Granovskaia, Elena Mavrikievna
Born June 13, 1877, in Tver’, now Kalinin; died June 15, 1968, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian actress. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1944).
Granovskaia’s professional theatrical career began in 1897 in the Ozerki Theater in St. Petersburg. She also acted at the Panaev Theater (St. Petersburg) and the Korsh Theater (Moscow). From 1903 she appeared in the private productions of S. F. Saburov (the Hermitage Theater in Moscow and the Passazh Theater in St. Petersburg). In 1931 she joined the Leningrad Theater of Satire and Comedy (after 1935, the Leningrad Theater of Comedy), and in 1939 the M. Gorky Bolshoi Drama Theater Troupe.
She became known as an outstanding comedy actress, a master of the art of dialogue and of expressive gestures. Her prerevolutionary roles were primarily in farces and comedies, where she usually played refined, elegant, frivolous society ladies. She portrayed Catherine (Madame Sans-Gêne by Sardou and Moreau) with success. Soviet drama brilliantly opened new opportunies for her talents, for the depth of her psychological characterization and her ability to transform herself into her roles. Her best roles in the 1930’s and 1940’s were Mirandolina (in Goldoni’s The Mistress of the Inn). Katharine (in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew). Ranevskaia (in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard), and Polina Bardina (in Gorky’s Enemies). She received the State Prize of the USSR for her portrayal of Sofia Petrovna in Lav-renev’s The Breakup. She was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and medals.