Mariia Andreeva

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Andreeva, Mariia Fedorovna


(pseudonym of M. F. Iurkovskaia). Born in 1868 in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 8, 1953, in Moscow. Russian actress and public figure; joined the Communist Party in 1904.

In 1894, Andreeva began to act with the Society for Art and Literature, then from 1898 to 1905 with the Moscow Art Theater. With great refinement and with the delicacy and lyricism of a watercolor painting, she acted in plays by Hauptmann (Rautendelein in The Sunken Bell, Käthe in Lonely People), Chekhov (Irina in Three Sisters, Ania in The Cherry Orchard), and others. The principal roles of her repertoire were characters in plays by Gorky: Natasha and Liza (in The Lower Depths and Children of the Sun, at the Moscow Art Theater) and Mariia L’vovna (in The Summer Residents, at the K. N. Nezlobin Theater, Riga). As an active revolutionary (under the party code name “Phenomenon”), Andreeva was publisher of the Bolshevik newspaper Novaia Zhizn’ in 1905. She was persecuted by the police for her activity in the party. As the common-law wife, closest friend, assistant, and secretary of Maxim Gorky, Andreeva emigrated with him in 1906. On behalf of the Bolshevik Central Committee, she accompanied Gorky on his trip to America to collect funds for the revolutionary underground. She later carried out V. I. Lenin’s instructions to deliver the Bolshevik newspaper Proletarii to Russia, to collect and distribute materials on the history of the Russian revolution, to raise money and attract a wide circle of writers for the newspaper Pravda, and so on. Returning to Russia in 1913, she played first in Kiev and then at the Nezlobin Theater in Moscow, where her roles included Vera Filippovna in Ostrovskii’s The Heart Is Not a Stone and Rita Cavallini in Sheldon’s Romance. After the October Revolution, Andreeva actively participated in theatrical and public life. She was commissar of theaters and entertainment of Petrograd, commissar of the commission of experts of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Trade, and chief of the department of art and industry of the Soviet trade delegation in Germany. She was one of the founders of the Bolshoi Dramatic Theater and acted there from 1919 to 1926 (playing Lady Macbeth and other roles). From 1931 to 1948 she was director of the Moscow House of Scholars. She was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Mania Fedorovna Andreeva: Perepiska, Vospominaniia, Stat’i.
Moscow, 1961. Second edition: Moscow, 1963. Talanov, A. Bol’shaia sud’ba. Moscow, 1967.


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