Armenia commemorates actor Mher Mkrtchyan

Today is the 80th anniversary of the birth of the eminent Soviet Armenian actor Mher (Frunzik) Mkrtchyan, who started to perform in front of his friends from the age of ten.

Theatre and cinema actor, People's Artist of Armenia (1971) and of the Soviet Union (1984), Mher Mkrtchyan was born on the 4th of July 1930 in Leninakan into the large family of a textile factory worker.

He had two names - his parents called him Mher, but officially he was named Frunze after a famous Civil War hero, according to RIA Novosti. In his childhood, Mher Mkrtchyan had a talent for painting, but he always dreamt of becoming an actor. At 15 years old he began work as a cinema operator's assistant in the textile factory concert hall and attended rehearsals of an amateur theater.

In 1947 Mher finished school and started working in the factory, but he still dreamt of becoming an actor. From 1951 to 1956 he studied at the Leninakan Art College and Theatre Studio, then finished at the Acting Department of the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and Theatre. From 1953 he performed in the Sundukyan Drama Theatre of Yerevan, where he performed dramatic roles with eminent talent.

Mher Mkrtchyan's début in cinema was in the 1955 comedy "Looking for the Addressee". During his cinema career he starred in various comedies, including Thirty-Three (1965), Kidnapping, Caucasian Style
(1967) and Mimino (1977).

In the later years of his life Mher Mkrtchyan left cinema to create his own theatre.
The personal life of the actor was filled with tragedy. His first wife (also an actress), Donara Mkrtchyan, became mentally ill and his son inherited this mental illness. At the end of his life Mher Mkrtchyan was in a deep depression and started to have problems with alcohol.

Mher Mkrtchyan died on 29 December 1993 in Yerevan in his own apartment. He was buried in the Armenian Heroes of Spirit Pantheon.