Tatyana Okunevskaya

Active - 1934 - 1996  |   Born - Mar 3, 1914   |   Died - May 15, 2002   |   Genres - Drama, Spy Film, War, Horror, Thriller

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A legendary beauty who would become known as one of the last Soviet divas, Tatyana Okunevskaya's talent as an actress would unfortunately become forever overshadowed by her link to the most harrowing years of the Stalin regime. Born into the family of a czarist White Army officer who continued to reside in Russia following the war, Okunevskaya entered into a career as an actress after being spotted on the street by a film director. Though the arrest of her family during the Stalinist purges of 1937 put a momentary hold on her career when she moved to Gorky, Okunevskaya returned to Moscow and the silver screen upon the outbreak of war in 1941. Roles in such major Soviet films as Night Over Belgrade (1942) and It Happened on the Donbass (1945) found much success for the comely actress, though an alleged comment regarding the trustworthiness of Communists found Okunevskaya facing a ten-year prison sentence in 1949. Released in 1954 after receiving amnesty following Stalin's death, the screen beauty's career would never again reach the same heights as before her imprisonment. Performing with her surviving contemporaries in numerous benefit concerts in addition to writing a series of detailed memoirs, Okunevskaya died of natural causes in Moscow in May 2002. She was 88.

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