Hero and shy


Name: Alexey Smirnov (Aleksei Smirnov)

Middle name: Makarovich

Birthday: February 28, 1920

Place of Birth: Danilov, Yaroslavl region

Date of death: May 7 1979 (59 years old)

Cause of death: find out cardiovascular disease

Place of burial: find out St. Petersburg, Southern Cemetery

Height: 186 cm

Eastern horoscope: A monkey

Career: Russian actors 34th place

Photo: Alexey Smirnov

Biography of Alexey Smirnov

Alexey Smirnov is a great actor with hundreds of faces. During his life, he played a huge variety of different roles, appearing before the audience in both comic and dramatic roles.

That is why the on-screen images embodied by him have long become a kind of classic of Soviet cinema. That is why the conversation about this outstanding actor with a rich and deep fate seems so interesting.

The early years, childhood and the family of Alexei Smirnov

Alexey Smirnov was born on February 28, 1920 in the town of Danilov (Yaroslavl Region). Here he spent the first few years of his life, but very soon he moved to Leningrad with his parents.

The father of the future actor died quite early, so all the hardships of raising sons (Alexei and his younger brother Arkady) fell on his mother's shoulders. The little family lived quite poorly. Their home was a communal room. And sometimes money was not enough even for the most necessary.

Despite this, the love of art began to manifest itself in the soul of Alexei Smirnov from an early age. While still at school, he played in the local drama club, and later became involved in an acting studio at the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy. In 1940, after receiving a diploma of graduation from this institution, our today's hero began to appear on the local stage as a professional actor.

In his debut theatrical season for himself, the actor played one of the roles in the musical production of Rose Marie. Everything seemed to be developing quite successfully. However, very soon the Second World War put an end to all previous plans.

In 1941, Alexei Smirnov volunteered for the front. In the Soviet army, our today's hero first served as a chemical instructor, and then as the commander of a fire platoon. During World War II, he took part in many bloody battles. Together with his mortar regiment, Alexei reached Germany itself, however, he no longer took part in the battles for Berlin. During one of the battles, he was heavily shell-shocked and sent to the front line.

Smirnov’s military exploits were awarded the Medal of Honor, the Order of the Red Star, two Orders of Glory, and the Medal of Military Merit.

Actor's career Aleksey Smirnov, filmography

After returning from the front, the talented actor worked for a long time at the Leningrad Musical Comedy Theater, but did not achieve much success here. Being unknown, he lived very, very poor. In addition, his sick mother, who lost her mind due to the death of her youngest child, remained in the care of her son.

Due to the constant tour of the Leningrad theater, Alexei Smirnov for a long time could not give her enough attention. Therefore, one day he was forced to leave the theater. In 1952, he began performing on the stage of "Lengosestrady", devoting more time to family affairs.

It was during this period that things began to improve somewhat. The impressive build and good-natured smile of Alexei Smirnov brought him many interesting comedic roles. The actor’s good-natured, but a little clumsy characters really liked the theater audience, enthralling both adults and children.

Thanks to his unique ability to make people laugh, by the mid-fifties, Alexei Smirnov had become a real star in his theater. He was invited to leading roles in performances. Many viewers came specifically to look at him. In 1959, our today's hero managed to shine also in the movies, playing a small comic role in the film "Kochubey", in which his hero was the only comedic character.

Subsequently, such small comedic roles became the basis of his work. The films “Operation Y” and other adventures of Shurik, “Seven old men and one girl”, “Wedding in the Robin”, “Aibolit-66”, and some others brought great success to the actor. Alexey Smirnov worked on the same set with such actors as Natalya Varley, Alexander Demyanenko, Mikhail Pugovkin and many others. Such works made Alexei Smirnov very popular, however, acting works of a slightly different plan were also occasionally found in the biography of our today's hero. A vivid example of this is the film "Only Old Men Are Going to Battle," in which he played the dramatic role of mechanic Makarych.

Frontman and entertainer

From a young age, Alexey attended a drama club and, having graduated from a theater studio at the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy, became a professional artist. Unfortunately, in the theater he managed to play only one role. In October 1940, Smirnov was drafted into the army, and a few months later the war came to the Soviet Union.

During the war, Alexei Makarovich commanded a platoon of artillery batteries, went into reconnaissance, participated in raids behind enemy lines, and was repeatedly presented for awards. Smirnov received two Orders of Glory, which were issued exclusively for personal merit and courage shown in battle.

