Frunzik Mkrtchyan is undoubtedly the most famous and beloved actor in Armenia, whose name was among the greatest in the entire Soviet Union. Frunzik Mkrtchyan is known also as Mher Mkrtchyan. Here, you will see some information about him including his movies and biography.
Everyone in the Soviet Union knew about the talent and flawless characters Mher Mkrtchyan portraited. People of any age loved and honored him, whether they were from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, or even Azerbaijan.
It is even impossible to describe how much people honored him in Armenia. Frunzik Mkrtchyan was so much loved and appreciated in his homeland, that he could absolutely live without money and documents. He was never allowed to pay for anything he wanted to buy in shops, even food. This is how much everyone appreciated him.
Today many actors, entertainers do plastic surgery to look flawless. Big nose is a guarantee of failing the casting. It was not the case in the Soviet Union and especially in case of Mher Mkrtchyan.
He was famous for his big Armenian nose and very sad eyes. These two features were his signatures and won him dozens of roles. Some Russian directors even found that his nose itself had a character, there was some kind of energy in it. Instead of looking big and ugly, it made him look attractive.
Within all this fame, great roles and success on stage, very few people knew about the tragic personal life of the great actor. Mher Mkrtchyan’s endless talent could only be surpassed by his endless unhappiness in life.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan’s Biography
Early Life and Education
Mher Mkrtchyan, or as people like to call him Frunzik, was born in 1930 in Soviet Union in the city of Leninakan, which is now called Gyumri. His parents were ordinary workers at a local textile fabric. Frunzik Mkrtchyan showed great interest and talent at a very young age by arranging theatrical plays for his neighbors. His father didn’t like the idea of Frunzik becoming an actor, which is the reason why Frunzik joined the club of dramatic actors secretly.
After finishing school Frunzik Mkrtchyan studied in Leninakan Art College and Theatre Studio. But his aspirations of becoming a great and famous actor made him move to Yerevan and enter Acting Department of Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and Theatre. He showed such a great talent that professors agreed on letting him skip the first year and start straight from the second year.
From then on Frunzik’s career was going only up. Starting form 1953, he was performing in Sundukyan Drama Theatre of Yerevan. He quickly became famous as a theatrical actor and director.
Mher Mkrtchyan’s Career
Mher Mkrtchyan’s career in big cinema started in 1955. He played in many great movies, both local Armenian and Soviet. Among his famous movies are:
Even though Frunzik Mkrtchyan was being offered roles in the best movies of that time, and the best directors were offering him roles personally, he still felt unappreciated. The reason for this was the type of roles he was being offered.
His funny appearance and typical Armenian accent (when speaking Russian) was bringing him only comic roles. Meanwhile, he was playing Othello in theater. He was doing every possible thing to make the directors give him main dramatic roles.
Even though those comic roles made him a huge superstar everywhere, Frunzik did not care much about fame, he wanted to show his talent as a dramatic actor also in movies.
Tragic Personal Life and Death of Frunzik Mkrtchyan
Personal life of Mher Mkrtchyan did not appear as successful and colorful as his career. If his artistic biography is full of success and love, then personal biography is the polar opposite. During his years in Sundukyan theater Frunzik meets a young actress named Donara and falls in love.
Everyone in the theater, including his close friends, warned him about the weird behavior of the young lady. They told him that she had sudden mood switches all the time, and was, sometimes, aggressive.
Soon, against everyone’s will, Frunzik marries Donara. During their marriage Donara gives birth to a daughter and a son. After many scandals and family problems, doctors diagnosed Frunzik’s wife with Schizophrenia, which is untreatable mental disorder.
After his wife’s transfer to madhouse, Frunzik Mkrtchyan started to take care of his kids alone. Later, his daughter married an Armenian guy and moved to Argentina, where she died from cancer in late 90s.
A few years later Frunzik married for the second time, hoping for a successful one this time, but he ended up with a divorce. His only hope became his son, who, by that time, had started acting strange. In 1993 doctors in France diagnosed Mher Mkrtchyan’s son with Schizophrenia, which he inherited from his mother.
This becomes the last stroke. After hearing about his son’s diagnose Frunzik told his brother that he has no reason to live anymore.
On 29th of December, 1993 neighbors found Frunzik Mkrtchyan’s body lifeless in his apartment. His son was also there, but he was not able to understand what was happening. Frunzik is buried at Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan and his Top 3 Movies
The honorary actor Frunzik Mkrtchyan played in more than 60 films during his career in cinema. All of his roles were somehow different and challenging. But being one of the greatest actors, every time Frunzik gave life to his characters by playing them flawlessly.
Talking about all his movies and roles separately here will be impossible. That’s why we’ve chosen the top 3 Frunzik Mkrtchyan movies for you to start with.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan Movies #1: Mimino
The comedy movie “Mimino” was produced by Mosfilm company. This movie became so successful that it won the Golden Prize of Moscow International Film Festival.
This film is about the never-ending Georgian-Armenian competition: who is a better dancer, who is a better cook, who makes better barbeques, etc. It tells about a Georgian man, who accidently happens to stay with an Armenian driver in the same hotel room. They both were not supposed to stay in that hotel and eventually are getting kicked out. There we go – the adventures start here!
By the way, make sure you watch the court scene. Believe us, you won’t regret.
It is definitely one of the masterpieces of Soviet movie production. Frunzik Mkrtchyan played a role of an Armenian truck driver Rubik Khachikyan. Some phrases of Rubik from this movie became quotes and are used still to these days.
Mimino has such a great reputation, that there are many Georgian-Armenian restaurants (in Georgia, Armenia and Russia) named “Mimino”, which people love to visit.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan Movies #2: The Men
The second movie of Mher Mkrtchyan we recommend you to watch is “The Men”. The movie was directed by Edmond Keoseyan. It’s about a huge friendship between men.
One of their friends, Aram, falls in love with a young lady, whose name is Karine. The girl has no clue about Aram’s feelings. Of course, friends are always there to help in this kind of situations. So, the other three friends try every possible way to help Aram reach Karine.
This movie not only demonstrates how devoted friends can be to each other, but also is full of humor and expressions that became quotes in Armenians’ everyday life.
Frunzik Mkrtchyan Movies #3: We and Our Mountains
This is the movie that knows every Armenian. It is directed by Henrik Malyan. The giants of the Armenian theater and cinema, Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Sos Sargsyan and Azat Sherentz, took the main roles.
This movie is absolutely perfect for any age, it’s one of those masterpieces that is timeless. The way Frunzik played shepherd Ishkan’s role is something to see. So, we won’t spoil your experience. Go ahead and watch it!
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