Happy birthday, Lyudmila Gurchenko!
The present Doodle, represented by guest artist Tatyana Ukleiko, commends the 86th birthday celebration of multi-hyphenate Russian entertainer Lyudmila Gurchenko. From playing piano in vaudeville numbers to pulling heartstrings in war dramas, Gurchenko charmed millions as a versatile pop music sensation whose broad acting profession is generally considered among the best in 20th-century Russia.
Lyudmila Markovna Gurchenko was brought into the world in Kharkov, Ukraine, USSR (presently Ukraine) on this day in 1935 to musician parents who encouraged her talent since early on.
With a button accordion and fantasies about acting in film, Gurchenko moved to Moscow to learn at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. Her meteoric ascent to popularity came not so much as one year after graduation, with her debut in the Russian flim musical “Carnival Night” in 1956.
Following the film’s success, Gurchenko started performing famous numbers from the film on a national tour.
In any case, her career was hindered for longer than 10 years by detractors in the government who condemned her for tolerating compensation above state wages. However Russian producers couldn’t overlook her prodigious talent.
In 1973, she got back to the big screen with a leading role in the Soviet show “Old Walls.”
She rode the momentum of her rebound as a star of Soviet entertainment into her 70s, showing up in more than 130 acting roles and recording more than 10 albums. Right up ’til today, it is tradition for some Russian television networks to celebrate the New Year with a airing of “Carnival Night.”