Babanova, Mariia

Babanova, Mariia Ivanovna


Born Oct. 29 (Nov. 11), 1900, in Moscow. Soviet Russian actress. People’s Artist of the USSR (1954).

Babanova graduated from the studio of the Theater of the Artistic and Educational Union of Workers’ Organizations. From 1920 to 1927 she worked in the First Theater of the RSFSR (later renamed the Meierkhol’d Theater). Her roles include Stella in Crommelynck’s The Magnanimous Cuckold, Boi in Tret’iakov’s Roar, China!, and Mar’ia An-tonovna in Gogol’s The Inspector-General. At the same time she acted in the Theater of the Revolution, where she played the role of Polina in V. E. Meierkhol’d’s production of Ostrovsky’s A Profitable Place. In 1927 she permanently joined the Theater of the Revolution (now the Mayakovsky Moscow Theater). Here Babanova played the roles of Goga in Faiko’s Man With a Briefcase, Kolokol’chikova and Masha in Pogodin’s My Friend and After the Ball, Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Diana in Lope de Vega’s Dog in the Manger, and the title role in Arbuzov’s Tania. Complex psychological conflicts and the theme of the struggle for human dignity are especially close to her. A refined lyric actress, she creates vivid individualized stage characters. Babanova’s work is characterized by high craftsmanship, plasticity of gesture, musicality of speech, and deep emotion. Her roles in Russian and Soviet classical theater include Larisa in Ostrovsky’s The Dowerless Girl and Sof’ia in Gorky’s Zykovy. She played the role of Kei in the Japanese playwright Kaoru Morimoto’s A Stolen Life. Babanova received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and has been awarded two orders.


Grachevskii, Iu. Mariia Ivanovna Babanova. Moscow, 1952.
Novitskii, P. Obrazy akterov. [Moscow,] 1941. Pages 261–302.