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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of Russian actors.

Vasilii Fedotovich Rykalov. Born Mar. 1 (12), 1771; died Jan. 9 (21), 1813. Student of I. A. Dmitrievskii and A. A. Shakhov-skoi.

Rykalov joined the St. Petersburg company in 1793. He became famous for his performances as Harpagon and Sganarelle in Molière’s The Miser and The Doctor in Spite of Himself and in Russian slice-of-life plays, including the roles of Iakov Silin in Klushin’s The Sensible Fool and the Elder in Il’in’s Liza, or the Triumph of Gratitude. He also taught at the St. Petersburg Theatrical School from 1796.

Nadezhda Vasil’evna Rykalova. Born July 10 (22), 1824, in Moscow; died there Jan. 3 (16), 1914. Granddaughter of V. F. Rykalov.

Rykalova was an actress with the Malyi Theater from 1846 to 1891. She initially played young protagonists but early in her career assumed character roles of elderly women. Her best role was Atueva in Sukhovo-Kobylin’s Krechinskii’s Wedding. Rykalova was an actress of high artistic caliber and taste. She had a subtle understanding of the special details of her characters’ personalities and ways of life. Her talent was highly esteemed by A. N. Ostrovskii, who conceived the role of Kabanikha in The Thunderstorm for her. Her other roles included Bal’zami-nova in Ostrovskii’s When Your Own Dogs Are Fighting, Don’t Let Someone Else’s Near and What You Come For Is What You’ll Find, Barabosheva in Ostrovskii’s Truth Is Good, But Happiness Is Better, and Khlestova and the Grandmother-Countess in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit. After leaving the Malyi Theater, Rykalova played at the Korsh Theater in Moscow and at other theaters until 1904.

Other actors in the Rykalov family were Pelageia Titovna Rykalova (née Pozharskaia; born 1779; died 1862), the wife of V. F. Rykalov; Vasilii Vasil’evich Rykalov (born 1800; died 1825), Elizaveta Vasil’evna Rykalova (married name Marsel’; born 1806; died 1850), and Olga Vasil’evna Rykalova (years of birth and death unknown), all three the children of F. V. Rykalov and P. T. Rykalova; and Agrafena Gavrilovna Rykalova (born 1805; died 1840), the wife of V. V. Rykalov.


Sirotinin, A. N. “Artisticheskaia sem’ia.” Russkii arkhiv, book 2, issue 7, pp. 371–89.
Kara-Murza, S. G. “N. V. Rykalova.” In his book Malyi teatr: ocherki i vpechatleniia. Moscow, 1924. Pages 22–28.
Aseev, B. N. Russkii dramaticheskii teatr XVII–XVIII vekov. Moscow, 1958. Pages 357–73.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.