Faina Grigorevna Ranevskaia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ranevskaia, Faina Grigor’evna


Born Aug. 15 (27), 1896, in Taganrog. Soviet actress. People’s Artist of the USSR (1961).

Ranevskaia, who studied in a private drama school, began her stage career in 1915. She appeared in theaters in the Crimea and Rostov-on-Don. Beginning in the early 1930’s, she performed in Moscow theaters, including the Kamernyi Theater, the Central Theater of the Soviet Army, the Drama Theater, and the Pushkin Theater. In 1963, Ranevskaia joined the Mos-sovet Theater, where she had worked from 1949 to 1955.

Many of A. P. Chekhov’s characters were in Ranevskaia’s repertoire, including Zmeiukina in The Wedding, Merchutkina in Jubilee, Sharlotta in The Cherry Orchard, and Natasha in The Three Sisters. In contemporary plays, she played Troshchina in Afinogenov’s The Eccentric, the Chairman of the Kolkhoz in Ia-novskii’s Wrath, and the Speculator in Bill’-Belotserkovskii’s The Gale. Her greatest roles have been the title role in Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova, Mrs. Savage in Patrick’s The Curious Savage, and Lucy Cooper in Delmar’s The Rest Is Silence. Ranevskaia’s significant film roles include Roza Skorokhod in The Daydream (1943), Margarita L’vovna in Spring (1947), the Stepmother in Cinderella (1947), and Frau Wurst in They Do Have a Motherland (1950).

The theatrical images that Ranevskaia created characteristically combined a dramatic and lyrical quality that has both comic and realistic depth with a satirical and grotesque quality. The actress has mastered the art of tragicomedy.

Ranevskaia has been awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1949, 1951), two orders, and various medals.


Dunina, S. Faina Grigor’evna Ranevskaia. Moscow, 1953.
Zorkii, A. “Faina Ranevskaia.” In Aktery sovetskogo kino. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.