Nonna Mordyukova

Noyabrina Viktorovna Mordyukova (Russian: Но́нна (Ноябри́на) Ви́кторовна Мордюко́ва; 25 November 1925 – 6 July 2008) was a Soviet and Russian actress and People's Artist of the USSR (1974). She was the star of films like director Denis Yevstigneyev's Mama and Nikita Mikhalkov's 1980s hit Family Relations.[1] The editorial board of the British Who's Who encyclopedia included Nona Mordyukova among the top 20 actresses of the 20th century.[2]

Nonna Mordyukova
Nonna Mordyukova 1948.JPG
Nonna Mordyukova as Ulyana Gromova in The Young Guard (1948)
Noyabrina Mordyukova

(1925-11-25)25 November 1925
Died6 July 2008(2008-07-06) (aged 82)
Years active1948–1999
Spouse(s)Vyacheslav Tikhonov (divorced)


Nonna (Noyabrina) Viktorovna was born into a large family in the Cossack village of Konstantinovka, Donetsk Region, Ukrainian SSR. Nonna spent her childhood in a settlement where her mother worked as chairwoman of kolkhoz (collective farm).

In 1946, Mordyukova entered the Actors’ Faculty of VGIK and studied there under Boris Bibikov and Olga Pyzhova. After graduating she played on stage of Theatre Studio of Film Actor and was often featured by film directors.

In 1948, Mordyukova was married to actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov and had a son (now deceased) by him.[3] The two were divorced in 1963.[3]


In 1949, she was awarded the Stalin Prize for the role of Ulyana Gromova in The Young Guard movie. It was her debut film role.

Her filmography reveals, however, that while she has had the chance to work with a constellation of the best Soviet directors, it has usually been for one project only. There is no high-profile director with whom she has a continuous working relationship.

After her work for Sergei Gerassimov on The Young Guard, she was cast in the last movie of veteran Vsevolod Pudovkin The Return of Vasili Bortnikov (1952).

Other one-time collaborations with well-known directors have been with Mikhail Shvejtser for Chuzhaya rodnya (1955); Lev Kulidzhanov for Otchij dom (1959); Leonid Gaidai for The Diamond Arm; Andrei Konchalovsky for the Turgenev adaptation Dvoryanskoye gnyezdo (1969); Grigori Chukhrai for Tryasina (1978); Eldar Ryazanov for Railway Station for Two, and Nikolai Gubenko for Zapretnaya zona (1988).

She appeared only once in a film by Nikita Mikhalkov, who structured his village comedy-drama Kinfolk (1981) entirely around the personality of the actress, who had by that time established herself as an epitome of the Russian peasant woman.

The role of Klavdia Vavilova, a robust and boisterous Red Army Commissar who has accidentally become pregnant in Aleksandr Askoldov's Commissar (1967) is Mordyukova's most memorable work. The film, shot in 1966, was shelved and was only released in 1988. By that time Mordyukova was over sixty and had starred in over twenty other films.

The wide critical acclaim and appreciation for what is probably her best performance came too late to have any definitive effect on her profile as an actor. She received FIPRESCI Award, Otto Dibelius Film Award, Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, and Silver Spur Award (Flanders International Film Festival) for The Commissar.

During perestroika, Mordyukova appeared in a number of supporting roles in a range of comedy-dramas. Similarly, she has been a highly visible presence throughout the 1990s, with supporting roles in some of the most-popular Russian features, such as Pavel Lungin's Luna Park (1992) and Vladimir Menshov's Shirli-Myrli (1995).

In 1999 she played the leading role in Мother (1999), directed by Denis Yevstigneyev; a family saga loosely based on a real story, mixing melodrama and comedy elements, and spanning over several decades.[4]

"Russian cinema goers and critics call Mordyukova one of the best actresses of the 20th century."[4]

In over fifty years of cinematic work she has played in dozens of films, where she acted mainly as ordinary Russian women.[4]

Nonna Mordyukava with Vladimir Putin during the Order of Merit for the Fatherland ceremony, 2000

In November 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a presidential decree awarding the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, third degree, to Mordyukova.[4]

The asteroid 4022 Nonna is named after Nonna Mordyukova.


