Military Review

Clown for all time. Yuri Vladimirovich Nikulin

“I will be happy if they then say about me: he was a kind man. This does not mean that I am always kind. But kindness comes first. ”
Yu.V. Nikulin

Yuri Vladimirovich was born in the Smolensk region in the city of Demidov 18 December 1921 of the year. His father, Vladimir Andreevich Nikulin, graduated from the three courses of the law faculty of Moscow University, after which he was in the ranks of the Red Army. Having passed the courses of political education for the preparation of teachers, he was sent to Smolensk region to fight against illiteracy. There he met his future wife Lidia Ivanovna, who worked as an artist of the local drama theater. Soon in Demidov, the young spouses organized their own mobile theater called “Trerevum” (Theater of Revolutionary Humor) and traveled around the surrounding villages and villages. And in 1925, Vladimir Andreevich received a letter from his Moscow friend Kholmogorov. The family of a friend who lived in a separate house was “compacted”, and in order to avoid random addiction to random people, he decided to register the Nikulins at home. This is how the young family received their own room in the capital of ten square meters. Despite the narrowness, the Kholmogorov neighbors treated the new arrivals cordially and helped them in everything. In the evenings, adults and children gathered together - the men talked and listened to the radio, the women embroidered, and the children played or read books. From time to time, two families staged amateur performances in which children played the main roles. Scenarios, as a rule, were written by Nikulin Sr. Returning to the capital, he decided not to recover at the law school. Vladimir Andreevich worked in various newspapers as a reporter, composed interludes and reprises for amateur performances, circus and pop. Of course, the income from this kind of activity was unstable, and at times he had to take up tutoring. Lidia Ivanovna, who once showed hope as a talented actress, decided not to try on the professional capital's stage, and devoted herself entirely to her family.

Yura grew up as an ordinary Moscow teenager - he played pranks, “rooted” for “Dynamo”, ran down from cinema lessons, and fought with children from neighboring yards. Nikulins were inveterate theater-goers, and their son was introduced to the theater from an early age. However, one of the most vivid childhood impressions of Nikulin, in his own words, was the first visit to the Moscow circus. He studied at the 346 school, which was located near the house. In the 1930s, Vladimir Nikulin, his own drama circle, conducted this school, putting on the local stage satirical reviews written by him. Leading roles in these performances were often played by his son. As a student, Yura was a solid middling in class. Teachers often complained about Nikulin's parents about the poor memory of a teenager. However, the information that the boy was interesting, he remembered well. For example, jokes. Their collection under the influence of his father, Yuri began in school years. Having started a separate notebook, he contributed there funny stories. Moreover, they did not record the entire story, but only key phrases or words. During his school years alone, Jura recorded over a thousand jokes. It is curious that some of them he later failed to decipher.

Yuri Vladimirovich graduated in June 1939, and on November 18 of the same year Nikulin, who was not yet eighteen years old, was drafted into the army. The young man was identified in the anti-aircraft division stationed near Sestroretsk and served in a communications platoon. With difficulty, Yuri Vladimirovich got used to the harsh everyday life of soldiers. A thin, long and awkward guy immediately became the object of ridicule of his colleagues. Fortunately, Nikulin quickly realized that it was impossible to take offense at the comrades' jokes and, together with everyone, laughed at himself. They did not give time to build up the recruit - already on November 30, 1939 the Soviet-Finnish war began, and the aim of the anti-aircraft gunners was to defend the air borders of the city of Leningrad from the expected Finnish attacks aviation. Things didn’t get to this, but combat duty during the winter was not an easy test for a physically and morally fragile young man. One of the instructions given in December 1939 to Private Nikulin nearly ended in tragedy for him. Not far from the village of Kuokkaly (now Repino), which was recaptured from the Finns, the command decided to organize an observation post. A few fighters in thirty degrees of frost went on the ice of the Gulf of Finland to extend a telephone connection there. Two kilometers left to Yuri Vladimirovich turned out to be an insurmountable distance. Skis got stuck in deep snow, and large reels with cable were too heavy for Nikulin. Having exhausted himself, he decided to rest and fell asleep right in the snow. Fortunately, border guards drove by in the snowmobile and took the unlucky fighter with them. The guy’s case was limited to a slight frostbite.

