The future icon of Soviet cinema Lyubov Petrovna Orlova was born in 1902 in a family of nobles. Her father, who served in the military, had several awards from the sovereign. Evgenia Sukhotina, mother Orlova, came from an old family of a nobleman, a member of the State Council and cavalry general Nikolai Sukhotin, who served as the head of the Nikolaev Military Academy and was related to the writer and Count Leo Tolstoy. Lyubov Orlova kept the work of Tolstoy, “The Caucasian Captive.” The book was signed and donated by little Orlova by the writer herself.
A frequent guest at the Orlovs’ house in Zvenigorod near Moscow was Fedor Chaliapin. Once, when he saw a home performance with the participation of the younger Orlova, he prophesied real acting fame for the girl, advising his relatives to develop the talent of the young actress in a theater studio. But parents more wanted to see their daughter not as an artist, but as a musician. Therefore, when the girl was 7 years old, they took her to a music school, where she studied piano.
Since 1919, Lyubov Orlova perfected her game at the Moscow Conservatory. But after 3 years she had to leave this institution in order to earn a living. Since 1922, Orlova taught music and worked as a taper in the capital’s cinemas. Nevertheless, during this period she managed to study at GITIS (then the theater college named after A.V. Lunacharsky). Since 1926, Orlova worked as a chorus girl, and then as an actress at the Moscow Art Theater music studio.
A cinematic biography of Lyubov Orlova begins precisely from this tape. Having perfectly coped with the image of Anyuta, the actress is rapidly climbing the career ladder of Soviet cinema. Largely thanks to it, domestic cinema is becoming a popular form of art, which significantly squeezed the theater both in box office and in the number of spectators.
In 1936, the second Alexandrov film was released on the screens of the country, where Lyubov Orlova again appeared in the main role. It was the musical Circus, which became one of the highest grossing Soviet films. He received the Grand Prix of the international exhibition in Paris, and in 1941 was awarded the Stalin Prize.
Two years later, fans of Orlova’s talent watched with pleasure the next musical comedy “Volga-Volga”, also filmed by Grigory Alexandrov. In 1939, Lyubov Petrovna played the main character of the adventure detective “The Error of the Engineer Kochin.” The director of the picture was Alexander Machereta. In 1940, the last pre-war film was released – Alexandrov’s musical entitled “The Bright Path”.
Lyubov Orlova becomes Soviet Marlene Dietrich, who, due to the Iron Curtain and the ban on Western art, is still unknown to viewers of the USSR. But a small circle of initiates, which included director Aleksandrov, regularly watches foreign films at closed screenings. Orlova has many similarities with a Hollywood star. In the very first film, “Funny Guys,” Anyuta had exactly the same cylinder as Dietrich’s in the film “Blue Angel”. In the next film, “Circus,” the heroine Orlov’s hair color is black in half with platinum, like Marlene’s.
Lyubov Petrovna Orlova had a magnificent soprano. She danced well and played the piano and piano. These her talents were repeatedly used in all of the following paintings. The tapes “Volga-Volga”, “Bright Way” and many others were filled with music and songs. Films with Orlova are extremely loved by Soviet viewers. In the early 1940s, the actress was so popular that she often admonished and escorted soldiers to the front. She gave concerts on all fronts – from Minsk to Kursk and Orel.
After the war, Orlova again removed a lot. The musical “Spring” was released in 1947, and after 2 years, the picture about the war “Meeting on the Elbe”. In the early 1950s, Lyubov Orlova appeared in two biographical films – the drama “Mussorgsky” and the tape “Composer Glinka”, where she played Lyudmila Ivanovna Glinka.
Lyubov Orlova had a career decline in the early 1960s. She appears less and less on the screen and on the stage. In the 1970s, viewers saw the comedy Russian Souvenir. And the last tape with the participation of Orlova “Starling and Lear” was released in 1972.
Orlova was twice awarded the most prestigious Stalin Prize in the country. The first time for the role of Marion Dixon in the film “Circus”, the second for the tape “Meeting on the Elbe”, where Lyubov Petrovna played the American journalist Jannette Sherwood. The artist also received the Order of Lenin, two orders of the Red Banner of Labor. Soon she becomes Honored, and then the People’s Artist of the RSFSR and the USSR.
Lyubov Orlova, recognized as the prima donna of Soviet cinema during her lifetime, extremely carefully cared for her appearance. She was the first of the domestic actresses who regularly used the latest innovations in cosmetology for body and face care. Rumor has it that she was the first to experience plastic surgery.