Academician of The Russian Academy of Arts. Born on October 13, 1933 in Moscow.
An outstanding Soviet and Russian theater and film director. Director of Lenkom Theatre. People’s Artist of the USSR, USSR State Prize Laureate, State Prize of the Russian Federation Laureate (twice). Crystal Turandot Prize Laureate. Companion of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland (1st, 2nd and 3rd class).
Mark Zakharov is one of the greatest contemporary film directors. Yet he considers himself an irrational person. «I am too spontaneous. It’s all because of Russian wideness and prowess» -Mark Zakharov tells. Though besides Russians there were also Tatars and Jews among his ancestors. Grim and severe at first sight he once confessed that liked humor and comedy the most. And he never hesitated to smile at himself.
No one is born a director. And no one becomes a director accidentally. This is a great passion that you should feel in your heart. And being in charge for yourself and your actors is a great responsibility. Mark Zakharov broke the ground in the Moscow State University Student Theater. In the beginning of 1960s a veteran producer Sergey Yutkevich offered him the job of director. Heretofore Zakharov worked as an assistant director in an amateur theater of the Perm University. But he already found his true vocation. After his debut spectacle Aristocrats Mark Zakharov understood that young actors were interested in working with him as he was able to catch people’s attention for a long time and rule the production process.
He could release all his potential in the Moscow State Theatre named after Lenin’s Komsomol later shortened to the Moscow Lenkom Theatre. He was appointed a theater director in 1973. A new spectacle Til based on the play by Gregory Gorin was presented one year later. The audience loved the performance of young actors Nikolai Karachentsov and Inna Churikova. Til was extremely popular, especially during the theater’s tour in Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. In 1983 a brand new rock opera Junona and Avos caused the same furor in France. Thus Mr. Zakharov turned his dream into reality and Lenkom became a popular place for both theater gourmands and ordinary people. Contemporaneously Mark Zakharov directed the movies that later would become cult Soviet classics. An Ordinary Miracle, The Very Same Munchhausen, The House That Swift Built To Kill a Dragon. Being both movie and theater director Mr. Zakharov not only let such veterans as Yevgeny Leonov and Tatyana Peltser release their full potential but also raised many young talents like Inna Churikova, Oleg Yankovsky, Alexander Abdulov.
Today Mark Zakharov and Lenkom can be seen as an indivisible organism. The epoch of Zakharov became the most prominent time in Lenkom’s eighty year history, though Mark himself always remembers director Anatoly Efros and his brilliant spectacles.
«I hope that Memorial Pray will remain. It played a big part in the theater’s life, it let the theater be, — Mark Zakharov says. — The Marriage of Figaro will surely be. It’s still festive and joyful. The second generation of Lenkom actors performed there. Alexander Lazarev, Alexandra Zakharova, Tatyana Kravchenko and many others.»
Mr. Zakharov has a calm attitude towards his critics. But as all normal people he is glad to hear compliments and sad when someone scolds. Yet he has the right to do whatever he wants without asking advices. «You know, I’m a very trusting man. I make a spectacle and I like it. I understand what it’s really worth later. Sitting in a seventeenth row and watching it over again. Only fulsome flattery makes me feel sober. For example, if some man tells me that I’m a good director, then I believe. But I’m not so sure that this very man actually thinks so.»
Among all his works Mark Zakharov loves An Ordinary Miracle and The Very Same Munchhausen the most. And you can’t help agreeing with him. The stories of love between the Princess and the Bear or Marta and Baron Munchausen are touching for everyone who ever loved. «Look, I am a lecturer in the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, — Zakharov explains. — There was an etude. We were reciting Japanese poetry. And two young students, a boy and a girl, almost couldn’t resist touching each other’s hand during the etude. That was confusing. So I think that erotic energy is the main thing that connects people. It’s an eternal matter. And here are all difficulties, drops and zigzags of any relations. Such variety of existence in a short period between birth and death will always remain interesting.»