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Published on Apr 25, 2009
Frunzik (Mher) Mushegovich Mkrtchyan (Armenian: Ֆրունզիկ (Մհեր) Մուշեղի Մկրտչյան, Russian: Фрунзик (Мгер) Мушегович Мкртчян; 4 July 1930 29 December 1993) was a popular Soviet Armenian actor who was named a People's Artist of the Soviet Union in 1984.
He was born in Leninakan, current Gyumri, Armenia. He studied in Leninakan Art College and Theatre Studio, then finished at the Acting Department of Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and Theatre. Since 1953 he has performed in the Sundukyan Drama Theatre of Yerevan. He also directed many successful productions, best of them Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths". His cinema career began in 1955. His famous roles in Rolan Bykov's "Aybolit-66" (1966), Leonid Gaidai's "Kidnapping, Caucasian Style" (1966), and Georgi Daneliya's "Mimino" (1977) earned him the reputation of one of the leading comedy actors in the Soviet Union. But that reputation sometimes overshadowed his real talent and emotional deepness which he put in his roles in such classics of Armenian cinema as "Yerankyuni" (1967), "Menq enq, mer sarere" (1969) , "Hayrik" (1973), "Nahapet" (1977), "Hin oreri yerge" (1982), "Mer mankutyan tangon" (1985). Among his many awards was the USSR State Prize for 1978. He died in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1993.
Even though he was known as a comedic actor, Frunzik's personal life was filled with tragedy. His first wife, Donara Mkrtchyan, became mentally ill and was sent to a mental institution for the rest of her life. Frunzik became a single parent of two young kids. His son inherited his mothers mental illness, which devastated Frunzik. According to people close to Frunzik, he suffered from severe depression in the last few years of his life, and became a heavy alcohol drinker. In 1993, he was found dead in his condo in Yerevan. Thousands of people attended the funeral of their beloved actor.