Childhood & Early Life
Maria Vasilievna Shukshina was born on March 27, 1967, to Russian actor, screenwriter, and director Vasily Shukshin and his actor wife, Lidiya Fedoseyeva–Shukshina. Her birthplace is listed as Moscow, which was then part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) in the USSR. She has an elder half-sister, Anastasia, and a younger sister, Olga.
Shukshina started her career very early, with roles in her father’s films, one of which starred her sister too. Following three engagements, however, she took a break, attempting to find work outside the film industry.
She attended the Moscow-based ‘Institute of Foreign Languages.’ Following her graduation, she worked briefly as a translator, an interpreter, and a broker on the Russian commodity exchange.
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Shukshina’s first role was in her father’s anthology film, ‘Strange People’ (1969). She was featured in one of the film’s segments, ‘Brother.’
Three years later, in 1972, at the age of 5, she and her younger sister Olga received uncredited minor roles as daughters of the Rastorguev family in another of her father’s films, ‘Happy Go Lucky.’
In 1974, at age 7, Shukshina appeared in a film named ‘Birds over the City,’ directed by the talented actor Sergei Nikonenko, who had developed a close professional relationship with her father. Vasily Shukshin died unexpectedly in a filming mishap the same year.
Following the death of her father, she took a 16-year break from acting, only reappearing on screen at 23, in a TV feature-film named ‘The Eternal Husband’ (1990).
Shukshina was busy throughout the 1990s, establishing a career with a selection of relatively high-profile films. Karen Shakhnazarov’s ‘American Daughter’ (1995) was particularly noteworthy, allowing her to play ‘Olga,’ a young businesswoman trapped in an unhappy marriage, who escapes to America with her child. The same year, she appeared in Pyotr Todorovsky’s drama ‘What a Wonderful Game,’ as a young student and state spy.
In 1998, she starred as the lead character’s wife in Vladimir Bortko’s drama ‘The Circus Burned Down, and the Clowns Have Gone,’ which narrated the tale of an aging film director.
She made her first notable shift to TV in 1999, with a long-standing engagement, as the host of the ‘Channel One’ program ‘Wait for Me,’ which ended in 2014.
In 2001, she had a brief role as a journalist in Alla Surikova’s TV drama ‘Perfect Couple.’ Later that year, she procured a leading role in Vsevolod Shilovsky’s ‘People and Shadows: The Secrets of the Puppet Theater’ (2001).
Shukshina continued to star in primetime TV programs throughout the early 2000s, appearing in ‘The Adventures of a Magician’ (2002) and the miniseries ‘My Big Armenian Wedding’ (2004). 2004 was, in fact, a particularly busy year, bringing her the role of ‘Katya,’ a struggling model, in the TV series ‘Dear Masha Berezina,’ which made use of American technology. In the same year, she also featured in the programs ‘Narrow Bridge’ and ‘I Love You.’
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In 2005, she moved back to films, starring in ‘Brezhnev,’ the ambivalent biography of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, as ‘Nina Korovyakova,’ one of Brezhnev’s love interests.
Between 2006 and 2007, she appeared in more TV series, namely, ‘Pope of All Trades’ (2006) and ‘Sac With a Bright Future’ (2007).
The year 2008 saw the actor starring in one of her most well-known roles: the rich ‘Margarita Karetnikova,’ protagonist of the popular melodrama ‘Take Me with You.’ She also appeared in the TV series ‘Guilty Without Guilt’ and the film ‘Indigo’ in the same year.
She worked on no less than five projects in 2009, the most notable of which were the TV series ‘Terrorist Ivanova,’ in which she played the lead role, and the Sergei Snezhkin film ‘Bury Me Behind the Baseboard.’
Between 2010 and 2016, Shukshina continued to establish her credentials as a TV and film veteran, appearing in 13 more projects. Her most noteworthy projects during this period included the 2010 film ‘Burnt By the Sun 2: Exodus’ and the 2012 TV series ‘Who, If Not I?’ She was also chosen to judge the fifth season of the reality show ‘Minute of Fame’ (2010–2011).
Most recently, in 2018, she crossed over to the UK with the ‘BBC’ crime drama ‘McMafia,’ which featured her as ‘Oksana Godman,’ the mother of the lead character. Shukshina was reportedly approached to provide authenticity to her character, owing to her legitimate Russian accent.
She is slated to host another TV show named ‘A Visit in the Morning’ later in 2018.
Shukshina got married to fellow student Artem Tregubenko, with whom she had her first daughter, Anna, in 1989. Anna has since studied production, married, and given birth to Shukshina’s first grandchild in 2014.
After divorcing her first husband, Shuksina married Aleksey Kasatkin, who was a friend of Tregubenko’s. They had a son, Masar, in 1998. The couple is now divorced, with a reportedly fractious relationship.
Her third husband is lawyer Boris Vishnyakov, with whom she had twin sons, Foma and Foka, in 2005. The couple is reportedly estranged.