Year English Title Original Title Role Notes
1948 The Young Guard Молодая гвардия Uliana Gromova
1953 The Return of Vasili Bortnikov Возвращение Василия Бортникова Nastya Ogorodnikova
1954 Kalinovaya roshcha
1955 Zvyozdy na krylyakh Fisherwoman Uncredited
1956 Other People's Relatives Чужая родня Stesha Ryashkina
1957 Ekaterina Voronina Екатерина Воронина Dusya Oshurkova
1958 Dobrovoltsy
1959 A Home for Tanya Отчий дом Stepanida
1959 Khmuroe utro Matryona
1960 Vsyo nachinayetsya s dorogi
1960 A Simple Story Простая история Sasha Potapova
1960 Tri rasskaza Chekhova (segment "Vanka")
1962 Pavlukha Natalya
1964 The Chairman Председатель Donya Trubnikova
1965 Balzaminov's Marriage Женитьба Бальзаминова Belotelova
1965 Thirty Three Тридцать три Galina Pristyazhnyuk
1966 War and Peace Война и мир Anisya Fyodorovna part 1, 2
1966 Dyadushkin son
1969 Zhuravushka Glafira
1969 The Diamond Arm Бриллиантовая рука Varvara Pliushch
1970 Shine, Shine, My Star Гори, гори, моя звезда Madame
1970 Sluchay s Polyninym
1970 The Ballad of Bering and His Friends Empress Anna Ioannovna
1971 Molodye
1972 Russian field Русское поле Fedosia Ugryumova
1973 Zajtra bude neskoro Kuzurka
1974 No Return Возврата нет Antonina Kashirina
1974 Dva dnya trevogi
1975 They Fought for Their Country Они сражались за Родину Natalya Stepanovna
1975 Semya Ivanovykh
1978 Incognito from St. Petersburg Инкогнито из Петербурга Anna Andreevna
1978 Quagmire Трясина Matryona Bystrova
1979 Veroy i pravdoy
1982 Family Relations Родня Maria Konovalova
1983 Station for Two Вокзал для двоих Uncle Misha
1986 Ot zarplaty do zarplaty
1987 The Commissar Комиссар Klavdiya Vavilova
1987 Ssuda na brak
1988 Zapretnaya zona
1991 Begushchaya mishen
1992 Luna Park Луна-парк Aunt
1995 What a mess! Ширли-мырли Registry Office Worker
1999 Mother Мама Mother (final film role)

Honours and awardsEdit

State awards
Public Awards
  • National Film Award "Nika" (2004) in the "honour and dignity"[10]
  • Premium business circles of Russia, "Idol" (1999) in the nomination "For high service to art"
  • Award "Kinotavr" (1996) in the "President's Council Award for creative careers"[11]
  • Award "Golden Aries" (1995) in the "Man of cinematic year"
  • Recognised as one of the 10 most prominent actresses of the 20th century (1992) - according to the Editorial Board of the British reference book Who's Who


  1. ^ Yulia Savelyeva's Naked City. Yulia Savelyeva. The Moscow Times. No. 1812. October 9, 1999.
  2. ^ Nonna Mordyukova among "Who Is Who"'s top 20 actresses,; 25 November 2010.
  3. ^ a b NONNA MORDYUKOVA; Star of 'The Commissar', cause celèbre of glasnost cinema. John Riley. The Independent (London). OBITUARIES; Pg. 44. 12 July 2008
  4. ^ a b c d Vladimir Putin Awards Famed Russian Actress Nonna Mordyukova Order for Service To Fatherland. RIA Novosti November 25, 2000.
  5. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации В. Путина от 25 ноября 2005 года № 1368 «О награждении орденом "За заслуги перед Отечеством" II степени Мордюковой Н. В.». //
  6. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации В. Путина от 23 ноября 2000 года № 1924 «О награждении орденом "За заслуги перед Отечеством" III степени Мордюковой Н. В.». //
  7. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации Б. Ельцина от 27 ноября 1995 года № 1185 «О награждении государственными наградами Российской Федерации». Archived 2014-12-19 at the Wayback Machine //
  8. ^ Нонна Мордюкова. Биографическая справка
  9. ^ "Имена. Нонна Мордюкова. Сайт "Энциклопедия отечественного кино"". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  10. ^ Королева Нонна. Героиней главного киновечера года была Мордюкова
  11. ^ Открытый российский кинофестиваль «Кинотавр». Призёры 1991—2005 годов. Archived 2012-09-18 at WebCite //

External linksEdit