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Vladimir Vysotsky was born in Moscow at the 3rd Meshchanskaya St. Vladimir’s theatrical inclinations became obvious at an early age, and were supported by his paternal grandmother Dora Bronshteyn, a theater fan. The boy used to recite poems, standing on a chair and “flinging hair backwards, like a real poet,” often using in his public speeches expressions he could hardly have heard at home. As the World War II broke out, Semyon Vysotsky, a military reserve officer, joined the Soviet army and went to fight the Nazis. In December 1946, Vysotsky’s parents divorced.
In 1953 Vladimir Vysotsky, now much interested in theater and cinema, joined the Drama courses led by Vladimir Bogomolov. In 1955, Vladimir enrolled into the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, but dropped out after just one semester to pursue an acting career. In June 1956 he joined Boris Vershilov’s class at the Moscow Art Theatre Studio-Institute. That was the way cinema greeted me,” he later jokingly remarked. In 1964, director Yuri Lyubimov invited Vysotsky to join the newly created Taganka Theatre.
I’ve written some songs of my own. I agreed to listen to just one of them, expecting our meeting to last for no more than five minutes. Instead I ended up listening to him for an entire 1. 5 hours,” Lyubimov remembered years later of this first audition. Vladimir Vysotsky in Two Comrades Were Serving. In 1969 Vysotsky starred in two films: The Master of Taiga where he played a villainous Siberian timber-floating brigadier, and more entertaining Dangerous Tour. In 1971 a drinking spree-related nervous breakdown brought Vysotsky to the Moscow Template:Oll psychiatry clinic.
By this time he has been suffering from alcoholism. In April 1973 Vysotsky visited Poland and France. Vladimir and Marina at their home in France. In New York Vysotsky met, among other people, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Joseph Brodsky.
In September Vysotsky with Taganka made a trip to Yugoslavia where Hamlet won the annual BITEF festival’s first prize, and then to Hungary for a two-week concert tour. In 1977 Vysotsky made an unlikely appearance in New York City on the American television show 60 Minutes, which falsely stated that Vysotsky had spent time in the Soviet prison system, the Gulag. Whichever way I get him there is beside the point,” Zheglov retorts. April series of concerts in Moscow and Ukraine. 1940s Russia, directed by Stanislav Govorukhin. In November 1978 Vysotsky took part in the underground censorship-defying literary project Metropolis, inspired and organized by Vasily Aksenov. In January 1979 Vysotsky again visited America with highly successful series of concerts.
In May 1979, being in a practice studio of the MSU Faculty of Journalism, Vysotsky recorded a video letter to American actor and film producer Warren Beatty, looking for both a personal meeting with Beatty and an opportunity to get a role in Reds film, to be produced and directed by the latter. On 22 January 1980, Vysotsky entered the Moscow Ostankino TV Center to record his one and only studio concert for the Soviet television. ER unit, but would not hear of Marina Vlady’s suggestions for him to take long-term rehabilitation course in a Western clinic. Yet he kept writing, mostly poetry and even prose, but songs as well.
Vysotsky had an advanced coronary condition brought about by years of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as his grueling work schedule and the stress of the constant harassment by the government. Vysotsky suffered from alcoholism for most of his life. Sometime around 1977, he started using amphetamines and other prescription narcotics in an attempt to counteract the debilitating hangovers and eventually to rid himself of alcohol addiction. While these attempts were partially successful, he ended up trading alcoholism for a severe drug dependency that was fast spiralling out of control. Fully aware of the dangers of his condition, Vysotsky made several attempts to cure himself of his addiction.
He also went to an isolated retreat in France with his wife Marina in the spring of 1980 as a way of forcefully depriving himself of any access to drugs. On 3 July 1980, Vysotsky gave a performance at a suburban Moscow concert hall. According to author Valery Perevozchikov part of the blame for his death lay with the group of associates who surrounded him in the last years of his life. This inner circle were all people under the influence of his strong character, combined with a material interest in the large sums of money his concerts earned. Vysotsky’s associates had all put in efforts to supply his drug habit, which kept him going in the last years of his life. Under their influence he was able to continue to perform all over the country, up to a week before his death.