Armenian acting industry is rich in many prominent names that we can be proud of. So we can proudly say that Armenia also gave the world the talented and outstanding actors. Nowadays we have got a significant number of famous new movies and modern artists in our rich cinematology, whose recognition is not less significant.
Nevertheless, during the Soviet period, the film industry was developed due to the talented actors, whose name we will always remember. Many of them are famous not only in Armenia but also outside of the country.
Let’s discover them!
The most famous Armenian actor #1 Mher (Frunzik) Mkrtchyan
It was 1930 when the most popular artist of the 20th century was born. Till today many foreigners recognize Armenia as the country where Frunzik was born. Though his father was against the decision of his son to become an actor, Frunzik knew where he was going.
As a child, he was a timid boy, and nobody couldn’t even imagine that one day he was going to reach the recognition that owns today. Frunzik Mkrtchyan had a tough childhood, and one day he said: “I hadn’t seen the youth, hadn’t seen the kindergarten, I hadn’t seen the yard to play, I had only seen the theatre.
Frunzik was born in Gyumri, the most humorous region in Armenia, and played many performances and roles concerning to his homeland. His career in big cinema started in 1955. The beloved artist played in many great movies. Among his famous films are What River Runs About, Aybolit, Triangle, Khatabala, Father, The Song of the Old Days, Slap Big Win.
I recommend you watch all the movies of Frunzik. My favorite ones are “The song of the old days”- a sad movie with a hard end. “The men”- a movie about typical Armenian friendship and devotion, “We and our mountains” - the giant of the Armenian cinematology. The charisma of Mher Mkrtchyan is very impressive. His typical Armenian appearance and accent will make you fall in love with his movies and acting.
The most famous Armenian actor #2 Khoren Abrahamyan
Khoren Abrahamyan is one of the famous professional artist of the 21st century, if not the most professional. Even today he continues to be a role model and the treasure that will stay in our hearts forever.
Firstly, he was working as an actor, later was the executive director of the Sundukyan Drama Theatre of Yerevan. Abrahamyan was a great artist who played a lot of leading roles both in cinema and theatre. The most famous ones are Saroyan brothers as Gevorg Abrahamyan, Lord as Rostom, We and Our Mountains as Pavle, The Chronicle of Yerevan Days, Travail as Myasnikyan, Hope Star as The Avedis and Live Long as Sisakyan.
The most famous Armenian actor #3 Sos Sargsyan
Sos Sargsyan is another talented actor of the 21st century. He was born in Stepanavan, Lori region( at the time part of the Soviet Union). At a young age, he moved to Yerevan and started performing at the Theater of the Young Spectator.
Sos Sargsyan started her acting career in 1947. The most famous roles of him are Guys from the Army Band, Heghnar spring, Nahapet, Beyond the Seven mountains, The best half of year. Sos Sargsyan belongs to the talented actors who are outstanding not only in Armenia but also out of it. He also performed in Russian movie called Solaris. Sos Sargsyan has mostly been prominent for his nationalism and the devotion to his nation.
The most famous Armenian actor #4 Hrachya Nersisyan
While discovering the Armenian acting industry, it is impossible not to mention the great name of Hrachya Nersisyan. He was both a film and theatre actor and was so talented and artistic that was awarded a great title of People’s Artist of the USSR. His charisma and talent are visible in all the films he had performed in. The first and the most famous film of Hrachya is Namus, which premiered in 1925.
The film “Zangezur” brought him great recognition too. His great fame highly increased after the role in “David Bek.” Hrachya Nersisyan had a high impact on the Armenian acting industry. The works of the great artist in acting in unlimited: It includes over two dozen films and performances.
The most famous Armenian actor #5 Yervand Manaryan
Yervand Manaryan was born in Iran, in 1925. Later moved Yerevan and attended the filmmaking department of Yerevan Institute of theatre. We will not be wrong to say that Manaryan's role in acting was unlimited. He is actor and director, screenwriter and songwriter.
Yervand especially was acting in the leading roles. His first steps were in the Opera Theatre. Afterward was the director of Yerevan State Puppet Theatre after Hovhannes Tumanyan. Manaryan is best known for his leading roles in “Karine,” “Morgan's Relative,” “The bride from the North,” “Captain Arakel,” “Arevik” films. He is a true artist that will never care whether his country will grant him a title or not.
The most famous Armenian actor #6 Armen Jigarxanyan
Armen Jigarkhanyan is one of the most loved and recognized actors. The great Armenian artist was performing in Armenian and Russian movies. He has appeared in various roles in the films with more than 250 appearances. During the Soviet period, his fame spread everywhere. Jigarxanyan was a screenwriter and the founder of the Moscow Drama Theatre. He belongs to the actors whose eagerness to become a great actor comes from childhood.
All the movies of Jigarxanyan are worth to watch, and my beloved ones are his 3 movies:
1.Triangle- Armen Jigarkhanyan played the role of a blacksmith named Usta Mukuch. The film is about the friendship between 5 blacksmiths. Jigarxanyan was one of these 5 blacksmiths.
2. Gikor- The movie describes the life of a young boy who comes to a big city from his small village to earn his living. Jigarkhanyan played the role of Bazaz Artem, the cruel trader for whom Gikor was working.
3- A bride from the North- Armen Dzhigarkhanyan plays Artak’s, the main character’s uncle’s role.
The most famous Armenian actor #7 Karp Khachvankyan
Born in Tbilisi, Karp Khachvankyan has started his acting career at the Georgian film studio. Since 1949, he has played four roles in Hayfilm Studio, has had ten characters in the television drama. He was performing especially at Parisyan State Musical Comedy Theater and has participated in 22 radio rehearsals and more than 100 roles have made his curious audience laugh.
He was best known for his comical roles: Knyaz in "Taxi, Taxi," Theodoros in "Liar Wanted”. His role in movies was not less visible. He had a great activity at Hayfilm company. He had great roles in “Road to the Stage,” “Patvi hamar,” “The Girl from Ararat Valley” films.
Though we distinguished only 7 actors from Armenian cinematology, there are lots of extremely charismatic and artistic actors that are also prominent representatives of cinematology. So it is impossible to write about all of them as they are so many, all are unique and at the same time extremely artistic.
Published Feb. 18, 2019
Article by Elen Sargsyan