Nadezhda Medvedeva

Medvedeva, Nadezhda Mikhailovna


(married name, N. M. Gaidukova). Born Oct. 6 (18), 1832, in Moscow; died Sept. 24 (Oct. 6), 1899, on the island of Corfu, Greece. Russian actress.

Medvedeva was born into a family of actors. She was the sister of P. M. Medvedev. In 1849, after graduating from the Moscow Theatrical School, she was accepted into the Malyi Theater Company. She acted in vaudevilles and melodramas. Medvedeva’s talent did not become fully apparent until 1866, when she began to play elderly society women. A student of M. S. Shchepkin, Medvedeva helped establish Shchepkin’s acting methods in the Malyi Theater.

Medvedeva’s acting technique was distinguished by her vivid portrayals, careful character development, and simplicity and truthfulness. She played the roles of Khlestova in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit, and Turusina, Gurmyzhskaia, and Ogudalova in the first productions of A. N. Ostrovskii’s Even a Wise Man Stumbles (1868), The Forest (1871), and The Dowerless Bride (1878).

Medvedeva was the first to notice the talent of M. N. Ermolova. While Ermolova was still a student at the Moscow Theatrical School, Medvedeva chose her to play the title role in her benefit performance of Lessing’s Emilia Galotti (1870). K. S. Stanislavsky highly valued Medvedeva’s acting methods and considered himself her pupil.


Kara-Murza, S. G. Malyi teatr. Moscow, 1924. Pages 29-38.
Shchepkina-Kupernik, T. L. Dni moei zhizni. Moscow, 1928. Pages 162-75.