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Yelena Solovey

Date of Birth: February 24 1947

Yelena Solovey

Elena Yakovlevna Solovey is a Russian-American film and stage actress best known for her works with director Nikita Mikhalkov.

She was born on February 24, 1947, in Neushtrelitz, East Germany. Her parents met in Berlin at the end of the Second World War. Her father, Yakov Solovey, was an artillery officer in the Red Army. Her mother was a medical nurse. Young Elena Solovey lived in Germany until the age of 4, then moved to Novosibirsk, Siberian Russia, where her father continued his military career, then moved to Moscow.

Elena Solovey had a dream of becoming an actress. She was fond of art, music, films and theatre, and attended a school of music in addition to her high school. Eventually she became a music teacher at a Moscow school, after failing to enter the Soviet State Institute of Cinema (VGIK). However, she was persistent and determined in pursuit of her dream, and a year later, she was admitted to VGIK, studied at the acting class of Boris Babochkin, graduating in 1970 as an actress.

Elena Solovey made her film debut in short films during the 1960s, while a VGIK student. In 1969 she played her first serious role as Clarice in "Korol-olen" (1969) by director Pavel Arsyonov. In 1970 she was invited to the troupe of Maly Theatre in Moscow. There Solovey was cast as Nina in "The Seagull" by Chekhov, albeit she followed her heart and married a Leningrad artist, Yuri Pugach, and the couple settled in Leningrad. There Solovey worked at "Lenfilm" Studios.

During the 1970s Solovey played her best known roles, such as Olga Vosnesenskaya (alluding to Vera Kholodnaya), opposite Rodion Nahapetov in "Raba lyubvi" (1976), as Sofia opposite Aleksandr Kalyagin in "Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino" (1977), and as Olga opposite Oleg Tabakov in "Neskolko dney iz zhizni I.I. Oblomova" (1980), all films by director Nikita Mikhalkov.

From 1983 - 1991 Elena Solovey was member of the troupe at "Theatre of Lensoveta" in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. There she appeared in leading and supporting roles in Russian and international stage production. Her last work on stage in St. Petersburg was the acclaimed production of "Foto-finish" written and directed by Peter Ustinov. There director Peter Ustinov cast Elena Solovey as a co-star opposite Petr Shelokhonov as the male lead, supported by Anna Aleksakhina, Roman Gromadsky, and other notable Russian actors.

In the fall of 1991, Solovey emigrated from Russia, and settled in New Jersey with her husband, two children and a grand-daughter. She appeared in Russian films, worked for Russian radio in New York and played in several stage productions of "Bluzhdayushcie zvezdy" (aka. "Wandering stars") troupe at the Russian area of Brighton Beach. In 2007 she appeared in supporting role as Kalina in We Own the Night (2007), a criminal drama about the Russian mafia.

Elena Solovey was designated People's Actor of Russia. Since 1990s she has been teaching children of Russian emigrants at "Etude" acting school in New Jersey, USA.


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