“On July 20, 1944, in an area of ​​height 293, an enemy with a force of up to 40 Nazis attacked the battery. Comrade Smirnov, inspiring the fighters, rushed into battle and repulsed the German attack. He personally captured 7 Nazis. On July 27, in the area of ​​the village of Zhuravka, leaving the encirclement, he captured 5 Nazis, ”sparingly describes the exploits of Senior Sergeant Smirnov, an extract from the award sheet.

Alexei Makarovich not only defeated the Nazis on the battlefield, but also supported the fighting spirit of Soviet soldiers. He directed amateur art activities in the regiment, organized concerts for the Red Army soldiers. Alas, Smirnov did not get to Berlin: after a strong concussion, he was hospitalized and did not return to the front until the end of the war.

Personal life of Alexey Smirnov

All his life, Alexei Smirnov was lonely. Due to the concussion received during the war, he began to have problems of a sexual nature. As a result, the actor became barren. Returning from the front, he broke up with the girl whom he had met before the war. Only a few years later she found out about the true reasons for the breakup.

Subsequently, the actor attempted to establish relations with women, but they all failed.

Until the end of his life, Alexei Smirnov lived in a communal apartment with his mother. He did not like to remember the war, and therefore only a few knew about the military awards that could provide the actor with their own housing.

As friends of Smirnov note, the actor always loved children very much. In addition, one of Alexey's main hobbies was reading.

After the war

Returning to Leningrad, Alexei again got into the troupe of the Musical Comedy Theater. Due to the consequences of the concussion, he lost the ability to have children, and therefore told his lover, who had been waiting for him from the front, that they could not be together. She learned about the true reasons for such a decision only many years later. The closest person to Alexei was his mother, with whom he huddled in a communal apartment all his life: the Leningrad authorities never allocated a separate apartment to the actor and front-line soldier.

After the war, Smirnov did not live well, because of his simple-minded appearance and solid build, he was mostly trusted to play simpletons and farther. Change for the better began in 1957, when Alexei happened to play the tiny role of a sailor in a military drama “Baltic glory” . After that, Smirnov was invited to the picture Kochubey where he embodied on the screen bourgeois.

An actor with a colorful appearance was noticed and began to be invited to comedy films. Our readers can remember him as a sailor Knysh from Striped Flight

and Billy Driscoll of "Leader of the Redskins" where he played paired with George Vitsin .

Alexey Makarovich also agreed to the role of a fascist in the film "Roman and Francesca" , which was shot at the Ukrainian film studio named after Dovzhenko, because he wanted to see with his own eyes Kiev rebuilt after the war.

Smirnov gained all-Union fame by playing parasite Fedya in a cult comedy “Operation Y and Shurik’s other adventures” .

However, fame rather weighed on the humble actor.

- He had no star ambition. On the contrary, in the pub at VDNH, he tried to sit in the corner and be as inconspicuous as possible. I went to the bar for a beer, because the people literally did not give him a pass. Each sought to express his respect and admiration to him, and Alexey Makarovich was wildly embarrassed ... - the director recalled Igor Voznesensky . - He was a highly intelligent person, very well-read, very subtle.

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Smirnov and Bulls

Despite many successful comedic roles, Smirnov considered himself rather a dramatic actor, but only he could reveal it in this capacity Leonid Bykov who invited Alexei to play mechanic Makarych in a military drama “Only“ old people ”go to battle” . Before that, Bykov had already shot Smirnov in comedy. "Bunny" and adventure tape "Scouts" so that he knew what Alexei was capable of and wanted to see only him in his new film.

Smirnov, who himself went through the war and knew perfectly how soldiers live, brilliantly coped with the role, creating a bright, convincing and memorable character on the screen. This role was not easy for the actor, because he missed the experiences of the hero through himself. His colleague Vladimir Talashko told how one of the first shooting days, during a rehearsal of the scene at the grave from the final of the film, Alexei Makarovich grabbed his heart, and he had to be taken away by ambulance.

“The second time I won’t be able to, I’ll just die,” said Smirnov, returning to the shooting a few days later, and Bykov, realizing that he was not joking, included footage from the first double in the final editing.

