garage Malaeva
1980 Say a Word for the Poor Hussar Loulou Television film
1981 Vosmoe chudo sveta Yuliya Yermolina
1981 Kuda ischez Fomenko? Alina Television film
1981 Otpusk za svoy schyot Irina Television film
1982 Alice in the Land in the Other Side of the Mirror White Queen
1983 Koe-chto iz gubernskoy zhizni Merchutkina Television film
1983 Talisman Grandmother
1983 Koe-chto iz gubernskoy zhizni Merchutkina Television film
1983 Mama Anush Anush
1984 Malenkoe odolzhenie Toma Television film
1984 Copper Angel Rosita
1984 Osenniy podarok fey Fairy of sorrow
1986 Ara, bara, pukh! Voice
1986 Igra khameliona Irma
1986 Povod Violetta
1986 Razmakh krylyev First-class passenger (herself)
1987 Dialog. Krot i yaytso Egg Voice
1987 Drugaya zhizn Roza
1988 Svirepyi Bambr Mouse Voice
1988 Greshnik Zina
1989 Vagrant Bus Zina, administrator
1989 Sofia Petrovna
1990 Yozhik dolzhen byt kolyuchim? Mother hedgehog Voice
1990 Po sledam Bambra Mouse Voice
1990 Doping dlya angelov Nina
1990 Sons of Bitches Nanaytseva
1990 Mordashka Zoya Nikolaevna, Yuliya's mother
1991 Glasha and Kikimora Voice
1991 Lovushka dlya Bambra Mouse Voice
1991 Na chyornyy den Voice
1991 Promised Heaven Afimya "Fima" Stepanovna Nika Award for Best Actress (1991)
1992 Rozhdenie Gerakla Voice
1992 Ya khotela uvidet angelov Zhenya’s mother
1992 Sem sorok Tkachuk
1993 Muravinyy yozhik Voice
1993 Bezdna, krug sedmoy
1994 Tren bren Masha
1995 Moskovskiye kanikuly Speculator
1995 Bred vdvoyom
1997 Dandelion Wine Lena Auffmann
2000 Old Hags Lyuba
2006 Playing the Victim Waitress in Japanese restaurant Nika Award for Best Actress (2007)
2006 Andersen. Zhizn bez lyubvi Gadalkal
2006 Strannoe rodzdestvo Lucia Television film
2007 Potapov, k doske! Taisiya Ivanovna
2007 Vetka sireni Anna Sergeevna, Zverev’s wife
2007 Dyuymovochka Mouse
2007 Foto moey devushki Lyubov Grigorevna, Paul’s mother
2007 The Funeral Party Mariya Ignatyevna, healer
2008 Chetyre vozrasta lyubvi Zima
2009 The Book of Masters Baba Yaga
2009 Bankrot Matchmaker
2010 Love-Carrot 3 Yelizaveta Nikolaevna
2011 Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf Baba Yaga Voice
2012 Moms Svetlana Semyonovna


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Neznaika v Solnechnom gorode Episode 7–8
2003 Pyatyy angel Sara
2004 Uzkiy most Nina Petrovna TV mini-series
2005 Kazaroza Mariya Antonovna
2011 Dorogoy moy chelovek


  1. ^ "Leah Akhedzhakova". movie-space. 
  2. ^ Film and Theatre Star Liya Akhedzhakova Turns 70
  3. ^ Lia Akhedzhakova 1993, the shooting of the Parliament video on YouTube (in Russian)
  4. ^ Akhedzhakova is covered in blood. I don't know how she still breathes in Russian blood without an aqualung. Personal Opinion with Alexander Prokhanov at Echo of Moscow, March 16, 2011 (in Russian)
  5. ^ Same night on TV Gaidar, Yavlinsky, Akhedzhakova required to kill red-browns. In the morning the siege of the White House begun. 173 defenders of Russian freedom and democracy died there. 19 years ago Russian democracy died by Eduard Limonov in LiveJournal, October 3, 2012 (in Russian)
  6. ^ a b c "Лия Ахеджакова покаялась перед миром за "неправильную" национальность" (in Russian). Russia Today. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 24 Dec 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Ахеджакова Лия Меджидовна" (in Russian). 3 October 2014. Retrieved 24 Dec 2014. 

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