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 Vera Maretskaya

Born:   July 31, 1906
Deceased:   August 17, 1978

Soviet theatre and film actress, the Peoples Artiste of the USSR


Vera Petrovna Maretskaya was born on July 31 (18), 1906 in the Barvikha Village of the Moscow Region. In 1924 she finished School Studio at E.Vakhtangov Theater and entered the newly founded Yuri Zavadsky Theater.

Vera started her acting career with age character roles, which revealed the actress’ temperament and her sense of humour. Further on the lyrical and drama talent of the actress was revealed. Throughout her theatrical career she performed the most varied roles in the plays Lyubov Yarovaya, Mashenka, Nadezhda Durova, Wolves and Sheep, Woe from Wit, Water Glass, The Taming of the Shrew, Cantiniere, and others.
Soon creative relations of Vera Maretskaya with Zavadsky developed into personal relations.  She married her favourite teacher, gave birth to their son, but their marriage turned to be short.  Zavadsky fell in love with Galina Ulanova and left his family. However, even after the divorce Vera Petrovna for many years remained a close friend and a faithful assistant of Zavadsky till his death in 1977. After the divorce Vera Maretskaya married again and gave birth to the daughter Masha. Maretskaya’s husband was the actor G.Troitsky who was lost during war.  
Despite her large-scale success in theater it was the cinema that brought national recognition to the actress. Her film debut was an episodic role in Yacob Protazanov's drama His Draft in 1925. The same year the film director Protazanov invited the actress to his new movie The Cutter from Torzhok, which gained her still bigger popularity.
Vera Maretskaya came to be well demanded in cinema. She appeared in 15 mute films and continued to act successfully in sound cinema. Her roles in the movies The House in Trubnaya (1928), Generation of Winners (1936), She Protects Motherland (1943), Village Teacher (1947) and others became the most remembered works. Vera Maretskaya was one of the most popular film actresses of the country; her name was also known abroad.
Majority of the movies, in which Vera Maretskaya acted, were advocating the communistic system, but even in them the talented actress managed to convey sincerity of feelings and create alive, true images of common women.
In the 1950s-60s Vera Maretskaya was filming very little, but played many versatile roles on stage of the Mossovet Theatre, which was founded on the basis of Zavadsky Theater Studio. Vera Maretskaya loved theater a lot and worked with utter devotion.
Already then the actress was tormented with severe pains, and soon was diagnosed with brain cancer. In the last years of her life Vera Petrovna desperately struggled against the incurable disease and underwent a few hardest surgeries. Her last work on stage was in the play Strange Mrs. Savage in 1973. Even in the last days of her life she continued to be engaged in creativity. When in hospital, she read verses by Russian poets out loud, and her son recorded it on tape. These verses were included into the “gold fund” of art radio broadcasting in Russia.
The People’s Artiste of the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labour, winner of the State Award and four Stalin Awards, holder of numerous orders and medals –  Maretskaya was a very charming, witty and educated person. She fluently spoke German and French. She was fond of cooking and had great skills in that. 
Vera Petrovna Maretskaya died on August 17, 1978 in Moscow and was laid down to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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