Gritsenko, Nikolai Olimpievich
Born July 11 (24), 1912, in the station of Iasinovataia, in present-day Donetsk Oblast. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1964).
In 1940, Gritsenko graduated from the school of the E. Vakhtangov Theater and joined the company of this theater. Inherent in Gritsenko’s art is the free-and-easy mastery of many genres, a disposition to completely transform himself internally and externally, and the ability to make use of techniques of the grotesque as well as exaggeration. Some of his most important comedy roles are Molokov in Down the Gold Mine (based on Mamin-Sibiriak’s work), Tartaglia in Gozzi’s Princess Turandot, Mamaev in Ostrovskii’s Even a Wise Man Stumbles, and Kazanets in Sofronov’s The Cook and The Cook Married. The comical palette of Gritsenko is rich with colors: from ironic, improvised theatrical acting to sharp and sweeping satirical generalizations.
An important part of Gritsenko’s creativity is his work in the dramatic roles of the Russian classics: Fedor Protasov in L. N. Tolstoy’s The Living Corpse and Prince Myshkin in The Idiot (based on Dostoevsky’s novel). In these roles the actor conveys spiritual goodness, freethinking, and revolt against hypocrisy. Gritsenko has played the role of Tsve-tukhin in First Joys and Kirill Izvekov (based on Fedin’s novels First Joys and An Unusual Summer). He has also appeared on the screen as Artamashev in The Bearer of the Golden Star, as Roshchin in the trilogy Road to Calvary (based on A. N. Tolstoy’s Sisters, The Year 1918, and A Dull Morning), and as Karenin in Anna Karenina. He won the State Prize of the USSR in 1952. and the K. S. Stanislavsky State Prize of the RSFSR in 1970. He has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and medals.
A. G. OBRAZTSOVA