Tatiana Samoilova (Tatiana Samoilova)

Tatiana Samoilova

Actress. A dark-haired beauty, she is remembered as the star of a Soviet cinematic classic. The child of an actor, she was raised in Moscow from an young age, took to show business early, and studied music and ballet at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Music Theatre. Offered a chance to join the Bolshoi, she chose instead to study acting at the Boris Schutkin Theatre and while there made her 1955 silver screen bow in “The Mexican”. In 1957 she was cast in what was to be her best known role as Veronika, a young girl who loses her fiance to World War II, in “The Cranes Are Flying”, at her death still the only Russian movie to earn the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Tatiana received a special personal award at Cannes, won the German Film Critics Best Actress Award, and was nominated for a BAFTA as Best Foreign Actress, but the dreams of going to Hollywood, ambitions fostered by painter Pablo Picasso, never materialized. She starred in the 1959 “Letter Never Sent” but in 1960, probably as a result of her desire to perform in the West, she found herself fired from the Mayakovsky Theatre and unable to obtain work. Tatiana returned to the screen for 1964’s “Attack and Retreat” and was praised as the title lead of the 1967 “Anna Karenina” but with the coming of the 1970s her assignments became fewer and less significant, though she never fully retired. She remained in Moscow, was married and divorced four times, and lived quietly. Finally designated People’s Artist of Russia in 1993, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 Moscow Film Festival, and earned her final credit in the 2008 feature “Nirvana”. At her death from chronic heart and lung disease, a number of her appearances were preserved on DVD and “The Cranes Are Flying” remained a popular work. (bio by: Bob Hufford)


  • May, 04, 1934
  • Russia


  • May, 05, 2014
  • Russia


  • Novodevichy Cemetery
  • Russia

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