Leonid Bykov was born on December 12 of 1928 in the village of Znamenka, Slavyansk district, Donetsk region, in a family of simple workers. In 1938, the family moved to the city of Kramatorsk, Bykov's parents got a job here at a metallurgical plant. In Kramatorsk passed the conscious childhood of the future actor, here he graduated from high school number XXUMX. Here, for the first time, he will appear on the stage of a local recreation center named after Lenin, which many years later will be named after Bykov himself. It was here that his creative makings first manifested themselves. Already in the lower grades, Bykov played in improvised performances that were staged for other children, neighbors and relatives. Then his school friends were involved in these productions, and he wrote scripts for some of them on his own.
During the Great Patriotic War, he and his family were evacuated to Barnaul from 1941 to 1943. Here is a young man who since childhood, like many other Soviet children, dreamed of aviation, decided to enter the flight school. The first time, back in 1943, he tried to enter a flight school in Oirot-Tour (today Gorno-Altaisk), where the 2nd Leningrad Military Pilot School was evacuated. Naturally, the 15-year-old youth, who attributed himself to three years, was not taken to flight school. In addition to age, the reason was in the low growth of Bykov. The second time he entered the 2nd special school for pilots already in Leningrad in 1945. Here he managed to study for about a month, but after the war ended, the school was disbanded, the dream of becoming a military pilot was not destined to come true. Although later Bykov still implement it, but already on the TV screen.
After the dream of heaven was not realized, Bykov recalled his youth and his visit to the theater group at the Palace of Culture in Kramatorsk. In the 1947 year, Bykov tried to enroll in the Kiev State Institute of Theatrical Art, but this attempt ended in failure, but he managed to become a student of the Kharkov Theater Institute, whose acting faculty Leonid Bykov successfully graduated in 1951 year. After that, for nine years he was an actor at the Kharkiv Academic Ukrainian Theater named after T. G. Shevchenko, where he drew the attention of film directors with his bright roles, including the role of dudes in the comedy “Three Nightingales Street, 17”. At the same time, he also had dramatic roles, for example, here in Kharkov he played Pavku Korchagin in the production of How Steel Was Hardened.
Bykov played his first film role in 1952, starring in the film “Marina's Fate”. His next film work was the famous comedy “The Tiger Tamer”, which appeared on Soviet screens in 1954 year. In this film, Leonid Bykov played one of the main roles - the foreman of the river tug Peter Mokina. Already in 1955, Bykov starred in the lead role in another famous Soviet comedy "Max Perepelits". These works made Leonid Bykov a famous artist in the country. He then starred in the film about the war "Volunteers" (1958 year), where he played Alyosha Akinshin and the melodrama "Aleshkina love" (1960 year), he only strengthened as one of the most famous actors in the country, who was loved by many viewers. In the film “Aleshkina Lyubov” he very successfully embodied on the screen an image of a naive geologist in love.
In 1959, the actor leaves Kharkiv and moves to Leningrad, where he will spend ten years of his life from 1959 to 1969 a year, being an actor and director of the Lenfilm film studio. In 1963, he auditioned for the role of Detochkin in the classic Soviet comedy “Beware of the car”, but was not approved for the role. In the same year, he made his debut as a director, shooting the first full-length comedy "Bunny", which was released in 1964 year. The film was not the most successful and was attacked by critics. Although even in this light and entertaining in spirit, the picture clearly enough traced the important questions about the decency and moral side of human life.
At the same time in the life of Leonid Bykov himself, as it is said in actor's circles, something simple happened. He did not take pictures and almost did not act himself. Different roles, of course, were offered to him, but in his opinion these were completely continuous works, for which he did not want to undertake and spend his time and energy on them. In one of the letters to a friend, the actor wrote that he hadn’t been removed for a year and managed to abandon the 9 scripts. In another letter, he wrote that in idle time already for three months, he refused 5 works. He noted that he seems to have lost himself and wants to return home. In the 1969 year, after succumbing to the entreaties of the directors of the Dovzhenko film studio, the actor moved to Kiev, but even here he did not receive the field he had been promised for activities, from which he again falls into a depression. Perhaps this simple in the profession and mental anguish were necessary for him and helped in further work, but they could not but affect the health of the actor who experienced several heart attacks.
For quite a long time, Leonid Bykov hatched the idea of his new feature film. He decided to start working on it at the end of the 60s of the last century - it was the film “Only“ old men ”go to battle”. True, after the script was ready, the matter again stalled. Cinematic authorities Goskino Ukraine appreciated historyproposed by Bykov, as too simple, "unheroic." The script was really deprived of the Soviet pathos inherent in many military films. But this time, Leonid Bykov decided to finish his plan, he was not going to give up. Perhaps his youthful dream to become a pilot also played a role in this, as well as a desire to pay tribute to all the pilots and technicians who fought against fascism during the Great Patriotic War. Bulls did everything possible to bring his story to the viewer.
In every city of the Soviet Union, at all meetings with viewers and fans, Bulls surely read to them excerpts from the screenplay for the film "Only Old Men" go into battle. After each such reading in public, real ovations sounded from the audience. As a result, Bykov managed to convince officials that his story is real and viewers want to see it on the silver screen. In 1972, the film was finally approved, and on May 22, the filming process began on May 1973. It is worth noting that Marshal of Aviation Alexander Pokryshkin, three times Hero of the Soviet Union, who had become acquainted with the script of the painting, ordered the film crew to select five planes to help the work on the picture. For the film, four sport aerobatic aircraft Yak-18P and Czechoslovak aerobatic Zlin Z-326 Acrobat, which remotely resembled the German Me-109 fighter, were singled out. For Bykov himself, the complete absence of Soviet aircraft of the Second World War period was a big surprise; the situation was similar with German cars. The only real rarity - flying Po-2 - was discovered in Poland. During the filming of the picture, the Yak-18P aircraft tried to make them look like La-5 fighters.
