• 22 August 1927
  •  Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR [now Russia]

Irina Skobtseva


Irina Skobtseva is a Russian film actress known as Helen Kuragina in epic film War and Peace (1966), a powerful adaptation of the eponymous masterpiece by Leo Tolstoy by director Sergey Bondarchuk. She was born Irina Konstantinovna Skobtseva on 22 August 1927, in Tula, USSR (now Russia). Her father, Konstantin Skobtsev, was a meteorology scientist, her mother, julia Nikolaevna, was an archive researcher. While a student of art department at the Moscow State University, she was active with student drama, From 1951 to 1955 she studied acting at the Moscow Art Theatre Studio, graduating as actress. She made her film debut as Desdemona opposite Sergey Bondarchuk in the Shakespearian drama Othello (1956) by director Sergei Yutkevich. Irina Skobtseva shot to fame as Helen Kuragina in epic film Voina i mir (1967) by director Sergey Bondarchuk. The eight-hour epic became the most expensive film ever made, War and Peace (1966) was produced over seven years, from 1961 to 1968, at an estimated cost of $100,000,000 (about one billion dollars adjusted for inflation in 2010). The film set several records, such as involving over three hundred professional actors from several countries and also tens of thousands extras from the Red Army in filming of the 3rd two-hour-long episode about the historic Battle of Borodino against the Napoleon's invasion, making it the largest battle scene ever filmed. War and Peace (1966) won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Skobtseva was designated People's Artist of Russia (1974) and also received awards at Russian and international film festivals, including two awards at the Cannes. Her natural beauty and effortless style won her numerous accolades form international critics. She was chosen by the Soviet Union's communist government to represent the country at various film festivals across the world. Irina Skobtseva was married to actor and director Sergey Bondarchuk and the couple had two children, Alyona Bondarchuk and Fedor Bondarchuk. Irina Skobtseva was teaching at Moscow State Film Institute (VGIK) during the 70s; she semi-retired in the 1980s, but has made some appearances on television since. She is living in Moscow, Russia.


Movie Name Release Date
Πόλεμος και ειρήνη – Voyna i mir (1966) April 28, 1968