Amvrosii Maksimilianovich Buchma

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Buchma, Amvrosii Maksimilianovich


Born Mar. 14, 1891, in L’vov; died Jan. 6, 1957, in Kiev. Soviet Ukrainian actor, director, teacher, and public figure. People’s Artist of the USSR (1944). Member of the CPSU from 1942.

Born into the family of a railroad worker, Buchma joined the Rus’ka Besyda Theater in L’vov as a chorus member and a walk-on actor in 1905. Musical by nature, endowed with a marvelous sense of rhythm, playing several musical instruments, a gymnast and a dancer, gifted in drawing and in makeup, and a resourceful improviser, Buchma soon became one of the most popular actors of the western Ukrainian theater. The development of his creative personality was greatly influenced by his study of the acting of his senior stage colleagues (especially E. A. Rubchakova’s and V. M. Iurchak’s acting), observation of reality, and interest in the life of the people. After the Great October Revolution, Buchma was among the first builders of the Soviet Ukrainian theater. In 1920 he cofounded the I. Franko Theater in Vinnitsa, which moved to Kiev in 1926. From 1922 to 1926 and from 1930 to 1936 he acted in the Berezil’ Theater in Kiev, which in 1933 became T. G. Shevchenko Kharkov Theater. His best roles of that period include Higgins in Jimmie Higgins, based on Sinclair’s work of the same name, Jean in La Jacquerie after Mérimée, Gaidai and Platon Krechet in Korneichuk’s The Death of the Squadron and Platon Krechet, and Ivan Kaliaev in Popovskii’s The Prologue. In 1936 he returned to the I. Franko Theater, where he created outstanding characters of great dramatic power: Terentii Puzyr’ in Karpenko-Karyi’s The Master, Mikola Zadorozh-nyi in Franko’s Stolen Happiness, Ivan Kolomiitsev in Gorky’s The Last Ones, and Gaidai, Platon Krechet, and Makar Dubrava in Korneichuk’s The Death of the Squadron, Platon Krechet, and Makar Dubrava. Buchma also played V. I. Lenin in Korneichuk’s The Truth. Buchma considered that the main features of Lenin’s character were his love for the people, his closeness to simple people, and his faith in the creative power of the masses. In studying materials, books, articles, and memoirs devoted to Lenin, Buchma searched for the elements that would help him create the image of the people’s leader and to bring out the origin and development of Lenin’s ideas. His creative work was marked by tremendous inner truth, sincerity, pointed social generalizations, and psychological depth. Buchma’s extensive experience of life and the wealth of his observations and impressions (from early childhood Buchma had worked as a farm laborer, longshoreman, and mason, among other occupations) determined the main theme of his creative work—the work and life of the people—as well as the special human passion of his art. A master of transformation and of refined forms, Buchma also successfully performed character roles. He also staged several plays.

In 1924, Buchma began acting in motion pictures. He created the tragedy roles of Gordi Iaroshchuk in The Night Cabby and Taras in The Invincibles. He taught at the Karpenko-Karyi Kiev Institute of Theatrical Art, becoming a professor there in 1940. Buchma was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and 1949, the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.


“Stranitsy moei zhizni.” Iskusstvo kino, 1957, no. 7.


Borshchagovskii, A. Amvrosii Maksimilianovich Buchma. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Piskun, I. Amvrosii Maksymylianovych Buchma. Kiev, 1956.
L’vov-Anokhin, B. Amvrosii Maksimilianovich Buchma. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.