The picture was completely finished in December 1973. But despite the enthusiastic reaction of the front-line soldiers and personally of Pokryshkin himself, who attended the premiere, which took place in the State Committee for State of Ukraine, literally had to fight for the release of the movie. Many high-ranking military pilots and veterans, for example, Air Force Commander, Chief Marshal of Aviation Hero of the Soviet Union Pavel Kutakhov and twice Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant General Aviation Vitaly Popkov, stood up for the picture before the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The final decision on the release of the film in wide distribution was promoted by success at the VII All-Union Film Festival, in which the film by Leonid Bykov received the first two awards - for the best film and the male role, as well as a special prize from the USSR Ministry of Defense.
In 1974, the film “Only Old Men” go into battle, ”dedicated to fighter pilots who fought the enemy during the Great Patriotic War, was released in broad distribution. The picture gathered in cinemas 44,3 a million viewers, hitting the top ten highest-grossing 1974 films of the year - 4 place. Moreover, it was the only film in the top ten, which was devoted to the subject of the Great Patriotic War. This work of Bykov, in which he invested his soul, becoming both a director and a leading actor, and one of the authors of the script subsequently received many domestic and international awards at various film festivals.
Especially it can be noted that the script of the picture formed the basis of real events, and the film characters really had their own prototypes. For example, the prototype of the squadron commander Captain Titarenko, played by Leonid Fedorovich himself, was twice Hero of the Soviet Union Vitaly Popkov. During the war, he commanded a "singing" squadron that actually existed in the 5 Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment. Singing it was called because it had its own choir. Upon learning of the existence of this squadron, the Leonid Utesov Orchestra was presented with two aircraft built with the artist’s own money. Zoya Molchanova also had a prototype - the legendary Soviet pilot Nadezhda Popova. In his picture, Bykov and his childhood friend Shchevronka immortalized, who died a month before the end of the war in Czechoslovakia. His image on the screen was brought to life by the actor Sergey Podgorny as “Smuglyanka”.
It was in 1970's that Leonid Bykov was at the peak of his popularity. After the release of the country's “Old Men”, which glorified the actor throughout the USSR, another successful film “Aty-Baty, followed the soldiers”, which in 1976 also hit the top ten highest grossing tapes (7 place, 35,8 million viewers) . In this film, Bykov also directed and played one of the main roles. After the release of these two films on the wide screen, the actor was called on the streets as the names of his characters. Passers-by stopped him as a pilot Titarenko or simply called the Maestro. And in the second film of the hero Bykov, the corporal Viktor Svyatkin, all viewers knew him by the nickname “Swat”. It so happened that these two films were the last to appear on the screen during the life of Leonid Bykov. In 1978, Bykov took up the shooting of a sci-fi movie called “Alien”, which was based on the story “Alien-73” by Yevgeny Shatko, but Leonid Fedorovich did not have time to complete the painting.
Shortly before his death, Leonid Bykov wrote a letter of testament to his friends. In the letter he said that he feels that he will soon leave and will no longer hold out. He also himself srezessiroval their funerals, asking them to be modest, passed without officialdom and honors. “There are no orchestras, cinema houses and funeral speeches. Otherwise, I will get up and leave - it will be embarrassing, ”wrote a famous actor. His only wish was that at the funeral sang his favorite song "Darkie" from beginning to end.
Leonid Fedorovich Bykov died 11 on April 1979 of the year. He got into a car accident on the highway "Minsk - Kiev" near the village of Dymer. Returning on his “Volga” from a summer cottage located near Kiev, he tried to overtake the tractor moving ahead of him. When overtaking a car collided with the oncoming truck GAZ-53. The blow fell in the area of the right front door of the Volga, and the seat belt could not save the consequences of a collision in the oncoming lane of a famous actor. The investigation in this case was conducted very carefully, the young truck driver was found not guilty, Bykov himself was sober, but made an oversight that cost him his life, perhaps he was mistaken because of the accumulated fatigue.
Leonid Bykov was buried in Kiev at the Baikov cemetery. His achievements in creative activity were highly appreciated during his lifetime. In 1965, he received the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR, and in 1974, the People's Artist of the Ukrainian SSR. The name of the actor bears the boulevard in Kiev, as well as the streets in Kramatorsk, Kurgan and other cities. In Kramatorsk, which is considered the hometown of the artist, the Kramatorsk GDK is also named after him. In 1994, the International Astronomical Union assigned the name of Leonid Fedorovich Bykov to one of the discovered minor planets.
More information about the life and career of your favorite artist is available to everyone from the new film “No Harp - Take a Tambourine”, which will be shown on Channel One on Saturday, December 15 (10: 15 in Moscow), this documentary is timed to coincide with 90 the anniversary of the artist. Also, December 15 on the TV channel "Culture" will be shown one of Leonid Bykov's early acting works - the feature film "Aleshkina Lyubov" (1960 year), viewers can see this picture in 15: 35 in Moscow.
Based on materials from open sources