Vladimir Vysotsky and Marina Vlady
French actress Marina Vlady reads a newspaper in the Palais de Chaillot theater with her husband Vladimir Vysotsky, a Russian anti-establishment actor, poet, songwriter and singer, during a rehearsal of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Yuri Lyubimov. Vysotsky plays the lead role. November 17, 1977. Paris, France.
Vladimir Vysotsky and Marina Vlady. In July 1967 Vladimir Vysotsky met with French actress of Russian origin Marina Vlady (Marina Polyakova), who became his third wife (December 1970). In the summer of 1969 Vysotsky had a severe attack, and he survived only thanks to Marina Vlady, who at that time was in Moscow. Walking past the bathroom, she heard moaning and saw Vysotsky bleeding throat. In her book, “Vladimir, or interrupted flight” Marina Vlady says: “You do not speak, half-open eyes begging for help. I am calling “ambulance”, your have almost disappeared pulse, I panic. The reaction of the arrived two doctors and a nurse was simple and brutal: too late, too much risk, he is not transportable. They do not want to have a dead man in the car… Then I obstruct them out, screaming that if they do not now going to take you to the hospital, I will build an international scandal … They finally realize who is dying – Vysotsky, a disheveled and screaming woman – a French actress. After a brief consultation, cursing, they take you on a blanket …” Marina Vlady
Fortunately, the doctors brought Vysotsky to the Institute of Emergency Care Sklifosovsky – a few minutes delay – and he would not have survived. The doctors fought for his life for eighteen hours.
Vladimir Vysotsky and Marina Vlady – complicated love story at its core. If Vysotsky wanted something – he got it. They met in 1967 during the Moscow International Film Festival. By this time Marina Vlady (the daughter of a Russian emigre Vladimir Polyakov) had already been married twice, had played in a dozen films and became a global celebrity, the owner of a prize at the Cannes festival. Vysotsky had not even had a popularity, but his songs were popular in Moscow. He also was twice married and had children.
Marina Vlady wrote “I am Russian, but with a French passport. My father graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. When the First World War began, he went to France to join the army as a volunteer. He was the only son of a widowed mother, and couldn’t enter the Russian army according to law. He became a pilot, was wounded, was awarded the military cross. After the war, remained in France, worked in the Paris Opera, sang seven seasons at the Opera of Monte Carlo. He was familiar with Modigliani, Matisse, Delaunay. My mother’s family moved out of Russia in 1919. My mother was in Belgrade and there met my father – Vladimir Polyakov”.
Sitting at her feet with a guitar singing his best songs. She responds with a sad smile, “Volodya, you – an extraordinary man, but I have to travel only a few days and I have three children.” He did not give up: “I have a family and children, too, but that should not prevent us to become husband and wife.”
Vladimir Vysotsky died during Moscow Summer Olympics, 25 July 1980. There were only two reports of his death – in the “Evening Moscow” and in the newspaper “Soviet Culture”. Above the window of the box office was posted announcement: “Died actor Vladimir Vysotsky.” And yet, at the Taganka Theater, where he worked, was a huge crowd that was there for a few days (on the day of the funeral even the rooftops of buildings around the Taganka Square were filled with people). However, none of them did not return the bought tickets. July 28, 1980, Vladimir Semenovich was buried in the Vagankovsky cemetery. Vysotsky was buried by the whole Moscow. Marina Vlady said “I saw how princes, kings, were buried but have never seen anything like that! …”