Lyubov Petrovna Orlova, was the first recognized star of Soviet cinema, famous theatre actress and a gifted singer.
She was born to a family of Russian nobles in Zvenigorod near Moscow and grew up in Yaroslavl. When she was seven, Fyodor Shalyapin predicted her future as a famous actress.
Orlova studied in Moscow Conservatory but did not graduate because she had to work to support her parents. Her first husband, a Soviet economist Andrei Berezin, was arrested in 1930. However this did not reflect on her successful career.
Orlova's performance in a very popular 1934 comedy, Jolly Fellows, earned the young star the sympathy of Stalin and the title "Honorable actor of RSFSR". Soon she married the movie director, Grigori Aleksandrov.
In the next years, she starred in four popular movies which also became instant Soviet classics: Circus, Volga-Volga, Bright Path, and Spring. She was awarded the Stalin Prize. In 1950, she became the first woman to receive the title of the People's Artist of the USSR exclusively for her cinematic works. After that, she switched to playing in theatre productions of Yuri Zavadsky's company.