Vasily Makarovich Shukshin (Russian: Василий Макарович Шукшин; 25 July 1929 – 2 October 1974) was a Soviet/Russian actor, writer, screenwriter and movie director from the Altay region who specialized in rural themes.Vasiliy Makarovich Shukshin was born on 25 July 1929 to a peasant family in the village of Srostki in Altai Krai, USSR. In 1933, his father, Makar Leont'evich Shukshin, was arrested and shot during repressions associated with mandated collectivization. His mother, Maria Sergeyevna (née Popov), had to look after the survival of the entire family. By 1943 Shukshin had finished 7 years of village school and entered an automobile technical school in Biysk. In 1945, after two and a half years at the school, but before finishing, he quit to work in a kolkhoz.In 1946 Shukshin left his native village and worked as a metal craftsman at several enterprises in the trust Soyuzprommekhanizatsiya: at the turbine plant in Kaluga, at the tractor plant in Vladimir, etc. In 1949, Shukshin was drafted into the Navy. He first served as a sailor in the Baltic Fleet, then a radio operator on the Black Sea. In 1953 he was demobilized due to a stomach ulcer and returned to his native village. Having passed an external exam for high school graduation, he became a teacher of Russian, and later a school principal in Srostki.In 1954 Shukshin entered the directors department of the VGIK, studied under Mikhail Romm and Sergei Gerasimov, and graduated in 1960. While studying at VGIK in 1958, Shukshin had his first leading role in Marlen Khutsiyev's film Two Fedors and appeared in the graduation film by Andrei Tarkovsky. In 1958 Shukhin published his first short story "Two on the cart" in the magazine Smena. His first collection of stories Сельские жители (Village Dwellers) was published in 1963. That same year, he became staff director at the Gorky Film Studio in Moscow. He wrote and directed Живёт такой парень (There Is Such a Lad). The film premiered in 1965, winning top honours at the All-Union Film Festival in Leningrad and the Golden Lion at the XVI International Film Festival in Venice. Shukshin was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1967), and was designated Distinguished Artist of the RSFSR (1969).Shukshin died suddenly on 1974-10-02, on the motor ship Dunai, on the Volga river, while filming They fought for their motherland. He is buried in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.