chapter  2
21 Pages

Liudmila Gurchenko

Stardom in the late Soviet era
WithRimgaila Salys

This chapter focuses on the most creative period of Liudmila Gurchenko's career, from the early 1970s to the early 1980s. It argues that she constructed a hybrid star persona, primarily directed at female audiences, but also attractive to men, along two seemingly contradictory lines—the image of the solitary, usually working class, woman in successive historical periods and the glamorous, sexy, fashionista of musicals, concerts, and television specials. The solitary woman in postwar Soviet society is one such social type adopted by Gurchenko that gained her broad popularity among women who identified with her heroines. During the late 1970s–early 1980s the personality type Gurchenko played most often was the feisty, tough-minded, solitary woman with a heart of gold and a hidden capacity for love and loyalty. Her reputation as a fashion icon at concerts and public appearances, and the opulent dress in her television specials and the musicals made her a glamorous ideal for many Soviet women in the mid 1970's.