For the next year and a half, Yury Vladimirovich was not in trouble. In the spring of 1940, the war with Finland ended, and Nikulin’s life was, by his own admission, fun. In his spare time, like other soldiers, he read a lot, listened to the gramophone, and during the layoffs he visited Leningrad. In the city he had distant relatives, and Nikulin spent time with them at a party. In the same year, 1940, Yuri Vladimirovich contracted pleurisy and ended up in the hospital. After being discharged, he was left at the medical unit as an orderly, and for several months he was “blissful” by army standards. In the spring of 1941, when he remained about six months before the end of the service, Nikulin was declared fit for military service and returned to the unit, but he was lucky again - in May he was sent to a distant observation post located near the village of Repino. The sea, pine forests and a quiet life at a distance from the authorities seemed to Nikulin a resort. He was already collecting things home when the Great Patriotic War began.

22 June 1941, having learned about the invasion of the German troops, the Soviet anti-aircraft gunners rose to combat duty. And on the night of June 23, the first battle broke out against the German Junkers, who began to mine the Gulf of Finland. When the Soviet troops retreated to Leningrad, and a brutal blockade began, Yuri Vladimirovich had to fully sip the harps that had befallen the soldiers who defended the northern capital of Russia. Cold, hunger, constant bombing, continuous attacks of enemy aircraft on the surrounded city became more and more exhausting. First of all, the second course disappeared from the soldiers ration, and soon the daily ration was reduced to three hundred grams of bread and a spoonful of flour used to make balanda. By the spring of 1942, new misfortunes piled up — night blindness and scurvy. From lack of vitamins, most anti-aircraft gunners at dusk ceased to see, and then the few who still have normal vision, worked as their guides. Nikulin in the spring 1943 twice hit the hospital - first with pneumonia, and then with contusion. After recovery, he was transferred to the anti-aircraft division, stationed near Kolpino. Upon arrival, he was put in charge of the intelligence department, and subsequently rose to the rank of senior sergeant and assistant platoon commander.

The war for Yuri Vladimirovich ended in Latvia - his division, which took part in the destruction of the German grouping in the Baltic States, was victorious in the Latvian city of Jukste. After the end of hostilities, anti-aircraft gunners settled in East Prussia. To Nikulin’s enormous disappointment, he - who served almost six years - had to spend another year in the ranks of the Red Army. Home he returned only 18 May 1946.

The 25-year-old war veteran, awarded with the medals "For the Defense of Leningrad", "For Courage", "For Victory over Germany", had something to tell his friends and parents. However, it is known that Nikulin, like many front-line soldiers, tried with all his might to forget about the shed blood, about the death of his comrades and about how death, at least, three times miraculously passed him.

After returning to Moscow, Yury Vladimirovich attempted to enroll in GITIS, the Institute of Cinematography and the Drama School of Drama. Schepkina. In all places, he suffered a setback, and in the autumn of 1946 he made the last effort - he applied to the studio of the Chamber Theater, as well as to the studio of the clownade of the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. This time, the fortune turned out to be supportive of him - after sustaining the competition, Nikulin was admitted to both institutions at once. Having listened to the advice of his father, who said that circus artists have much more opportunities for independent creativity, Yury Vladimirovich made the fateful decision to become a clown. The classes of the students were held in the circus itself, and live communication took place between aspiring artists and performers. Nikulin among others got acquainted with the history of circus art, mastered the basics of juggling, acrobatics and acting. He went to the circus early in the morning, and returned home by midnight after the end of the next performance. After half a year, all the studio students began to engage in reprises - sometimes they replaced the sick artists, and sometimes they were given separate roles.

Some time later, Yuri Vladimirovich came to the attention of Mikhail Rumyantsev, the most popular clown at that time in the Soviet Union, speaking under the pseudonym Pencil. Mikhail Nikolayevich invited the seemingly awkward and lanky Nikulin to participate in his famous reprise "Lake". And although a novice artist from excitement almost broke the number, in the summer of 1947 the venerable clown suggested Yuri Vladimirovich as one of his assistants to take part in performances in the city of Odessa. He involved Nikulin in four clownery, demanding the exact execution of his instructions. It was very difficult, and often incomprehensible, but Pencil knew perfectly well what he was doing - his numbers were a resounding success.