Soviet spectators enthusiastically accepted the picture of the brave pilots from the “singing squadron”, and Alexei Makarovich was extremely grateful to Bykov, who helped him show the whole country the true depth of his talent, and only lamented that he had found “his director” late. And yet, from the shootings in the next military film by Leonid Fedorovich, the film “Ati-bats, soldiers were coming” Smirnov refused due to health problems.

Last years

Acting in films, Alexey Makarovich did not spare himself and never demanded understudies. He readily flashed into icy water, jumped from a height or, having fallen back, dabbily flopped to the hard floor for a spectacular or funny shot. In the seventies, a similar attitude to the body, overlapping with injuries and consequences of shell shock received during the war, began to make itself felt. The actor began to have heart problems, shortness of breath. Some sources also indicate that after his mother stopped recognizing Alexei, Smirnov began to abuse alcohol.

In April 1979, learning about the death of Leonid Bykov, who died in a car accident, Alexei Makarovich went into a binge and eventually ended up in the hospital. On May 7 of the same year, they were going to write him out, and the actor covered the "clearing" for the medical staff as a thank you. During the feast, someone remembered the movie “Only“ old people ”go to battle” , thereby reminding Smirnov of the death of a friend. According to the actor’s doctor’s attending physician, Aleksey secretly hid a bottle of brandy from the festive table, which led to his death from a heart failure.

The memory of the actor to this day continues to live in the hearts of several generations of viewers. In 2011, a monument to Aleksey Smirnov in the form of the mechanic Makarych was unveiled in Kharkov, and in 2018 a similar monument appeared in Yaroslavl.



While studying at the directing department of VGIK with Sergey Solovyov, Alexey Smirnov shot two short films: “Diamond Peel” and “Mirror of the Brain”.

And as a twenty-three-year-old young man, he took up the multi-part film written by Anna Kozlova and Valery Todorovsky, The Garden Ring. The series on a highly social topic tells the story of the life of Muscovites living within the Garden Ring.

"Well, it was not easy. I went through a serious selection, in which many directors who were older than me, had great experience and fame participated. Once Valery Todorovsky asked me after the next stage of trials:" Why should I entrust this work to you? " I told him: “Probably, you will find the director more professional and more talented, but only I have one circumstance: I really need it!” He agreed, ”recalls Alexei.

Soon, viewers will be able to see and appreciate another work of a young director called "Feat". “This is a picture of forty-year-olds, as I love, but in a completely different tone than the Garden Ring. I defined it internally as the Anti-Garden Ring. It will tell the story of a family that is quite modern and not typical of ours cinema. And, in particular, I really want to touch on the current paradigm of Russian television, various talk shows that cause me many conflicting feelings. I want to share this with the audience, "Smirnov explains.

About studying with Sergey Solovyov and directing:

“I was a very confident person, I knew what I wanted to do, I liked to look more than to see. After a couple of years with Solovyov, I always try to be as attentive as possible, I have no idea what to do and how, but I am completely calm about it. We went all the way from his cries among the entire course: “I beg you, leave myself, I hate to kick out,” promises to hire a killer, to what he called one of my films “an amazing composition about the human soul” (without forgetting to scoop up another), to Pierre in War and Peace, to the scene he wrote tions of my diploma. "

"I don’t know what qualities there can be. Work and keep quiet. If you need a clever wording, then:" When you become a director, then remember the rule: you owe everything, nobody owes you. "And work. Silently."

"My master, Sergei Solovyov, said:" The artist should have no intention, but intent. "I agree with him."

About Valeria Todorovsky:

"Todorovsky has vast experience, but at the same time is absolutely honest. He can be persuaded - if you really prove to him by deed, and not by saying that it’s better for the film. A rare quality for the producer.

He could be called at any time of the day, consulted on any issue, and, of course, working with one of my favorite directors as a producer, I set the task to "eat him" as much as possible. Despite the fact that Valery Petrovich always kept himself very delicately and never climbed to make a movie for me, I can say that from the trial stage until the end of the editing, I learned a lot from him. I won’t say anything, let it stay with me.

During filming and editing, there were no disagreements, perhaps, they argued over the finale. Of course, I was afraid that he would want to make his own movie out of my cinema, but he turned out to be so respectful towards someone else’s work as a person who could think in terms of someone else’s plan, that I received nothing but invaluable help. "

About the actors of the Garden Ring:

"They are all high-class professionals. It is always easy to work with professionals. The secret is simple: you need to respect their work. You need to come prepared for them. Clearly explain what you want. If you are not sure about something, talk about it, consult and look."We worked with actors without a single serious conflict during these difficult three months that we coexisted, and with great mutual interest."

