The popular blogger and tireless researcher of Soviet realities, Maxim Mirovich, devoted another post to the tragic fate of the child actors of Soviet films:
“Once I already wrote a long post about the tragic fate of all well-known adult Soviet actors (those who have not read it yet - be sure to read it), but now it's time to write such a post about the children.
Do you know what these child and adult tragedies have in common? All these sad stories have one thing in common - these artists in the cinema often portrayed a happy Soviet life, which in reality turned out to be not so happy - many adult artists (despite the fact that they were idols of millions) were never able to earn a decent old age and died in complete poverty, and many child actors could not find themselves in the Soviet and post-Soviet system.
Probably already a textbook example of a person with a tragic fate has become Sergey Shevkunenko - who played the role of the "correct pioneer" Misha Polyakov in the Soviet serial films "Dagger" and "Bronze Bird". Having played in these films, 14-year-old Shevkunenko, as they say now, woke up famous; the road to the cinema, thanks to its spectacular appearance and already available roles, was open - but something happened to Sergey.
Having contacted the courtyard company, Shevkunenko becomes a real hooligan, several times ends up in prison, from where he finally leaves only in the nineties - becoming a real authority of the criminal world in the status of a "lord". The group of Sergey Shevkunenko was engaged in racketeering, car thefts, real estate fraud and drug trafficking - by the way, those same former Soviet pioneers from the country "with the best childhood in the world" were engaged in all this. 35-year-old Sergey Shevkunenko died at the hands of a hired killer - he shot Sergey and his mother in their own apartment.
Studying the biography of Shevkunenko, I could not get rid of one thought - if then, at the very beginning, the system had not dealt with Sergey so cruelly (by throwing him in prison for, in general, fairly light violations of the law), then this fate would not have been broken. And so - the Soviet prison system was not designed for any "correction" - most of those who got there later became repeat offenders and rarely returned to normal life.
By the way, another person starred in the films "Dagger" and "Bronze Bird", whose fate can also be called tragic. Igor Shulzhenko in these tapes played the role of Slava Eldarov - Misha Polyakov's friend from an intelligent family. The audience remembered Igor's hero for his piercing gaze and prudence - and Igor played his role quite well, by the way.
But then it did not work out - because of the lengthy filming of films in different cities, Igor blabbed about his studies, and then he was not accepted into the Komsomol - which in the USSR was synonymous with "put an end to future life." The door to the cinema turned out to be closed for Igor - just like Shevkunenko with his first conviction, no one wanted to film the "wrong" person anymore. Igor dropped out of two institutes and then worked as a tiler.
In the last years of his life, Igor Shulzhenko drank heavily and died from the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption at only 51 years old, in 2009.
This artist was remembered by the Soviet audience for one role in the comedy "Welcome, or No Unauthorized Entry". By the way, the film became very bold for its time (the so-called "Khrushchyov Thaw") - since there the authorities and the director of the camp were openly criticized, which was completely impossible during Stalinism. Vyacheslav played the role of a pioneer with a butterfly net, remembered for the catch phrase "why are you doing here, huh?".
Later there were several more roles in the films "Andrei Rublev", "Tashkent - the city of bread" and some others, well, then the movie tale ended - and ordinary Soviet life began. In which Vyacheslav Tsaryov never found himself - he was no longer invited to the cinema. Vyacheslav worked as a janitor, watchman, ice cream seller, cleaner in a psychiatric hospital, loader... Vyacheslav passed away at only 55 years old, in 2006.
Sasha Varakin was remembered by many for the role of the hooligan Goose from the movie "Vacations of Petrov and Vasechkin". Sasha starred in other films, where he invariably played the role of all sorts of hooligans and poor students - in total he starred in four films and in several issues of "Yeralash". Despite the "hooligan" roles, Sasha, thanks to his natural charisma, had many fans among the spectators.
But it didn't work out further - the grown-up Sasha was no longer invited to the cinema, and in the end he could not find himself in life. Already an adult, Alexander Varakin got involved with criminals and became addicted to drugs, and by the end of his short life he no longer resembled that charming boy from a children's movie. Sasha Varakin died at the age of 36 from a drug overdose.
Kolya Gerasimov from the famous TV series "A Guest from the Future" also added to this list. From childhood, Alexey wanted to become an actor - he went to a theater club, participated in competitions, went to auditions for the film "Scarecrow" - where he, however, was not taken - but his profile remained at the film studio. Later, Alexey was filmed in "Yeralash", and then, as it seemed, he caught his star - director Pavel Arsenov invites him to one of the main roles in the TV movie "A Guest from the Future".
And then, in a sense, the system also broke him - due to constant filming, Alexey could not really finish school, and instead of a certificate of secondary education received a certificate - which closed further roads to the cinema. Then Alexey was raked into the army, and after Alexey came out of there, the directors forgot about him. Fomkin was very worried. He got a job at the Moscow Art Theater, but from there he was fired for constant absenteeism and drunkenness - Alexey could not come to terms with the idea that he would never become an actor, which is why he drank heavily.
"Beautiful far away" did not smile at Kolya Gerasimov. Having thrown everything, Alexey for a while went to the village to his grandmother, where he lived on her pension. Later, Alexey got married and moved with his wife to the city of Vladimir. Alexey no longer remembered his film career - a cross was put on her. Three years after the wedding, Alexey died tragically in a fire - he was only 26 years old...