In late October, Nikulin 1948, together with his friend Boris Romanov, appeared for the first time with an independent number in the circus arena. However, their clowning under the name “The hawker and the sitter” was not very successful, and they were no longer allowed into the Moscow circus arena. A month later, Yuri Vladimirovich and Boris Mikhailovich received graduation diplomas, and a few days later Pencil made them an offer to become his permanent assistants. Thinking, the comrades agreed and, having learned the repertoire of the famous clown, went with him on tour to Siberia. Work at Rumyantsev was for Nikulin a harsh and very instructive school of circus skills. Pencil traveled around the country a lot and was accepted everywhere with enthusiasm. It was a matter of honor to sell out for him; if there were a few tickets left at the ticket office before the presentation, he bought them himself. The demanding and tough clown showed himself to be an absolute dictator, forcing helpers to adapt himself to everything under him. To object to him was completely useless. Apparently, the students were not completely satisfied with Mikhail Nikolayevich, since in the spring of 1949 he organized a creative competition, the winners of which, according to Karandash, were supposed to replace Romanov and Nikulin. Leonid Kukso and Mikhail Shuydin were among the clowns selected by Rumyantsev. Nikulin and Romanov were already preparing to make room for the new students of the Pencil, but he, having noticed with an experienced eye, how well complement each other in the arena of Shuydin and Nikulin, decided to leave them. Fortunately, such a "castling" did not quarrel with any of the novice artists.

Nikulin and Shuydin worked together with the Pencil for only one year. Both were far from young people and both had a strong desire to start an independent career. In addition, discontent accumulated often unpredictable actions of the Pencil. After Rumyantsev’s refusal to translate Mikhail Shuydin into full-fledged artists, thereby raising his salary, the partners parted with Mikhail Nikolayevich. By the way, at the same time (in 1949 year) Nikulin met his future wife Tatyana Pokrovskaya. It happened as follows. Ever since 1947, the Pencil has shown the Stage on a Horse invented by him. In it, Rumyantsev's assistants occupied seats in the auditorium and played the role of "replanting". Pencil during the presentation caused them to the scene and began to learn to ride a horse. Young actors, pretending that for the first time sitting on a horse, simulated a lot of funny situations. One day, Pencil heard about a funny dwarf foal in Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. Together with him, Nikulin went to look at the horse. Two students took care of the horse, one of whom was Tatyana Nikolaevna. During the acquaintance, a young clown invited a girl who attracted him to a circus performance. The fate was so pleasing that in the course of this speech Yuri Vladimirovich landed a horse under his hoofs. Unconscious, he was sent to the hospital, and, of course, an excited girl rushed there. Everything worked out, and in May 1950 Yuri and Tatiana got married.

In the autumn of 1950, Shuydin and Nikulin joined a youth clown group created at the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. Nobody dealt in earnest with them, and mostly young artists played along with the clown Konstantin Aleksandrovich Berman, a clown known in those years (in the intervals between numbers). At the same time, Nikulin and Shuidin began to prepare their first clownery of their own called “Little Pierre”. Until 1956, when Nikulin's son Maxim was born, Tatyana Nikolayevna played the role of Pierre's boy in it.

It should be noted that to compose a funny clowning is very, very difficult. Between the idea and its implementation lies a huge abyss. The reprises lasting just a few minutes are prepared by clowns for months and even years. To predict the reaction of the audience is also extremely difficult, almost impossible. Sometimes the most “lethal” tricks do not touch the public, and the technical overlay or random phrase causes homeric laughter. After the premiere, the clowns brought the reprise to mind for a long time, honing every step, every little thing. Then a moment comes when it is no longer necessary to improve, it is only necessary to take into account the peculiarities of local spectators - in different cities and countries the same joke “sounds” differently.

With 1951, young clowns Yuri and Mikhail began a “wandering” life. They traveled to the big and small cities of the Soviet Union and performed with their number, both in good stationary circuses and in deployed vacant lots and in city parks of a tent. Often, partners came out with the illusion attraction of Emil Kio, as well as the Bear Circus by Valentin Filatov. They lived, as a rule, in private apartments and constantly experienced a shortage of funds. Clowns performed a lot, and there was practically no opportunity to rehearse, let alone prepare new numbers.

