Valentina Serova

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For the first Russian woman composer see, see Valentina Serova (composer).
Valentina Serova

Valentina Serova (Russian: Валенти́на Васи́льевна Серо́ва) (December 23, 1917 – December 12, 1975) was a Soviet film and theatre actress of Ukrainian origin. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1946).[1] Winner of the Stalin Prize of the second degree (1947).[2]


Serova was born Valentina Polovikova (Валентина Половикова) in 1917 in Kharkiv. In 1938, she married her first husband, Anatoli Serov, a Soviet Air Force general, a test and fighter pilot. In 1939 Anatoli Serov died in a crash testing a new plane.[3] In the same year, her film A Girl with a Temper had a huge success and she became one of the biggest film stars of the Soviet Union.

In 1940 she met Konstantin Simonov, a famous Soviet author, whom she married in 1943. Simonov's poem "Wait For Me", one of the most famous Russian war poems, is dedicated to her. She subsequently inspired a series of love poems, collected as "With You and Without You" ("С тобой и без тебя"). Their relationship was a troubled one. During the war it was widely rumored that Serova was a mistress of Gen. K.K. Rokossovski.[4] While it's true that Serova, working as a hospital volunteer, met Rokossovski several times while he was recovering from a wound from a shell fragment in early 1942, there is no evidence that they were lovers.[5] Rokossovski already had a mistress at this time, Dr. Lt. Galina Talanova, with whom he had a daughter in 1945.[6]

Her career declined after the 1940s. Simonov left her in 1957. She became an alcoholic and died in Moscow in 1975.[7]


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