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Soviet Film Star Tatiana Samoilova Dies at 80

Soviet film star and winner of a Cannes award Tatiana Samoilova died in the early hours of Monday.

Soviet film star and winner of a Cannes award Tatiana Samoilova has passed away at the age of 80 after suffering from heart complications, news reports said.

Samoilova was hospitalized on Sunday as she celebrated her latest birthday, said Sergei Lazaruk, deputy chairman of the Russian cinematographers union, and died in the early hours of Monday, Lenta.ru reported.

Born May 4, 1934, in Leningrad, Samoilova took up an early interest in ballet and went on to study at the prestigious Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko music theater in Moscow.

In 1953, Samoilova enrolled at the Boris Shchukin Theater Institute, where she studied acting for three years before landing the lead role in Mikhail Kalatozov's acclaimed film, The Cranes Are Flying. Kalatozov's film went on to win the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival — the only Russian film ever to win the award — with Samoilova receiving an honorary award for "Most Modest and Charming Actress."

Further roles followed for Samoilova, including in Kalatozov's sequel The Unsent Letter and the title role in Alexanders Zarkhi's 1967 film Anna Karenina. In 1993, Samoilova was named National Artist of Russia, one of the state's highest honors.

Samoilova, who was married four times, leaves behind a son from her third marriage.

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