The turning point for Yuri Vladimirovich was 1958 year. It was by that time that Nikulin and Shuydin, united by the insight of the Pencil, had developed their own full-fledged repertoire, allowing them to become clown-like clowns, promising a significant increase in wages. And in April of this year, they received an offer to go on a fifty-day tour to Sweden. The main numbers of "young" artists at that time were reprise - "Bow" and "Pump". In the first of these, clowns shot each other with ribbons, since no other way to attach them to their necks worked. In the second scene, a small “Misha” with a seething and adventurous character tried to pump up a long, clumsy, melancholic and ever-doubtful “Yurik”, but he was constantly “blown away”. In Sweden, the clowns received quite warmly, and the fall of 1958 Nikulin and Shuydin held in Leningrad, presenting a new reprise to domestic viewers called “Horses”, which later became the hallmark of the clown duet. The tour in the northern capital unexpectedly came out extremely successful, and the artists turned out to be among the best clowns in the country.
Simultaneously with the transition to the new "weight category", Yury Vladimirovich made a successful debut in the cinema. The crew of the film Girl with a Guitar for a long time could not find an actor for the episodic role of amateur pyrotechnics. In the end, on the advice of one of the screenwriters decided to try clown Nikulin. Despite the strongest excitement, Yuri Vladimirovich played this small role so brilliantly that the filmmakers came up with two more scenes for him. For technical reasons, only one was removed, but these episodes in the film were the most ridiculous. After the film was released, Nikulin began to find out on the streets.

Clown for all time. Yuri Vladimirovich Nikulin

But all this was just the beginning. Soon the artist was called to star in a film about working youth called “Life Begins”. Nikulin didn’t like the role of rogue Klyachkin offered to him, but the film’s director convinced the artist by expressing his willingness to adapt to it during the shooting - the clown could come to Moscow only on Saturdays. Yury Vladimirovich played so convincingly that, unexpectedly for the director, the tape turned from a serious and moralizing film into a light comedy, which was then renamed “The Unsurprising.” Speaking about the appearance of Nikulin in the cinema, it is worth noting that the film actor's play and the art of clownery are inherently opposite. Clowns give presentations to a huge audience and so that viewers can see what is happening, they deliberately exaggerate their actions. Props of them, as a rule, have large sizes, the makeup also highlights individual features. The movie camera, giving a close-up of the actor, mercilessly turns any exaggeration into false. Moreover, the transfer of purely theatrical receptions to a cinema screen (characteristic of the cinema 1930-1950-s) introduces into the actor's play the mannerism and unnaturalness. In this regard, Nikulin's success in the movies is amazing. Clowns were shot in films long before Yuri Vladimirovich, but only he managed to show himself to be an outstanding dramatic actor.

At the end of 1958, Nikulin received a proposal from a young Eldar Ryazanov to play the role of a snowman in the comedy “On the Other Side of the Rainbow”. However, some time later, the role was given to the venerable Igor Ilyinsky, and then the shooting was completely stopped. Nevertheless, the circus artist managed to make friends with Igor Vladimirovich. Soon, an outstanding drama and comedian made Nikulin an unexpected offer - go to work in the Maly Theater. This proposal has stirred up an old dream in Yury Vladimirovich’s soul. However, the clown refused, saying: “If it happened ten years ago, I would go with pleasure. And to start a new life, when you are under forty, it hardly makes sense. ”

"Kinoshnoe" proposal, which played a major role in the life of Nikulin, arrived in 1960 year. Directed by Leonid Gaidai in the short comedy Dog Barbos and the Unusual Cross gave him the role of Balbes. The ten-minute pantomime improvised on the move was a smashing success in the USSR, and Georgy Vitsin, Yuri Nikulin and Yevgeny Morgunov became known to every resident of the country. This immediately affected the circus fees - the audience poured "Nikulin". Behind the short film “Unusual Cross” was followed by the tape “Bootleggers” and, finally, built on tricks “Operation“ Y ”. By the way, the long-term joint work of Nikulin, Vitsin and Morgunov in the cinema has given the audience a false impression that they are inseparable in private life. In fact, the actors were very different people, and they had practically no topics for communication. In addition, the audience identified their favorite movie characters with their characters. And if Yevgeny Morgunov liked this, in general, for the subtle, dramatic actors Vitsin and Demyanenko, this became a kind of curse in some way - the first of them was perceived only as a comedy actor, and the second was forever branded by Shurik's “title”.

