Georgy Millyar created on the Soviet fairy tale screen an immortal image of the Witch Baba Yaga which subsequently became his nickname, and the portrayal of the Kashchey the Deathless associated by viewers with fascism.
The brighter was the ending, when the main villain turned to be not as Immortal as he seemed to be and perished from hands of the hero…
Georgy Frantsevich Millyar was born on November 7, 1903 in Moscow, into the family of a French engineer and a daughter of a Russian gold industry entrepreneur. De Milye was the real surname of George Frantsevich. His childhood was very comfortable. They had a huge apartment in Moscow, and two summer cottages in the Moscow Region
French governesses trained the boy in languages, music, and literature, whereas his aunt, who was a well-known theatre actress at that time, imparted to him love of the theater.
The boy was only 3 years old when his father died. In 1914 his mother, being afraid of prerevolutionary disturbances decided to send George far away from restless Moscow, to his grandfather in Gelendzhik. The boy lived there till the age of 16.
The revolution bereft the family of its money and the Moscow apartment with summer cottage near Moscow; for the same reason de Milye turned into Millyar.
Subsequently Georgy Frantsevich tried not to mention his past and never specified in questionnaires his knowledge of foreign languages, though was fluent in French and German. In 1927 he graduated from a drama school at the Moscow Revolution Theater and started working as an actor.
The actor’s talent for transformation was surprising. He looked very natural when wearing both a royal cloak and witch tatters, both frog skin and an elegant dress coat of an executioner.
A character actor, a master of grotesque, he appeared on screen in 1927, and in 1937 he met the fairy tale film director Alexander Rou, who found the actor to be his kindred spirit. Their friendship and creative union lasted for over 30 years.
Their first movie was Wish upon a Pike
about a magic speaking Pike and lazy guy Yemelya. In this movie Millyar played the role of Tsar Gorokh, and the viewers saw a foolish, angry freak dressed up in imperial clothes.
Afterwards Millyar created an immortal character of Baba Yaga
, which subsequently became his nickname… In the fairy tale Kashchey the Deathless
, which premiered on the Victory Day, on May 9, 1945, Millyar played Kashchey, who was associated with fascism, and it was grotesque approaching the early gothic style. The movie theater could not admit all those interested to watch the movie, and so the screen was brought out on a square.
Throughout his creative career Millyar played thirty big roles and a set of minor roles, took part in dubbing of seventy films, voices one hundred animated movies, and wrote poems.
Georgy Frantsevich Millyar died, aged 89, on June 4, 1993 in Moscow. His last verses included the lines: “…and it would probably be wonderful at the end of the way to finally play Suvorov and then leave in peace …”