“I shot all my relatives — three sisters and parents — in episodes in the Garden Ring. I think dad got the best role in his life: he plays the watchman at the parking lot, which the heroine Zhenya Brik“ sews off ”. For 40 seconds of the screen of time, he revealed more than ever before.Mom starred as the landlady of an apartment rented by one of our heroes.Aglaya Smirnova played a battered prostitute in a shelter for women who suffered family violence, Alexander Smirnova - a neighbor of the heroes Maxim Vitorgan and Maria Golubkina, and Avdotya Smirnova - direct ra of a crisis center. Dunya was so able to transform into another person that my jaw dropped. And all right, Todorovsky was amazed how Avdotya turns out to be able to play. Although Dunya hates acting, do you think I let my relatives choose roles? How same! Worked with those that gave. " For himself, the director Alexey Smirnov took the role of designer, in which, as he says, he was well drawn.

About the director's age:

“Here I will answer briefly: firstly, I grew up in a family of people much older than the families of my peers. My father is half a century older than me, the youngest of my sisters, Aglaya, is eleven years older, the oldest is Dunya, twenty-two. It played my role. Secondly, I really love my job. Thirdly, I am convinced that in directing, age is much more likely to work in minus than in plus. "

About free time:

“I spend my free time in the bathroom, where I watch foreign TV shows and films. Or after hard work I put on sweatpants and a T-shirt and play for a long time on the PlayStation. A week after such a monstrous lifestyle, I’m recovering. I also like to travel. Rome once struck me. I think that this is the best place on Earth. I have lived in Moscow all my life, people here mostly look at their feet, and everything is different there. From every angle are masterpieces of architecture, painting in museums. All European civilization was born there. "

About last name:

“Whatever I do in my life, most often I hear that I did it by pulling. I’m already used to it. Apparently, this will be the case throughout my life. And I don’t worry about this for a long time. I didn’t feel in this connection. I am very proud of my parents and my family. Perhaps the difficulty is that the bar is quite high. Still, I want not to say "son of Andrei Smirnov" about me, but that "father would say about him Alexey Smirnov. "

Childhood and youth

Alexey Smirnov was born in the Yaroslavl region, in the town of Danilovo. His parents Anna Ivanovna and Makar Stepanovich also had the youngest son Arkady. When Lesha was 6 years old, the family moved to Leningrad, but there they found grief: the head of the family suddenly died, and the mother had to raise two boys alone. Until the end of his life, Alexei Smirnov lived in the communal apartment that his father had received.

Alexey Smirnov in his youth On the Ukrainian and Belorussian fronts he also performed the functions of a scout, repeatedly went to.

In school, the boy attended a drama club. Participation in staged scenes so fascinated him that immediately after school Smirnov went to study at the studio at the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy, which he graduated in 1940 and immediately became an actor of this theater. But on the stage of Musical Comedy, he managed to participate only in the operetta “Rose-Marie”, as he was called up for military service, where he was caught by the war. Alexey Smirnov served as the commander of the fire platoon, and later - the artillery battery.

On the Ukrainian and Belorussian fronts, he also served as a scout, repeatedly went behind enemy lines. Thanks to his personal actions, a number of enemy units were destroyed, the city of Starokonstantinov was liberated, and the village of Eichenrid was captured.

More than once, Aleksey Makarovich accomplished feats: in order to inspire his comrades in arms, he alone attacked 4 dozen fascists, escaped from the encirclement during reconnaissance, and capturing enemy soldiers, he sent a mortar across the river.

For valor, Alexey Smirnov was awarded the Order of the Red Star, twice - the Order of Glory, medals "For Courage" and "For Military Merit." But he preferred not to talk about these awards in subsequent years, believing that he was doing the same thing as other defenders of the Fatherland. The actor met the great victory in the rank of guard foreman, but already in reserve: during one battle he was shell-shocked and subsequently commissated.


After the war, he returned to his native Musical Comedy. In his youth, he got insignificant characters in performances, which is why the actor felt a sense of creative dissatisfaction. In addition, small earnings did not allow him to provide a decent life. During the tour, Alexei Makarovich managed to live on a daily allowance, which was not enough for normal nutrition. He paid the entire salary to his mother, who already in those days needed treatment.