Together with the filming of the movie, Nikulin continued to give all his powers to the circus, continuing to perform in a pair with Shuidin. Their repertoire was very diverse. Following the traditions laid by the clowns of past generations, the duo showed the numbers “consonant” in terms of the content they preceded. For example, the “Hypnosis” reprise usually followed the illusionists, and the “Horses” followed the equestrian numbers. Mikhail Ivanovich was a master of all trades and took upon himself the technical side of preparing speeches. For some time equality prevailed in their duet, but after Nikulin made his debut in the cinema, the attention of the public and the authorities concentrated on him. This led to very unpleasant consequences - Yuri Vladimirovich received honorary titles and appreciation of the audience, and Mikhail Ivanovich began to be perceived only as a person playing to him. Nikulin tried his best to smooth out the awkwardness of this kind - he punched a partner for rewards, an apartment, material wealth, constantly spoke about the important role of Mikhail Ivanovich in his fate, but unfortunately, Yury Vladimirovich was hardly listening.

Working in the circus scene required many hours of daily rehearsals, and with age Nikulin found it harder and harder to maintain his physical fitness. His other problem was a catastrophic lack of time. If the first episodic roles in the cinema did not require “separation from production,” subsequent large ones, including the title ones, were obliged to take creative vacations for quite a long time. This not only disrupted the plans of the circus management, but also left his partner without work. It is also important to note that, despite the box office films with the participation of Yuri Vladimirovich, which are unthinkable by today's standards, the Nikulin family lived in two rooms in a communal apartment, sharing it with the family of his wife’s relatives. The clown himself, knowing full well the cramped majority of circus performers, did not even think about expanding the living space. This, due to chance, happened only in 1971. One prominent party official, being an ardent admirer of Nikulin, found out about his housing problems and “organized” a separate apartment for the clown.

In 1961, director Lev Kulidzhanov proposed to Yuri Vladimirovich to play the main role of Kuzma Iordanov in the film "When the Trees were Big." In fact, this was the first appearance of professional clown Nikulin in a serious dramatic role. Then followed the role of Lieutenant Glazychev in Tumanov’s “To Me, Mukhtar!” Film. Interestingly, the guide dogs service was the first uniquely positive hero in the fate of film actor Yuri Vladimirovich. It is known that it is extremely difficult to play good people - in such cases it is easier not to play, but to actually be like that. It is not easy, and when your main partner is a dog that perfectly feels any falsehood. Dog Dyke for a very long time did not let anyone from the crew. Gradually, step by step, the trainer taught the dog to "Yura". In the end, everything worked out - on the screen Nikulin and his four-legged partner look natural. And only a few know what kind of colorful epithets this strange at first sight praise is worth.

Nikulin's attitude toward Soviet power was ambiguous - on the one hand, he was a member of the party and enjoyed the confidence of his superiors; on the other hand, the famous artist, knowing everything, understanding everything, preferred to keep his mouth shut. To this he was taught a tough reality. At the beginning of the circus career, Yuri Vladimirovich understood that every word, every offense of actors immediately became known to the director. Therefore, with the heads of all sorts, he preferred not to quarrel. Partly thanks to this, Nikulin, together with Mikhail Shuidin, was included in the category of "visiting" and regularly went abroad. Often, the Soviet leadership used foreign circus tours for political purposes, in which artists acted as ambassadors for peace. In particular, in 1960, the triumphant performances of circus performers Nikulin, Shuydin and Karandash in Brazil became the prologue to the establishment of diplomatic relations with this country. A similar role was played by Nikulin’s tours in England in 1961. The co-production film “The Little Fugitive,” where Yury Vladimirovich, playing himself in the picture, helped the Japanese boy Ken to visit Moscow, became a sign of the normalization of political relations with Japan.

