Leonid Kharitonov (actor): biography, photos and interesting facts
If you ask the question: “Who is Leonid Kharitonov?” - “Wikipedia” will give two photos at once. One of them is a famous opera singer, and the second is an artist who few people remember today. Meanwhile, in the middle of the XX century, he was the most popular actor in the USSR. So, let's find out more about who Leonid Kharitonov (actor) is and why his rapid career so quickly began to decline?
Leonid Vladimirovich Kharitonov was a native Leningrader from an intelligent family. His mother worked as a doctor, and his father worked as an engineer.
The future artist was not the only child in the family - he had a younger brother, Vitya, who, when he became an adult, would also become an actor, although not as famous as Leonid.
The blockade childhood artist
Kharitonov was born in mid-May 1930. Thanks to the professions of his parents, his childhood was not rich, but it was good. However, a month after the boy turned 11, the Great Patriotic War began.
Together with his parents and brother, the child experienced terrible blockade times.By the way, hiding in a bomb shelter during the next German air raid, young Lenya got into the lenses of military newsreel operators. You could say it was his first appearance on the screen.
One day, tormented by hunger, the future artist ate a piece of soap. The body, weakened by malnutrition, could not properly digest this “food,” and the boy earned himself an ulcer, which then tormented him all his life.
Fortunately, the Kharitonov family managed to survive in this difficult time, and after the war, the main concern of the young Lena was to go to school. And he really wanted to be an artist.
Having received a certificate of maturity, I was afraid to enter the theatrical university Leonid Kharitonov. Actor - this profession seemed to his relatives not very serious and promising, therefore, agreeing with their opinion, the young man went to study jurisprudence at Leningrad University.
Probably to become an artist was the fate of Kharitonov, because at the university he ended up in a local theater group. Speaking in his projects, the young man began to think about the realization of his long-standing dream. Therefore, after he successfully passed the summer session, Leonid Kharitonov applied to the Moscow Art Theater School and was soon enrolled in the I course.
The first movie roles
Despite the fact that he was from an intelligent family, according to the type Kharitonov looked like a perky guy from the village - an ideal hero for the cinema of the 50s. A short, frail, fair-haired boy with piercing bright eyes and a bewitching soft voice — the young man appeared before the audience in his first film The School of Courage. He was invited to this project by director Vladimir Basov, who saw only Kharitonov in this role. However, in those years, students of the Studio School were forbidden to act in films on pain of expulsion. Therefore, at first, Kharitonov refused. But Basov achieved that the party leadership would force the directorate of the university to make an exception for the artist.
Having played with Basov, Kharitonov became famous throughout the USSR. The actor has become a benchmark for many young people, he sent letters from all over the country, and passers-by asked for autographs on the street.
Having successfully passed the final exams, Kharitonov was invited to work at the Moscow Art Theater. It is noteworthy that, having played only one role in the movie, he was already much more famous than most of his new colleagues. However, real glory waited for him to come.
The most popular artist of the 50s.
A year after the release of the “School of Courage”, the young man was invited to play the main role in the film “Soldier Ivan Brovkin”. In fact, the plot of the picture was copied from the book "Maxim Perepelitsa", published 4 years before. However, in the same year, Lenfilm filmed a black and white tape of the same name with Leonid Bykov in the title role. Therefore, in the film “Soldier Ivan Brovkin,” the name of the main character was changed, and the plot itself was improved, and Brovkin was able to bypass Perepelitsa in popularity. According to statistics, every viewer of the country watched this film three times.
Having played Brovkin, Leonid Kharitonov from just a famous artist became a real idol of a whole generation. He began to receive letters with bags, and from concerts he was sometimes carried in his arms. The girls confessed their love to him, and the guys around them copied their idol and massively learned to play the accordion in order to resemble him. Postcards with photos of the artist were the most sold in the USSR. None of the popular actors of the 50s was as loved by all as Leonid Kharitonov. Biography, personal life, children, habits, hobbies - all this was madly interested in his fans.Even the incredible popularity of another shirt-guy of that period — Nikolai Rybnikov — could not compare with Kharitonov’s success.
In the wake of nationwide love, in the next 2 years, another 5 films with his participation will be released. The brightest of them are “In good time! "And" The street is full of surprises. " In the last, Leonid Kharitonov played almost himself - law student Vasily Shaneshkin.
The tremendous success of “Soldier Ivan Brovkin” led to the fact that after 3 years its sequel was shot - “Ivan Brovkin on virgin soil”. And although the success of this tape was as great as the first part - it was the last project in which Kharitonov played the main role.
An actor for his many years of career will be removed in many projects, but such glory can never be achieved.
The role of Brovkin was not only a great success, but also a heavy burden for Kharitonov. Indeed, after the release of the second film, no director anymore perceived it in a different role. That is why, no matter how much the actor tried for the main roles in other projects of future years, he was invariably refused with the words: “We do not need Brovkin”.
In the theater, too, the artist did not complain.Despite the fact that the audience came to see some performances only because Kharitonov himself played there, the actor rarely received interesting roles. Some said that it was because of the envy of colleagues who, even in their best years, were not so loved by the audience.
However, with the advent of the new decade, the audience changed tastes and other idols appeared, and even his most loyal fans gradually began to forget Leonid Kharitonov.
