Eldar Ryazanov

Eldar Aleksandrovich Ryazanov (Russian: Эльдар Александрович Рязанов; 18 November 1927 – 30 November 2015) was a Soviet and Russian film director, screenwriter, poet, actor and pedagogue whose popular comedies, satirizing the daily life of the Soviet Union and Russia, are celebrated throughout the former Soviet Union.[2][3]

Eldar Ryazanov
Eldar Ryazanov.jpg
Eldar Ryazanov after receiving the Order of Merit for the Fatherland award in 2008
Eldar Aleksandrovich Ryazanov

(1927-11-18)18 November 1927[1]
Died30 November 2015(2015-11-30) (aged 88)
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor, television presenter, poet, dramaturg, pedagogue
Years active1950–2009
Notable work
TitlePeople's Artist of the USSR (1984)
Spouse(s)Emma Abaydullina
AwardsUSSR State Prize (1977)


Eldar Aleksandrovich Ryazanov was born in Samara. His father, Aleksandr Semyonovich Ryazanov, was a diplomat who worked in Tehran. His mother, Sofya Mikhailovna (née Shusterman), was of Jewish descent.

In 1930, the family moved to Moscow, and soon his parents divorced. He was then raised by his mother and her new husband, Lev Mikhailovich Kopp. In 1937 his father was arrested by the Stalinist government and subsequently served 18 years in the correctional labour camps.[4]

Ryazanov began to create films in the early 1950s. In 1955, Ivan Pyryev, then a major force in the Soviet film industry, suggested to him to begin work on his film Carnival Night. At first, Ryazanov refused, as he wanted to make "serious films", but then was convinced to begin, as Pyryev believed that "anybody could shoot a melodrama, but only a few can create good comedy."[5] He won instant success, and began to release more films.

He was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1984, and received the USSR State Prize in 1977. He won the Nika Award for Best Director in 1991 for the film Promised Heaven.

Among his most famous films are Carnival Night (1955), Hussar Ballad (1962), Beware of the Car (1966), The Irony of Fate (1975), Office Romance (1977), The Garage (1980), and A Cruel Romance (1984). Ryazanov's main genre was tragicomedy.

Illness and deathEdit

Ryazanov had an acute ischemic stroke in November 2014. He was admitted to a Moscow hospital on 21 November 2015 due to shortness of breath. He died around midnight on 30 November 2015, of heart and lung failure, at the age of 88.[1][6]


Ryazanov was one of the most successful film directors of the Soviet Union, and his films are still well-known in the post-USSR landscape. The Irony of Fate is still aired every December 31st in most post-USSR countries except for Ukraine.[7] A street in Moscow was named after him in 2017,[8] and a museum and memorial dedicated to his memory was opened on the site of his childhood home in Samara.

Honours and awardsEdit


  • 2007 The Irony of Fate 2 – Actor (Cameo appearance)
  • 2006 Andersen. Life Without Love – Director / Screenwriter (with I. Kvirikadze) / Actor: Mortician / Producer
  • 2006 Carnival Night 2 (TV) – Director / Actor (Cameo appearance)
  • 2003 The Key of Bedroom (Ключи от спальни) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Police constable / Producer
  • 2000 Still Waters (Тихие омуты) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Radiologist / Producer
  • 2000 Old Hags (Старые клячи) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Judge
  • 1996 Hello, Fools! (Привет, дуралеи!) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Manager of the bookshop
  • 1993 Prediction (Предсказание) – Director / Screenwriter
  • 1991 Promised Heaven (Небеса обетованные) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Man in Diner
  • 1988 Dear Yelena Sergeyevna (Дорогая Елена Сергеевна) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Neighbour
  • 1987 Forgotten Melody for a Flute (Забытая мелодия для флейты) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Astronomer
  • 1984 A Cruel Romance (Жестокий романс) – Director / Screenwriter
  • 1982 Station for Two (Вокзал для двоих) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Railroad Supervisor
  • 1981 Say a Word for the Poor Hussar (О бедном гусаре замолвите слово) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Confectioner
  • 1979 The Garage (Гараж) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Sleeping Man
  • 1977 Office Romance (Служебный роман) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Bus Passenger
  • 1975 The Irony of Fate (Ирония судьбы или с легким паром!) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Airplane Passenger
  • 1974 Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia (Невероятные приключения итальянцев в России) / Director / Screenwriter / Actor: Doctor
  • 1971 Grandads-Robbers (Старики-разбойники) – Director / Screenwriter / Actor: The Passer-by
  • 1968 Zigzag of Success (Зигзаг удачи) – Director / Screenwriter
  • 1966 Beware of the Car (Берегись автомобиля) – Director / Screenwriter
  • 1965 Give me a complaints book (Дайте жалобную книгу) – Director / Actor: Chief editor
  • 1962 Hussar Ballad (Гусарская баллада) – Director / Screenwriter
  • 1961 The Man from Nowhere (Человек ниоткуда) – Director
  • 1961 How Robinson Was Created (Как создавался Робинзон) – Director
  • 1957 The Girl Without Address (Девушка без адреса) – Director
  • 1956 Carnival Night (Карнавальная ночь) – Director
  • 1955 Spring Voices (Весенние голоса), documentary - second Director
  • 1954 Island of Sakhalin (Ostrov Sakhalin), documentary – Director
  • 1953 Near Krasnodar (Nedaleko ot Krasnodara), documentary – Director
  • 1953 Your Books (Tvoi Knizhki), documentary – Director (in co-operation with Z. Fomina)
  • 1952 On the World Chess 8Championship (Na Pervenstve mira po shakhmatam), documentary – Director
  • 1951 The Way Named October (Doroga imeni Oktyabrya), documentary – Director (in co-operation with L. Derbysheva)
  • 1950 They are Studying in Moscow (Oni Uchatsya v Moskve), documentary – author (in co-operation with Z. Fomina)


  1. ^ a b Умер Эльдар Рязанов (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Eldar Ryazanov Soviet comedy film giant dies". BBC News. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ Grimes, William (30 November 2015). "Eldar Ryazanov, Russian Film Director Known for His Satire, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Рязанов Александр Семенович" [Ryazanov Aleksandr Semyonovich]. Бессмертный барак (in Russian). Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "Эльдар Рязанов" [Eldar Ryazanov]. culture.ru (in Russian). Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Shannon Baxter (30 November 2015). "Eldar Ryazanov: Film director whose light touch helped his comedies avoid attention from the Soviet censors". The Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Украинцы могут остаться в новогоднюю ночь без Жени, Нади и Ипполита" [Ukrainians may remain without Zhenya, Nadya and Ippolit on New Year's Eve]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Улица Эльдара Рязанова появится в Москве" [Eldar Ryazanov Street will appear in Moscow]. Известия(Izvestiya) (in Russian). Retrieved June 24, 2021.
Additional sources
  • David MacFadyen, The Sad Comedy of Elʹdar Riazanov: An Introduction to Russia's Most Popular Filmmaker, McGill-Queen's Press: 2003, ISBN 0-7735-2636-6

External linksEdit