In 1966 and 1968, Leonid Gaidai withdrew his, without exaggeration, the best comedies - “The Caucasian Captive” and “The Diamond Arm”, which turned out to be, in fact, a benefit performance by Nikulin. To get the coveted ticket to the cinema, the audience spent hours in queues, and many went to these pictures several times. The star cast was involved in the films, but the only ones who showed up in both films were the wife of the director Nina Grebeshkova and Nikulin. By the way, Yury Vladimirovich initially did not like the scenario of the “Caucasian Captive”. Considering it to be “speculation on a troika,” the artist did not agree to act until Gaidai did not allow the actors to make changes to the script. Leonid Iovich even established a prize - a bottle of champagne - to anyone who offers an original idea. As a result, he had to give out a lot of this alcoholic drink - for example, only Nikulin won twenty-four bottles already.

It should be noted that the production necessity, as well as the intractability of the leadership of the State Circus did not allow Yuri Vladimirovich to play in many interesting films. In particular, Sergei Bondarchuk very much wanted to see Nikulin in his paintings, and Eldar Ryazanov, together with Emil Braginsky, wrote the screenplay for the film “Beware of the Car” especially for the clown. Subsequently, the role of Yuri Detochkin was given to Innocent Smoktunovsky brilliantly by her, by the way, performed. Only on the third attempt, Eldar Alexandrovich “acquired” Nikulin, but the comedy “Old Men-Robbers” did not enjoy particular success.

In 1970 Nikulin was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR. Vasiliev brothers, and three years later he received the title of People's Artist of the Soviet Union. At the end of 1971, the famous clown celebrated its first anniversary. At the arena, Yuri Vladimirovich spoke up to sixty years. Over the years, it became increasingly difficult for him to perform reprises and stunts as he began to make fun of his health. Doctors discovered he had a whole bunch of various diseases, but the actor did not like to be treated and turned to doctors only in the most extreme cases. In recent years, clown speeches, hiding sickness, preferred to use unexpected improvisations, which occupied the public and allowed him not to use tricks. In 1982 Nikulin finished his performances at the arena. He said about this: “I believe that the clown must leave early. When an elderly person is fooling around in the arena, you feel only pity for him. I left at sixty. It was very sad. It was my last performance, and I felt like I was going to cry. The artists in their arms carried me around the arena, and it occurred to me: "So many people, is there enough vodka for everyone?" Distracted and did not cry ... ".

In the seventies and eighties, Yuri Vladimirovich rarely starred in films, most often playing small roles that did not require much time and effort. However, there were exceptions. Nikulin was invited to the shooting of the film “They Fought for the Motherland” by Sergey Bondarchuk. Not the main role of Nekrasov was for the actor is very responsible, because he first turned to the topic of war, in which he had the opportunity to participate in his youth. No sooner had this work been completed, than Alexey German, who offered him the main role in the film “Twenty Days Without War”, contacted Yuri Vladimirovich. The director, who sought to complete authenticity, sought her very harsh measures. For example, during the filming in the winter, he ordered the windows to be removed in the train so that the actors froze in the carriages just as their heroes froze during the war years. Many artists were indignant, however, having looked at the footage, they were convinced that they suffered not in vain. Alexey Yuryevich himself subsequently spoke in the most enthusiastic tones both about Nikulin's actor's play, and about his human qualities. The director said: “There was some special, soldierly dignity in it. We already at the first tests understood that it was necessary to pick up a crew. And it was very difficult. Wonderful, wonderful masters tried themselves, but alongside Yuri Vladimirovich, they seemed to be false - a different measure of conventionality. It is well known that some artists do not like to play with children or animals - it is very difficult to become as natural. Next to Nikulin was just as difficult. He did not know how, but could do any partner, because he did not play anything. Spin next to him, master, twirl, make any eyes - you will still seem unreal. And he is real, and the whole trick. ”

In 1982, Nikulin took the position of chief director, and a year later - the director of the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. Yuri Vladimirovich, who had never been involved in administrative matters, immediately had to solve many problems, the main of which was the need for a complete renovation of the circus building. The country at that time was in crisis, but the authority of the artist was so great that the officials did not manage to turn the reconstruction into another long-term construction. In mid-August, 1985 hosted the last show, after which the old building was broken. Two years later, in October 1987, the foundation stone was laid in the foundation, and in the fall of 1989, the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard opened its doors.

