During the years of Soviet cinema, the Russian-speaking audience constantly became acquainted with new faces, who later became the most beloved and memorable.
Many of the actors of that time became successful and popular, and new offers of filming came to them regularly. At the same time, there are examples of artists who turned into bright stars thanks to one impressive image, and then suddenly disappeared from the screens forever. One such actor is Mikhail Kononov, who embodied a large number of film characters.
Early career and first roles
Mikhail was born into a simple family, his parents were not involved in creative professions and had nothing to do with cinema. Nevertheless, the young Kononov discovered an artistic streak in his school days, when he regularly participated in school activities. One of his amateur colleagues was even Oleg Smirnov, who later became a famous director. At that time, Mikhail realized that he was interested in acting, so after graduating from school he entered the Higher Theater School. Shchepkina. Simultaneously with him, other famous artists studied there, including Oleg Dahl, Viktor Pavlov and Vitaly Solomin. Mikhail started playing his first roles while still a student, appearing in the films “Our Common Friend”, “Come Tomorrow…” and “The First Trolleybus”.
After school, the actor worked at the Academic Maly Theater, then at the Film Studio. M. Gorky and at the same time went to castings. He managed to play the first significant roles in the films “Chief of Chukotka” (Alexei Bychkov) and “Andrei Rublev” (Foma).
After that, Mikhail played a few less prominent characters, until his career appeared in the multi-series film “Big Change”, which made him truly recognizable. It is noteworthy that Kononov himself initially refused to participate in the film, because he did not like the script, but this role greatly influenced the further life of the artist. This work was followed by other well-known tapes: “In war as in war”, “There is no ford in the fire”, “Beginning”, “Guests from the future”, “Finist – Clear Falcon” and others.
Despite such great success and demand, which the actor eventually achieved thanks to his talent, over time, Russian cinema became less and less interested in him. Mikhail stopped agreeing to the proposals, and by the early 90’s his appearances on the screen had shrunk. At the same time, his appearance at that time was not so popular in the movies, so he received rejections at castings. Until the early 2000s, the actor continued to appear periodically in films, but his acting career was no longer as dynamic as before.
By this time, Kononov decided to sell an apartment to build his own house near Moscow.
There he focused on new activities, began writing memoirs and was going to publish books, but he did not succeed in this area because the publishers were not interested in the material. Then he had to live only on a pension, which was only three thousand rubles.
Life without movies
In addition to the fact that Mikhail almost completely gave up acting, in recent years, his health has begun to deteriorate. In the early 2000s, the previously sought-after artist suffered a heart attack and was a group II invalid. Despite this, in 2006 he played the role in the series “In the first circle”, the role in it was the last in the filmography of Michael. Already in 2007 he was in the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia. Soon the actor’s condition began to deteriorate rapidly, it was not possible to save him.
Mikhail passed away at the age of 67, leaving behind a memory of about 60 paintings with his participation. During his life he was also awarded the title of Honored and People’s Artist.