MOSCOW -- Lyudmila Gurchenko, a popular Russian movie actress since the mid-1950s, has died at age 75.
Gurchenko died at her home in Moscow yesterday, Russian news agencies reported. The cause of death was not immediately reported, although a Kremlin statement said she died of a serious illness.
She became a star at age 21 when she played the lead in the 1956 comedy "Carnival Night," which also was the debut of the noted director Eldar Ryazanov.
He again directed her a quarter-century later in another of her most noted roles, as the waitress in "Station for Two."
President Dmitry Medvedev said Gurchenko's passing was "an irreplaceable loss for national culture" and characterized her as "truly a people's actress," the Kremlin statement said.