Years of oblivion
In the 70-80 years. There is no sign of past success. The artist interrupted with random roles (“Fire, water and ... copper pipes”, “Fakir for an hour”, “Pikwick Club Notes”, “There, on unknown paths ...”, “Magicians”, “From the life of the head of the criminal investigation department”, etc. P.).
And the only reminder of past success was the role of himself in the episode of the Oscar-winning film Menshov “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears”.
However, he tried not to lose heart Kharitonov. The actor toured extensively with concerts throughout the country. That's only in the 50s he was invited to the capitals of the republics, and in the other years he mostly performed in rural clubs.
Earned during the war, the ulcer did not allow the artist to live and work in peace and opened at the most inappropriate moments. Compounded by health problems alcohol.By itself, the artist was not a drinker, he preferred to relieve stress by smoking cigarettes. However, in the years of glory, too many people tried to drink with a star, and over time there were not many who wanted to, especially after concerts in the villages. To be able to refuse, the artist always carried with him the keys to the car, referring to the driver’s debt, tried to avoid drinking, which aggravated problems with the ulcer.
Leonid Kharitonov (biography): personal life, children (photo)
The fact that almost all girls of the USSR were in love with this artist is not an exaggeration. However, the actor himself, despite his fascinating and amorous character, was not a Lovelace.
His first wife was a fellow student Svetlana Sorokina. They married another III year and lived together for 2 years. Also, the spouses were jointly filmed in 2 tapes: “Son” and “Soldier Ivan Brovkin”.
The Kharitonovs divorced on the initiative of an actor who fell in love with his colleague on the film “The street is full of surprises” - Jemma Osmolovskaya. Sorokina’s wife was the last to know about the production novel, from her husband, who had asked for a divorce.
After breaking up, she retained his last name. Relations between Leonid and Svetlana remained friendly, moreover, when she hit a pedestrian and went to prison - the former husband sometimes came to see her.
But Gemma was not so loyal. First of all, she saw in Kharitonov a famous artist, suitable for her status. After all, the actress became famous at a rather young age, thanks to her role in the film “A Tale of First Love”. However, after the film “The Street is Full of Surprises”, her career waned, which was very disappointing, and she blamed her husband, who was still successful at that time.
Even the birth of his son Alexei could not seal the union, and when the boy was 6 years old, his parents divorced. Unlike Svetlana Sorokina, Osmolovskaya dissolved gossip about her husband, accusing him of all mortal sins. Moreover, she forbade him to communicate with his son, and the artist, in order to see him, was forced to secretly come to Lesha in school.
Kharitonov managed to find happiness only when he began teaching at his alma mater and fell in love with his student, Yevgeny Gibov. This fragile girl was strikingly different in character from the previous wives of the artist and himself. It was more rigid and practical, which compensated for the lack of these qualities in Kharitonov. The spouses did not have children, but this did not prevent them from being happy.
Leonid Kharitonov (actor): biography of recent years
Despite the role of the broken shirt-guy, Kharitonov was always a modest man, not accustomed to asking for himself. Over the years, his biggest achievement was the acquisition of a cooperative apartment. By the way, despite the all-Union glory, the only title that Leonid Kharitonov received was “Honored Artist of the RSFSR”.
Meanwhile, the health of the actor is very deteriorated - his work on wear made itself felt. Constant traveling with concerts undermined Kharitonov’s fragile health, and at 50 he suffered a first stroke. Fortunately, the artist managed to recover from his illness and return to his beloved work. However, in the Moscow Art Theater was brewing a split, and this could not help but touch all the artists, including Leonid Kharitonov. He was very negative about the section and sincerely believed that this would not be beneficial to the theater. Because of this, supporters of Oleg Efremov began to spread rumors about the artist’s insanity. Moreover, they demanded that the theater doctor document the diagnosis. But the doctor refused to issue a false certificate, for which he was reprimanded.
In 1983, Kharitonov suffered a second stroke.Moreover, Efremov planned to dismiss him, but did not have time, since in June 1987 the idol of the youth of the 50s died because of the third stroke, without regaining consciousness.
The entire Moscow Art Theater came to Kharitonov’s funeral. The actors, who very soon split into 2 opposing camps, were for the last time together as one theater family.
Studying at school, Leonid Kharitonov was an active participant in amateur performances. That is why he received from classmates the nickname "artist".
Kharitonov was an avid motorist, but because of his modest nature he managed to save only on a modest Zaporozhets. But on this car he traveled with such pleasure and dignity, as if it was a foreign car of the latest model.
Being an idol of youth, Leonid Kharitonov was rather short. "Wikipedia" height, weight and other distinctive features of the artist does not indicate. But it is known that the growth of the actor was approximately 165-175 cm.
The artist was buried at the 50th section of the Vagankovo cemetery. Soon after his death, a monument was erected there with a fault in the form of a Mkhatovskaya gull. By the way, it was set at the expense of Metrostroy of the city of Moscow, whose head was an admirer of the artist.
The fate of Leonid Kharitonov is rather sad, but in the meantime it is instructive.Early fame did not spoil him, so in the years of oblivion he found joy in his work, trying to make each role unique. His latest project was the film Eternal Call, in which he played the commander of a tank crew, and even being in a state of half consciousness and faintly after two strokes, Kharitonov managed to play his hero sincerely, proving that he was a true professional artist and not upstart. They called him envious.