Yefim Kopelyan

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The Portrait of Yefim Kopelyan by Yevgeny Shirokov on the postal card issued to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the actor. Russian Post, 2012.

Yefim Zakharovich Kopelyan (Russian: Ефим Захарович Копелян; 12 April 1912 – 6 March 1975) was a Soviet actor of theater and cinema, one of the legendary masters of the Bolshoi Theatre of Drama (BDT) in Leningrad. He performed the bright characteristic roles in the films The Elusive Avengers, Intervention, Eternal Call, The Straw Hat, and many others. He is also known for the voice-over in the TV series hit Seventeen Moments of Spring.

He was born in Belarusian town Rechytsa into a Jewish family. After graduation, he worked as a metal craftsman at the plant Krasny Putilovets in Leningrad. In 1930 he entered to the architectural department of the Academy of fine arts. In his students years he earned additionally as supernumerary in the BTD, entered to the studio of this theater (course of K.K.Tverskoy).

At the end of his education, Kopelyan became the actor of the main staff of the BTD. The first years in the theater not were noted by special successes.

Later he played much from romantic Don Cesar de Bazan to sailor Shvandya in Lyubov Yarovaya, roles of the classical repertoire and modern. He was a "social hero", played a character roles in the comedies and the tragedies. Georgi Tovstonogov employed Kopelyan almost in all premiers of theater. With his name are connected all best plays BDT.

Operation Barbarossa found BTD in Baku on the tours. On the return of the theater on 4 July 1941 to Leningrad, Kopelyan entered the People's militia and played in the Theater of the People's militia, which soon became the Front-line propaganda platoon of Leningrad.

Kopelyan was acted in film and on TV much, was the brilliant master of small roles: Steersman (Tanker Derbent, 1941), Priest Gapon (Prologue, 1956), Sergo Ordzhonikidze (Kochubey, 1958), Nalbandov (Time, forward!, 1966), Burnash (The Elusive Avengers, 1967), 1971: Cossack Leader Ataman in epic film Dauria (1971 film) (Даурия), Burtsev (The Story about human heart, 1975), Beybutov (Yaroslav Dombrovsky, 1976), etc. Among his best roles at cinema were roles of Savva Morozov (Nikolai Bauman; the prize of the All-Union film festival, 1968), Svidrigaylov (Crime and punishment, 1970). He acted in television films Old fortress (1973), Crash of engineer Garin, Eternal call.

His reading the text from the author in films Seven notes in silence (1967), Meetings with Gorky (1969), Memory (1971) and television film Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973, State prize of the RSFSR in 1976) was unique.

Kopelyan married actress Lyudmila Makarova in 1941. He was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1973. He died in 1975 in Leningrad.

Selected filmography[edit]

External links[edit]