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Legendary Soviet actress Mordyukova dies at 82

MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Nonna Mordyukova, the legendary actress famous for creating the archetypal image of a Soviet woman, died at the age of 82 in a Moscow hospital late on Sunday, Ekho Moskvy radio reported on Monday.

Mordyukova made her screen debut in the film 'Young Guards' in 1947, but only became popular in 1955, when she played the role of Stesha in a Mikhail Shveitser film, 'Chuzhaya Rodnya' (Other People's Relatives). During a career that lasted 50 years, she appeared in 60 films.

She played a great number of comedy roles. In some scenes she uttered just a couple of lines in her typically low voice, but this was usually enough for a joke to cross over into popular use.

The actress suffered from diabetes and dementia and was admitted to hospital for treatment several times in the past few years, most recently in March 2008. She lived alone after getting divorced from the popular Soviet actor, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, and the death of their only son Vladimir, who was a drug addict.

She won several state Soviet awards, and the editorial board of Britain's Who Is Who encyclopedia ranked Mordyukova among the top 10 actresses of the 20th century.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have expressed their condolences to the actress' family and friends.

Mordyukova will be buried at the Kuntsevskoye cemetery in western Moscow on Wednesday.

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