During the period of perestroika, with its lack of the most necessary, when most cultural institutions thought only about how to survive, Yury Vladimirovich turned out to be simply irreplaceable for his circus. Politicians of the highest ranks "were friends with him," and Nikulin could openly say something to them that others in his post would have kept silent. In addition, in the eighties and nineties, the artist constantly petitioned for acquaintances, unfamiliar and completely unfamiliar people, knocking out apartments, medicines and various necessary things. At the end of his life, all this took away quite a lot of his time and energy.
The news of Nikulin's serious illness in the summer of 1997 caused increased public attention. The press published medical bulletins about his state of health, although Yuri Vladimirovich was not the head of the government, only an old actor. His death 21 August 1997 saddened many. Nikulin's authority in our country is still huge. Films with his participation continue to be popular, and at the grave of Yuri Vladimirovich at Vagankovsky cemetery at any time of the year you can see fresh flowers.

According to the materials of the weekly edition “Our history. 100 Great Names "and the books of Yu.V. Nikulin "Almost seriously ..."
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  1. semirek
    semirek April 14 2015 06: 46
    Yuri Nikulin is the idol of my childhood and youth, and even now, watching old comedies with the participation of Y. Nikulin, it’s as if you get into those old, good, and distant 60 years.
    The greatest artist, a Russian soldier - will remain in our memory, his eternal memory!
    1. Alena Frolovna
      Alena Frolovna April 14 2015 13: 49
      “I will be happy if they say about me later: he was a good man.
      This does not mean that I am always kind. But kindness comes first. ”
      Yu.V. Nikulin

      In memory of Yuri Nikulin

      The cannonade will not remain silent all day.
      Germans are torn again in Leningrad.
      No, the blockade isn’t over yet,
      And the anti-aircraft guns speak with the enemy.

      "Junkers" again under the clouds-
      And the shell is heavy - again in the barrel ...
      A soldier with funny eyes
      The Nazis are seriously angry.

      Smoke a cigarette today
      Don't give the damned all day.
      Do you need a lot? - Well, at least a minute,
      To smoke Berkelen tobacco *

      So many days near Leningrad
      Terrible battles do not subside.
      Friends fall beside you
      In the blackened snow, on the chest of the earth.

      In the city, trouble is at every door,
      The groan of people and crying from all sides.
      It seems: overcoats have grown in the trench.
      The home became the home division.

      Wounded and shell-shocked in the last battle,
      But the merry disposition is indomitable ...
      Later there will be fame, the name in the credits,
      The directors will be next to him ..

      Finally, it was quiet. And Nikulin,
      Raising the overcoat of the collar,
      Hurried when friends fell asleep
      Write in your soldier’s diary

      That the fights are heavy in Popovka,
      Red Boron, smoky, burns.
      That soldiers defend steadfastly
      City of Peter, which is on the Neva.

      What misses father and mother
      About my friends, comrades,
      That he won’t flinch with a battle with enemies,
      If melee is coming.

      That smokers were given a present -
      Ten grams of wonder tobacco.
      Only the battle today is very hot
      And a hand grew to the rifle.

      Put the diary back Yuri
      In an uncomplicated duffel bag ..
      The warriors fell asleep long ago
      And you would lie down for an hour.

      The soldier is sleeping .. And let him dream
      Leningrad - not in the storm and fire -
      With the squares where the birds walk,
      With a ship on a river wave ...