Alexey Smirnov (frame from the film "Three Fat Men")

The actor did not tell his colleagues about the feats accomplished in the war, although there were many of them. The troupe of the theater learned about the heroic past of Smirnov by chance, thanks to his meeting with Marshal Georgy Zhukov. It was on a tour in Kapustin Yar, where the military rested. The general personally greeted Alexei Makarovich in front of his colleagues and promised the artist to come to the play in which he played.

Over time, the audience remembered Smirnov’s impressive complexion (the growth of the artist was 186 cm) and began to demand new appearances in the image of a good-natured bumpkin. But the man was burdened with such a role: internally, he was a dramatic actor, and not at all a comedian. But the only non-comedic role in the theater went to him in the production of "Tobacco Captain", where he went on stage as Tsar Peter I.

Alexey Smirnov in the theater (frame from the film-play “These Incredible Musicians or Shurik's New Dreams”)

Many of Aleksey Makarovich’s entourage confirmed that the artist had a unique timbre of voice - he had deep chest bass. There were only a few vocalists with such abilities, so the performer was repeatedly offered to change their profession. But Smirnov remained a dramatic artist.


In the movie, Alexey Smirnov appeared already a famous actor thanks to his participation in the performances. At first they tried it in the episode of the military drama “Baltic Glory”, then they gave the only comedic role in the serious film “Kochubey”. After this work, proposals fell on the actor.

Alexey Smirnov (frame from the film "Striped Flight")

He did not always choose paintings because of a good script or cooperation with experienced colleagues. For example, in the melodrama "Roman and Francesca" Smirnov wanted to participate in order to look at the restored Kiev, which he visited during the war. The first "popular" roles of Alexei Makarovich were the sailor Knysh from the Striped Flight and the chieftain of the Zaporozhye Cossacks in the Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka. The audience enthusiastically greeted his appearance on the screen.

The greatest love of the audience brought Smirnov films of the great director Leonid Gaidai. The movie “The Leader of the Redskins” and especially “Operation“ Y ”and Shurik’s other adventures” made him a popular favorite. Viewers quoted Smirnov's characters as if they were real people, not screen heroes.

Alexey Smirnov (frame from the film "Operation" Y "and Shurik's other adventures")

And the directors stood in line for the popular actor, as it became widely known that Alexei Smirnov was not only a demanding professional, but also a very obedient performer, ready to swim in ice water, contact wild animals, fall from a height and fulfill any requirements film managers.

The actor himself considered truly “his” director only Leonid Bykov, with whom he also made a strong friendship. Together they worked in the comedy “Bunny”, the heroic film “Scouts”, and then in the military drama “Only Old Men Go to Battle,” which Bykov could not imagine without Smirnov’s participation.

Leonid Bykov and Aleksey Smirnov (frame from the movie “Only Old Men Go Into Battle”)

The director had to naturally fight for a friend with the Ministry of Culture. This work is rightfully considered the pearl of the filmography of the artist. Thanks to the role of the mechanic Makarych in this film, Alexei Smirnov opened to the audience as an outstanding dramatic actor, and the final scene at the grave remains one of the most dramatic episodes in Soviet cinema.


Alexey Smirnov led a secluded life. This was due to an intensified illness of the mother, her own deterioration in health, as well as the onset of alcohol dependence. The actor died on May 7, 1979. There are several versions of what exactly led to the tragic end of the life of 59-year-old Alexei Smirnov.

According to the official version, he was in the hospital due to coronary heart disease and restored his health for 2 weeks. On the day of discharge, he found out that his friend Leonid Bykov was killed in a car accident. This news was a strong blow for the actor, who he could not stand.

According to other information, he was hospitalized just after the news of the death of Bykov and did not survive this tragedy. The third version comes from the head doctor of the hospital and says that the actor secretly from the doctors decided to remember his friend, and the drunk of brandy became fatal for him.

The funeral of Alexei Smirnov took place in St. Petersburg, which became his hometown. His grave is located in the South cemetery, and his mother, who died two years later, is buried in the same place. On the memorial plaque there is a photo of the artist in the image of the mechanic Makarych. Later it became known that the actor wanted the waltz “On the hills of Manchuria” to be sung at his funeral. But because of the closed lifestyle of the artist, this request was not immediately known.

