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Marina Chaliapina, daughter of Feodor Chaliapin, "Miss Russia" of 1931, Italian movie actress and a see fleet officer

Great Russian women

Marina Chaliapina

Marina Chaliapina was one of 3 daughters of great Russian opera singer Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin from his second marriage with Maria Petsold. Marina was her famous father's last living descendant and died about a couple years ago, in 2009.

Born in 1912 in Moscow, she left it in 1922 when whole family emigrated from Russia and settled in France. Marina attended a ballet school directed by Mathilde Kschessinska. In one of her interviews Marina Chaliapina said dancing in Bolshoi Theater was her dream. She wanted to become a dancer and nothing more. However she was not destined to make a career of a ballet dance because of the leg injury. Instead she had many different careers she had never expected to have.

Chaliapina won a title of Miss Russia, on the beauty contest among Russian émigré in 1931. This was mainly the contest of talents and good manners having been conducted by the Russian émigré since 1927. She herself did not treat it seriously though and approached this episode as a fun. Chaliapina continued her education in New York at the National Academy of Design, later moved to Vienna and studied to become a stage director.

Marina Chaliapina was married to Luigi Freddi,Italian journalist and politician, most famous for being at the start of Italian political cinema. Luigi Freddi was a producer at the major Italian film studio and made 3 films with Chaliapina, making her known as a film actress as well. They had a daughter, Angela Freddi-Monteforte, who now lives in Italy. Both Chaliapina and her daughter came to Russia in 1996 when Chaliapina presented her family archives to Moscow and St.-Petersburg Museums.

After WWII Chaliapina worked on the Italian cruise liner and had a rank of a civil fleet officer. She spoke 5 languages and was responsible for leisure-time activities and children's programs on ships. Marina Chaliapina lived and died in Rome at the age of 97 and till the end of her life had been known as a very cheerful, active and live person. She devoted much of her time to charitable activities. Chaliapina gave several interviews to Russian journalists and shared her recollections of the famous father, their family and emigration. She also participated in documentary "My father - Feodor Chaliapin", made by Russian Cnannel One in 2008.

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