One of the most famous and popular Soviet actors was not given the title of People’s Artist for a long time; he did not receive a professional theater education, but this did not prevent him from forever inscribing his name in the history of world cinema. Nikolai Yakovchenko was born in the city of Pryluky in the Chernihiv region in 1900. He learned a little acting at the theater school in Moscow, and in 1928 he already performed at the Franko Theater in Kiev. Nikolai visited the Great Patriotic War and even took part in the liberation of Budapest from the German occupiers. In 1943 he was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1946, his wife died of cancer and Nikolai Fedorovich was left with two daughters… He could not survive this shock and became addicted to alcohol, which almost until the end of his days caused him many problems both in the family and at work.
In the early 1950s, the management of the Franko Theater was changed and the creative staff of the cultural institution was transferred to remote work ( they were called only if a role appeared for them), but at the same time they all received an increase in their republican bonus and were promised to be well paid for their participation in productions. Yakovchenko also fell under this ordering, but as they say, “there was no luck, but misfortune helped” – he has a lot of free time and begins to actively act in films.
Phrases of Nikolai Yakovchenko that became “folk”
– Whatever happens, we will survive it!
– There is no need to look for the devil who has him behind him
– How rude am I?!
– You drank, so don’t bark!
– I quit, I don’t drink. But with you – with great pleasure.
– Madam, you are as beautiful as a schooner. Don’t you have three rubles?
– And that vodka was like a young actress in the first performance…
– I look in the mirror and I want to spit!
– Everything was like with people – they drank, ate…
– Today you are husband and wife, but tomorrow God himself will not say what you will be. Very, very, very!
For more than 20 years, this truly talented comedy actor managed to star in 59 films! Each of us has definitely watched at least one of them in our lives, here are the most famous films with Yakovchenko’s participation: Maxim Perepelitsa (Kondrat Perepelitsa), Chasing two birds with one stone (Prokop Sviridovich Serko), Evenings on a farm near Dikanka (Patsyuk), Queen of the gas station (Comrade “Shovel”) and Viy (Spirid).
This is interesting!
– Nikolai Fedorovich very much loved his dachshund dog, which he named Fan-Fan. The actor spent all his free time with her from rehearsals, performances and filming. The dog becomes his interlocutor and even his partner in scenes that they act out right on the street to the delight of random witnesses. At that time it was said that Nikolai led his dog on a very long leash, and when asked about this he answered: “Fan-Fan cannot stand the smell of alcohol,
– coming out on stage, Yakovchenko looked at himself in the mirror, clapped his face and repeated: “My nurse!”
– the actor’s last words before his death were: – The clown is going to the arena,
– when preparing an obituary for the newspaper, it turned out that there is not a single official photograph of Yakovchenko in the world. In all the pictures he is either in character or smiling. As a result, the photo in the newspaper came out with a completed shirt, tie and jacket. And all the same, he is depicted there with a smile.
Despite his incredible popularity and popular love, for a long time he was not awarded the title of People’s Artist. He receives it only in 1970, 4 years before his death. By an evil irony of fate, his first daughter Irina dies in the same year, and 10 years later his second daughter Yunna also dies – they left no heirs, according to some sources, Yunna’s only son also died. On September 11, 1974, an ambulance took Nikolai Fedorovich with an attack of appendicitis and took too long to get to the hospital. When he got on the operating table, it was no longer possible to help – the actor died during the operation. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Yakovchenko’s birth in 2000, a monument was erected to him and his dog Fan-Fan in the park on the square in front of the Ivan Franko Theater. The old actor is sitting on a bench, and his favorite dachshund is sitting near his feet. 8 years later, in Priluki, Yakovchenko’s hometown, another monument to the actor was unveiled by the same sculptor as the one in Kiev.
Where is the monument to Nikolai Yakovchenko?
Ivan Franko Square, 5