For many years, the memory of the actor was stored only in films with his participation. They did not write about him in the newspapers, the grave was not visited.

Only in the 21st century did people thank the great artist and war hero by erecting a monument to him in Kharkov. The exposition is Alexey Smirnov in the image of the mechanic Makarych from the movie “Only Old Men Go into Battle”. And in St. Petersburg in 2011, a memorial plaque appeared. In the new millennium, documentaries about the life of the actor were shot, one of them is “Islands. Alexey Smirnov ”was released in 2012.

In memory of Alexei Makarovich, a personal site was created on which all the documentary materials about the artist were collected, his military photographs were posted. It also presents interesting facts from the biography of the star of the screen, the memories of his colleagues and friends.

Early years

Born February 28, 1920 in the city of Danilov, Yaroslavl Province, in the family of Makar Stepanovich and Anna Ivanovna Smirnov. Russian In the mid-1920s, the family moved to Leningrad. His father passed away early, and his mother was left with two children: in addition to himself, there was also the younger Arkady. Smirnov lived in a communal apartment at ul. Petra Lavrova, d. 44.

Even at school, he began to play in the drama circle. In 1940 he graduated from the theater studio at the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy and was accepted into the troupe of the same theater. There he managed to play only one role - the Black Eagle in the operetta “Rose-Marie”.

Participation in the Great Patriotic War

He went to the front as a volunteer, drafted into the Red Army in October 1940. With the beginning of World War II in the army. He served as a chemical instructor, and then as the commander of a fire platoon of the 3rd artillery battery of the 169th mortar Oder Red Banner Order of the Suvorov and Bogdan Khmelnitsky Regiment (7th mortar Proskurov Red Banner Order of the Suvorov and Bogdan Khmelnitsky Brigade of the Lenin Order of the 3rd Lenin RGC breakthrough divisions). As part of his unit, he took part in battles on the Western, Bryansk, 1st Ukrainian and 2nd Belorussian fronts, and repeatedly went into reconnaissance behind enemy lines. The award sheet dated July 22, 1943 for the medal “For Courage” states that he personally destroyed three Hitlerites with automatic fire, being in reconnaissance, replacing a failed mortar commander, fired intensively, which scattered up to two enemy infantry platoons.

During the breakthrough of the German defense in the area of ​​the village of Onatskovtsi on March 4, 1944, he and his platoon destroyed a mortar battery, an easel machine gun, and up to 30 enemy soldiers. Having recaptured Onatskivtsi, the platoon advanced and on March 9 took control of the city of Starokonstantinov. In that battle, he, holding the position of senior sergeant, with his platoon destroyed 2 easel machine guns, a 75-mm gun and 35 enemy infantry. For the courage shown in these battles, he was presented to the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree, but was awarded the less significant Order of the Red Star.

On July 20, 1944, in an area of ​​283.0 altitude, the enemy threw up to 40 fighters into the attack. He rushed into battle with personal weapons, inspiring his comrades, thereby repelling the attack. In that battle, the Germans lost 17 soldiers, and he personally captured seven people. A week later, in the area of ​​the village of Zhuravka, choosing new firing positions, he himself and his three fellow soldiers encountered a group of 16 adversary. The Germans tried to capture Soviet soldiers, but they fought back, destroying 9 and capturing five. For personal courage in these battles, he was awarded the Order of Glory III degree.

During the Vistula-Oder operation on January 17, 1945, his battery was ambushed in the vicinity of the village of Postaszewice. He himself attacked the Germans with three Red Army men. He personally killed three and captured two enemy soldiers, paving the way for further advancement. On January 22, 1945, during the crossing of the Oder River, he calculatedly ferried a mortar on himself. Fortified on the left bank, they destroyed two machine-gun points and up to 20 enemy soldiers. As a result, the 36th Guards Rifle Regiment managed to maintain and expand the bridgehead in the area of ​​the village of Eichenrid, and he himself was awarded the Order of Glory of the II degree.

It is noteworthy that, with his merits, he also led the amateur art group into the regiment: only in May-July 1944 he organized 10 concerts in front of an audience of a total of 6500 Red Army soldiers. In the reviews of the Red Army amateur performances in 1943 and 1944, the independent activities of the regiment, where the future actor served, took first place among the units of the division. In the same period, he himself introduced himself to the Order of the Red Star, but instead was awarded the less significant medal "For Military Merit."

