Academician of The Russian Academy of Arts. Born in Kiev.
Graduated from the National University of Theatre, Film and TV of Karpenko-Kary. People’s Artist of the USSR, Professor, and Doctor of the Art Studies. Moscow City Hall Prize Laureate, Winner of Vera Kholodnaya Prize — Seven Film Beauties (in the cinema and in real life) in the Most Feminine nomination.
Companion of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (1st and 2nd class), Order of the
October Revolution, Order of the Patriotic War (2nd class),
Order of the Red Banner of Labor, Order of the Badge of Honor (twice), medals.
Elina Bystritskaya became an actress in her childhood. The audience met her appearance on an improvised home stage with cheers. In the role of a legendary commander Chapayev’s adjutant she entered the scene and ominously shouted: «Silence! Chapay is thinking!» People have been admiring her for years. Her secret is not only in her beauty. Besides that Elina is a vivid person. From her childhood until now she is still youthful, bright, sensitive and very industrious. «I’ve never wished a bad thing to anyone, — Elina Bystritskaya says. — I’ve never done anything shameful. My mother said: «Don’t tell lies». I’m so grateful for my parents’ precepts.»
Nevertheless, her strong character and moral principles sometimes led her into trouble with officials or theater and cinema functionaries. But Elina Bystritskaya is not of those who can betray themselves. She always stays true to her principles and it’s her power.
The world knows her as Aksinia from Sergey Gerasimov’s film And Quiet Flows the Don. Mikhail Sholokhov, the author of this great book, also saw her in this role. Critics noticed Elina’s great performance. Her character was extremely passionate and charming. She did a lot of hard work trying to develop necessary physical and psychological skills.
This magnificent performance was greatly appreciated. Elina Bystritskaya received a letter from thirty Don Cossack elders, which recognized her as a Cossack woman and encouraged to name herself Aksinia of the Don. Dozens millions of people saw And Quiet Flows the Don. The film received lots of prizes at various film festivals in Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Brussels and Mexico.
Being convincing on the stage and on the screen is an important side of Elina’s talent. Just remember the movie Unfinished Novel and her character Elizaveta Maximovna, the district doctor. Her experience of a sister of mercy received in a medical school and at the front helped her a lot. The film inspired many young people to go to medical institutes and let Soviet Screen magazine readers call Elina Bystritskaya the best actress of the year
Sometimes fame can make life complicated. Thus some Maly Theater old-timers didn’t like her much at first. The reason is the traditional rivalries between the theater and the cinema. At the outset she had to prove her right to play in a violent competition. But later the eminent actors noticed her talent, desire for learning and respect of masters’ experience.
Eventually Elina Bystritskaya proved that she had taken her place rightfully. Her partners were Mikhail Tsarev, Elena Gogoleva, Nikolay Annenkov, Mikhail Zharov, Elena Shatrova. She worked with outstanding directors Boris Babochkin, Leonid Varpakhovsky, Petr Fomenko, Victor Kommisarzhevsky, Boris Lvov-Anokhin. Her characters were as strong and uncommon as she herself.
«I’m in love with Maly Theater since our first meeting in Kiev. And I work in Maly for more than a half of century. I become a completely different person during an evening spectacle. Theater is a real conversation between actors and viewers. Sensitive people may even cry in the middle of performance. And yet the theater is a source of knowledge. The same as education.»
In Maly Elina Bystritskaya could unlock her talent of a public figure. With the help of a great actress Elena Gogoleva she became the member of the Theater’s Trade Union Committee and worked in the Russian Theater Society. For 16 years Elina was the head of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation of the USSR and achieved great success. With her help rhythmic gymnastics was included in the National Olympic Games of the USSR. Besides that she spent a lot of time taking care of novice gymnasts.
Today Elina Bystritskaya is the President of the Art and Science Charity Fund, Professor and Academician of several academies. Recently she defended a thesis in the field of the Art History and surprised her friends. Her day begins with sports. And she is a skillful billiard player.
«It is known that a man lives because of his helpfulness, — Elina once said. — It’s not only about what you feel. It’s important when society needs you.» Elina Bystritskaya is undoubtedly an in-demand person. She loves life and life loves her thus pleasing her friends and fans.