A beloved Russian actress turned social worker and politician, Alexandra Yakovleva, reportedly died Friday, April 1, at the age of 65, The Observatorial reported.
She is reported to have succumbed to a “serious illness” that she had been battling for the past few years.
From acting to social work to politics
According to the Russian-language media outlet New Kaliningrad, Yakovleva was born in Kaliningrad in 1957 and grew up in Soviet Russia, eventually attending and graduating from the Leningrad State Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinematography.
Her acting career began shortly thereafter and she gained fame for her abilities and work until she suddenly retired from the industry in 1993 to focus on social work after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Yakovleva served as both the chair of the Committee on Culture and Tourism and as the deputy mayor of her home city of Kaliningrad and was also instrumental in founding an annual film festival there beginning in 1994.
Later, she more fully entered politics as chair of a regional branch of a political party in 2012 and in 2016 was elected to serve on Kaliningrad’s City Council of Deputies.
As for the “serious illness” that her death was attributed to, the Russian media source noted that Yakovleva had announced publicly in 2019 that she had previously been diagnosed with cancer.
Career cut short
According to Yakovleva’s IMDb page, the famed Russian actress had been credited with appearances in at least 30 different films, TV shows, and made for TV movies.
Her first credited appearance was in 1980 and, despite her reported retirement from acting in 1993, she did have two additional credits after that — a TV series in 2006 and a film in 2016, “Flight Crew.”
That 2016 movie was a remake of a film by the same name that she had starred in previously in which she reprised her same role, according to The Observatorial.
Diagnosed with breast cancer that spread despite treatment
Interestingly enough, the IMDb page also noted that Yakovleva’s cancer had begun as breast cancer but, despite chemotherapy and other treatments, had metastasized to her brain, inhibiting her ability to speak or walk and eventually prompting brain surgery in January of this year.
She appears to have been married and divorced to three men and had two children with one of them, a daughter and a son, from whom she was blessed with four grandchildren.