He did not succeed in ending the war in Berlin: during one of the fights, he was severely shell-shocked and, after treatment in the hospital, was commissioned.

Stage and movie work

In 1946, he was accepted into the troupe of the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy. Being unknown, the actor lived poorly: there were no roles in the cinema and no significant roles in the theater, in addition, he looked after a sick mother who, after the death of his brother Arkady, developed a mental illness at the front. He could not devote enough time to caring for his mother due to numerous tours and in 1952 he left the theater, moving to Lengosestrada.

Later, an impressive build and simple-looking appearance helped him stand out among other actors, and the directors began to offer him comedic supporting roles. The theatrical audience fell in love with its ridiculous and awkward moons. At the beginning of the 1950s, he had several notable roles in the repertoire of the Musical Comedy Theater, including in such performances as Free Wind and Girl's Trouble. The actor himself played the role of a comedian, and he dreamed of dramatic roles.In the play based on the play-tale of Nikolai Aduev “Tobacco Captain”, he played his first semi-dramatic role - Peter I. The theater troupe did not know about Smirnov’s military awards until the event in 1955, when on tour he met resting Marshal G.K. Zhukov and did not invite him to the performance.

By the end of the 1950s, he became famous among filmmakers. In 1959, the director Yuri Ozerov invited the actor to one of the roles in his film “Kochubey”. The actor played a cameo role of the bourgeois, the only comedic hero in a serious picture, after which he was offered six other roles. In the film "Roman and Francesca", which was shot at the A. Dovzhenko film studio, he agreed to star, only to see how Kiev was rebuilt after the war.

In 1961, when he became an actor in the Lenfilm film studio, two films with his participation were immediately released on the screens of the country. And the comedy of Vladimir Fetin “Striped Flight”, where he played the sailor Knysh, and “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka” by Alexander Rowe, where the actor reincarnated as the chieftain of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, ambassador to Catherine II, were well received by the public.

All-Union fame for the actor brought roles in the paintings of Leonid Gaidai. In the novel “The Leader of the Redskins” from the film “Business People”, he played the role of Bill Driscoll, a good-natured bastard who decided to earn his living by kidnapping children. After this role, he was widely demanded by directors who, in addition to the talent for reincarnation, appreciated the actor’s tenacious intelligence and complaisance: he not only understood all the director’s tasks at a glance, but unconditionally performed any tricks, whether falling, swimming in ice water or direct contact with wild animals.

In 1964, he starred in “The Bunny” with Leonid Bykov, who later became his close friend, and with Elem Klimov in the comedy “Welcome, or No Trespassing”.

The actor’s best-known role was a bully hooligan and parasite Fedya from Leonid Gaidai’s comedy “Operation Y” and Shurik’s other adventures ”, he also played a cameo role in the market in this film, uttering two phrases -“ shame ”and“ wrap it up ”. In the first year of rental, a third of the country watched the film, and in subsequent years it was repeatedly shown on television. Replicas Fedi “Vlip, bespectacled man!”, “And the compote ?!”, “Who does not work, he eats. Learn student!" and many others became part of Soviet and Russian folklore.

Then he starred with Rolan Bykov in Aibolit 66 (1966), with Andrei Tutyshkin in Wedding at the Robin (1967), with Viktor Sadovsky in Blow! Another blow! ”, By Eugene Karelov in“ Seven Old Men and One Girl ”(both - 1968). In the last film, he also performed as a singer, performing the song “Perform a Miracle”.

In all these films, he performed in comedic roles, but, like in the theater, the actor dreamed of playing dramatic roles. For a long time he was refused, and only in 1967 he was invited to the Belarusian film studio to participate in the film "The Life and Ascension of Yuras Bratchik." Work on this film was fraught with a lot of censorship difficulties, and as a result, the mass audience did not see this film.

In 1968, directors Aleksey Shvachko and Igor Samborsky, knowing the actor’s front-line merits, invited him to his film “Scouts”, where he played the role of a bumpkin cook who begs him to be taken into reconnaissance and sacrifices his life, covering up the departure of his comrades. Leonid Bykov also starred in the same film, whom the actor considered one of his loyal friends and with whom he had previously worked on the set of the film “Bunny”.

