Yuri Bogatyryov

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Yuri Bogatyryov
Yuri bogatyryov.jpg
Born (1947-03-02)2 March 1947
Riga, Latvian SSR, USSR
Died 2 February 1989(1989-02-02) (aged 41)
Moscow, USSR
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–1989

Yuri Georgiyevich Bogatyryov (Russian: Ю́рий Гео́ргиевич Богатырёв; IPA: [ˈjʉrʲɪj ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪjɪvʲɪtɕ 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 Moscow Art Theater, was designated People's Artist of Russia in 1988.[1] A year later he died of heart failure caused by an emergency clonidine injection that clashed lethally with anti-depressants he'd been taking.[2]


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.[2] At school he was fond of painting and after the 8th grade left it to join the Mikhail Kalinin Art college where, after meeting a member of a youth puppet theatre/studio Globus, he got interested in theater. In 1966 he enrolled into the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute 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 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."[1]

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, after abandoning his comrades has to retrieve the gold caught by bandits to prove his own innocence. 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. he also starred in 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).[1]

In his later years Bogatyryov experienced severe psychological problems, having to do with his bisexuality (the homosexual side of which he apparently was trying to suppress),[1] troubled personal life, financial problems, drugs and alcohol abuse. He died on February 2, 1989, as a doze Clonidine injected by a paramedics' team (called for after he'd had a heart attack) clashed with antidepressants he had taken earlier and a large dose of alcohol.[1] Yuri Bogatyryov was buried at the Vagankovo cemetery on February 6.

Critical reception[edit]

Yuri Bogaturyov's sudden death at the age of 41 has been seen as a tragic loss of one of the country's 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 the 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. [...] Immensely gifted, he was "the material" in its pure form: fantastically pliable, filling any shape or form, easily meeting any director-poised challenges, be it dramatical or intellectual."[3]


Select filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Yuri Bogatyryov's profile @ www.rusactors.ru.
  2. ^ a b "Yuri Bogatyryov. Biography". kino.meta.ua. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  3. ^ Pavlova< I. (2001). "Yuri Bogatyryov". The Latest History of the Russian Cinema. 1986—2000. Vol. 1. Saint Petersburg. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 

External links[edit]