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 Georgy Burkov


Born:   May 31, 1933
Deceased:   July 19, 1990

Soviet stage and film actor, Honored Artiste of RSFSR

      

Georgy Ivanovich Burkov was born on May 31, 1933 in Perm. In 1952 he entered the Law Faculty of the Perm University, but studied there for two years only and left. At the same time Georgy got engrossed in acting: he played in a drama studio at the university and passionately dreamed of becoming a professional actor. Several years in a row he went to Moscow trying to enter the School Studio of Moscow Art Theatre and GITIS (State Institute of Theatre Arts) but failed exams. In spite of the failures Georgy was adamant about actor’s career. From 1954 he worked in theaters of Berezneki, Perm and Kemerovo, at the same time studying in the evening studio at the Perm Drama Theater. Along with that he kept on improving his general education level by reading plenty of literature in libraries. 

In 1964 the provincial actor without vocational education arrived in Moscow again: he went to the K.S.Stanislavsky Drama Theatre in order to introduce himself to the main stage director B. Lvov-Anokhin. His acting left a good impression and he was admitted to the theater’s troupe, where he worked till 1980, and then shifted to the Moscow Art Theatre to cooperate with Oleg Yefremov.  In 1984-1987 he took the stage of the A.S. Pushkin Theater. 
 
Practically after Burkov's first role in the play Anna on stage of the Stanislavsky Drama Theater he started to be talked about as a professional actor, thus getting more roles one after another. He played in many performances on stages of Moscow theaters: Wolves and Sheep, Vassa Zheleznova, Little Prince, Walking Corpse, Notes of a Madman, and others. 
 
Georgy also tried his wings as a stage director: in 1976 he staged the play In the Country of Lilliputians in the Moscow Regional Theater. 
 
Burkov's  talent was naturally noticed by cinematographers as well. He made his film debut in 1966 with a bit part in the movie Zosya and in a year he met the outstanding film director Eldar Ryazanov, who in many respects defined the actor’s unfolding in the Russian cinema. The film director invited Burkov to play a small role in the comedy Good Luck Zigzag and it started their creative union. The actor played secondary but vibrant and memorable roles in his movies The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Banya! , Old Men Robbers, The Garage, Say a Word about Poor Hussar, Lonely Melody for Flute and The Cruel Romance. Among Burkov’s best works were his roles in Vasily Shukshin’s films, namely Pechki-Lavochki and The Red Snowball Tree, as well as his dramatic roles in They Fought for Their Country by S. Bondarchuk, Wounded Birds by N. Gubenko, and others.  Altogether Georgy Burkov played in over 60 movies of various genres, including comedies, psychological dramas, and detectives. 
 
A man of discrimination, Georgy Burkov dreamed of becoming a serious drama actor. The years of communication with Vasily Shukshin, whom Georgy considered his only friend, became very important for the actor. Under the influence of Shukshin he started writing and directing: he made the movie Tale (1987) with himself in the lead.  Besides, he founded the V.M.Shukshin Culture Center and became its art director in 1988.  In the last years of his life Georgy Burkov entirely dedicated himself to the Center: he wanted to create his theater and his drama school there, dreamed of shooting a film trilogy… But he did not live long enough to accomplish it. 
 
Georgy Ivanovich Burkov died of thrombembolia on July 19, 1990 in Moscow and was buried in the Vagankovo Cemetery. After the actor’s death his widow permitted the publication of his diary notes, which were published in a book under the title Heart Chronicle.
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