In 1974, the film “The Old Men Are Going to Battle” was released, where Bykov played the role of squadron commander Titarenko, and the actor himself was its mechanic. Leonid Bykov himself acted as a director and insisted on the approval of the actor for the role of Makarych. The film was enthusiastically received by the audience, and the image of Makarych for the first time truly highlighted the actor’s ability to play dramatic roles, but, as the actor himself noted bitterly:

What a pity that I found my director so late.

According to Vladimir Talashko, who played the role of Skvortsov in the “old people”, on the first day of filming, during a rehearsal of the final scene at the grave, the actor grabbed his heart and was taken away by an ambulance. A few days later, Smirnov returned and said that “the second time I can’t do this, I’ll just die,” after which Leonid Bykov left that take in the picture.

In addition, he often left the shoots in Leningrad, where he gave pop concerts. On one of the trips, the Lenfilm bus, in which the actor was traveling, had an accident and rolled over. The actor himself, saving the young actress, severely injured his legs and then limped throughout almost the entire filming process. At the same time, according to Talashko, he was not discouraged - he joked, patronized youth, fed his colleagues sandwiches.


  • September 14, 2011 at the address: St. Petersburg, ul. Furshtatskaya, d. 44, a memorial plaque in memory of Alexei Makarovich Smirnov was opened.
  • In 2011, a monument to Aleksey Smirnov was erected in Kharkov in the role of Makarych mechanic from the movie “Some Old Men Are Going to Battle”.
  • On July 28, 2017, a mortgage stone was installed at the Levtsovo airdrome near Yaroslavl, on the site of which a memorial to aircraft was opened on May 5, 2018. The prototype of the sculptural composition was “Makarych” - the character of the legendary film “Only Old Men Go into Battle”. The author is a sculptor, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Arts Elena Vasilyevna Paschina. The Makarych Memorial, about 2.5 meters high, is made of bronze.


He had no star ambition. On the contrary, in the pub at VDNH, he tried to sit in the corner and be as inconspicuous as possible. I went to the bar for a beer, because the people literally did not give him a pass. Each sought to express his respect and admiration to him, and Alexei Makarovich was wildly embarrassed ... He was a highly intelligent person, very well-read, very subtle. It would seem that I was a kid in a big movie compared to him, but he never once gave me reason to doubt that the director is the main thing on the set.

Alex was a very bright and kind person, he could not refuse anyone any request. He knew how to have a surprising position. And he was touching and somehow unprotected. Yes, he was lonely, but he tried not to extend this topic.

Once on the set of Aibolit 66, he struck me with his unique knowledge of Japanese poetry. We sat at night on the seashore by the fire, and Lesha read and read poetry. At such moments, it was open as never before.

To downplay his contribution is very presumptuous and stupid, it’s like treating the river with contempt, respecting only the ocean. This is a pretty clean river. He is a typical example of the Lycedea. The place that he took was vacant before him and remains so today. Probably, it is natural that he died so early, unable to withstand this life, this loneliness, this restlessness. He saw nothing but a movie, except for a film set, a damp sheet and a hotel ...

He was a great humble man. He never talked about his exploits. But awards, orders of Glory speak for themselves. And the medal "For Courage". He was a man of remarkable courage: he did not ache, did not cry, he smiled, he laughed, he made us laugh. Great generosity gift.

First of all, in Alexei Makarovich, the gap “between form and content” was surprising. Outwardly, it seemed like such a bummer, an ignoramus, a bumpkin who read only two books, and it was allegedly taken to the cinema because of the texture ... But all this is a mask behind which was a smart, vulnerable, well-read man who really was a lot He knew and was much interested in. He never bragged about it, never quoted anyone. He was, so to speak, all in himself.

Awards and titles

  • Medal "For Courage" (07/27/1943)
  • Order of the Red Star (04/28/1944)
  • medal "For Military Merit" (06/16/1944)
  • Order of Glory III degree (09/15/1944)
  • Order of Glory, II degree (02/06/1945)
  • Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1976)
  • Award sheets
  • Award sheet for the Order of the Patriotic War I degree (awarded the Order of the Red Star)

    Award sheet to the Order of Glory II degree

    Award sheet to the Order of Glory III degree

    Award sheet for the Order of the Red Star (awarded the medal "For Military Merit")


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