• 24 January 1942
  •  Leningrad, RSFSR, USSR [now St. Petersburg, Russia]

Lyudmila Saveleva


Lyudmila Savelyeva is a Russian actress known as Natasha Rostova in epic film War and Peace (1966), a powerful adaptation of the eponymous masterpiece by Leo Tolstoy. She was born Lyudmila Mikhailovna Savelyeva on 24 January 1942, in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), while the city suffered the heroic Siege of Leningrad during WWII. From 1950 to 1962 she studied acting and ballet at the prestigious Vaganovoy Academy of Russian Ballet, graduating in 1962 as ballerina. That same year she became member of the Kirov Ballet at Mariinsky Theatre in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). She made her film debut in Sleeping beauty (1964). Savelyeva shot to fame as Natasha Rostova in epic film War and Peace (1966) 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 two-hour-long episode about the historic Battle of Borodino against the Napoleon's invasion, making it the largest battle scene ever filmed. Savelyeva's 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. In 1969, Savelyeva was sent to the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood to represent War and Peace (1966) which won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A few days later, when Savelyeva brought the Oscar back to Moscow, she was met by members of the Soviet government who took the Oscar away from the filmmakers. After co-starring in a few less successful movies, Savelyeva disappeared form public view during the 90s. She re-emerged after a ten-year hiatus appearing in Tender Age (2000) and later appeared as Countess Scherbatskaya in _"Anna Karenina" (2009 TV mini-series)_. Outside of her acting career, Lyudmila Savelyeva is known as a collector of rare books, having amassed a significant private library. She has been married to fellow actor Aleksandr Zbruev, and the couple is living in Moscow, Russia.


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