      Well, we will tell you "thank you"
      For the beloved city of Leningrad.
      You still don't know how important you are
      For his country, a simple soldier.
      Lyubov Fedunova, 2014

      Berkelen - a mixture of birch and maple leaves (author's note)

      Yuri Nikulin fought under the Red Bor in 72 separate anti-aircraft battalion
      1. testerman
        testerman April 15 2015 11: 33
        Thank you very much
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. siberalt
      siberalt April 14 2015 14: 10
      What distinguished Nikulin from other recognized ones, he never strove for stargazer. Amazing Humility Man. Now there are none.
  2. wasps
    wasps April 14 2015 06: 56
    Do you take part in amateur performances? I'm participating ... Why did I say that I'm participating, I'm not participating ...!? movie "The Diamond Hand" (C) ... A wonderful actor, a good person.
  3. Anatole Klim
    Anatole Klim April 14 2015 07: 07
    I looked at Yuri Nikulin with completely different eyes after the movie "They Fought for the Motherland." He did not play there, he lived in this film, as well as other great actors.
    1. Azim77
      Azim77 April 14 2015 19: 27
      He knew all the bitterness and tragedy of the war. But he also knew the pride of that Great Victory. Therefore, in a fatherly way, he told us these words - his wish, testament to our generation.

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  4. Fotoceva62
    Fotoceva62 April 14 2015 08: 15
    Bring joy to people, make them laugh and make you think. He was not "... ashamed to be Russian ..." as some clicks now, he was a real Russian man.
    One can only hope that the same talents will appear and take place among the current ones.
  5. Aleksiy
    Aleksiy April 14 2015 08: 17
    What a bright person he was! I really respect Yuri Vladimirovich. To everyone who is interested in the path of our talented compatriot, I recommend the book by Y. Nikulin - "Almost Seriously", this is the author's story about life, work, thought. This book is in mp3 format, you can download it from torrens - listen, you won't regret it.
  6. HAM
    HAM April 14 2015 08: 32
    Yuri Vladimirovich is a very kind MAN !!!!
  7. yurikh
    yurikh April 14 2015 09: 05
    Great man as we miss him.
  8. Xentix
    Xentix April 14 2015 09: 15
    I like to paint old b / w photo) There is with Nikulin!
    1. revnagan
      revnagan April 14 2015 11: 25
      Is "The Diamond Arm" a black and white film?
  9. Yuri from Volgograd
    Yuri from Volgograd April 14 2015 10: 14
    It's nice that there are such people)
    They say that while a person is remembered, he is alive. Nikulin will live sooo long!
  10. PValery53
    PValery53 April 14 2015 11: 29
    G. Vitsin: "Life is good!"
    Yu. Nikulin: "- A good life is even better!"
    1. Alan
      Alan April 14 2015 11: 50
      A good rule of life; By the way, I have a collection of jokes donated by him with his autograph. bully
    2. kashtak
      kashtak April 23 2015 15: 57
      Quote: PValery53
      G. Vitsin: "Life is good!"
      Yu. Nikulin: "- A good life is even better!"

      Morgunov, for sure!
  11. constantin.kiselev2014
    constantin.kiselev2014 April 14 2015 11: 36
    Y. Nikulin is PERSON.
  12. SSV
    SSV April 14 2015 11: 50
    Reading an article I felt warm :)
  13. Support
    Support April 14 2015 11: 53
    He is the Age! Bright, pure Age!
  14. Rigla
    Rigla April 14 2015 12: 41
    + and the point, what else to add ...
  15. sarmat-4791
    sarmat-4791 April 14 2015 12: 50
    mostly he was known from comedy films, but there were others - "They fought for the Motherland", "Andrei Rublev", "To me, Mukhtar", "When the trees were big"
  16. northern
    northern April 14 2015 18: 00
    A war hero, an incredible talent and a vast soul.
    By God's grace a sad clown.
    1. kashtak
      kashtak April 23 2015 16: 00
      a serious clown with whom the whole country laughed merrily.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  17. SlavaP
    SlavaP April 14 2015 20: 54
    Many thanks to the author.
  18. Russia
    Russia April 14 2015 22: 43
    Love of the people and bright memory!
    It is a pity that there are practically NO PEOPLE like Yuri Nikulin in the culture and cinema!
    Some creaks ... ugh!
  19. koralvit
    koralvit April 14 2015 22: 57
    Eternal memory and gratitude of descendants to Yuri Vladimirovich.
  20. dvg1959
    dvg1959 22 March 2016 20: 46
    Our beloved clown Yuri Nikulin is greatly respected when you read about him, how many difficulties and all kinds of trials he had to endure at the front during the Great Patriotic War.