General Manager and Artistic Director of the Moscow Circus on Tzvetnoy Boulevard 1982 - 1997
National Artist of the USSR,
Socialist Labor Hero,
Laureate of the Russian State Award
"I always believed that those circus people who compel others to burst out laughing are the most important ones". When Nikulin attended his first circus at the age of five the only thing he remembered were clowns. After the war, in 1946, he entered the clown studio at the Moscow Circus on Tzvetnoy Boulevard. Upon graduation he worked for two years as an assistant to the famous russian clown Karandash. As a clown Nikulin performed with his wife Tatyana and his devoted partner Michael Shuydin. Together they devised many funny and interesting clown reprises and scenes often finding plots in the real life and focusing attention on the funny things. The audience always waited eagerly for their beloved artists to perform. "My profession is tomake people laugh, to evoke laugh by all means. And I am always pleased when I cause joy."
In 1982 Yury Nikulin was appointed head the Circus office as a General Manager and Artistic Director. During this time many memorable shows were created including: " I am a clown", " On the wings of time", " Hello The Old Circus!", " First time in Moscow", " Nevsky prospekt", "Boulevard of our childhood"," Sweet Sweet Love"and"Fair of Wonders".There were many talented performers who took part in the shows: Elephant trainers - T. and A. Kornilovs, P. Prostetsov with "Trained dogs", T. Nugzarov with "Skillful horsemen", V. Golovko with a flying act " The Cranes" and S. Begbudy with white tigers. Such artistic directors as V. Krymko, V. Pliner, A. Zheromsky, V. Motorin, V. Gneushev contributed to the Circus's continuing success.
Owing to Nikulin's efforts, a new circus building was errected between 1985 - 1989. Yury Nikulin was always open to all creative and new, that is why the Experimental studio under the leadership of V. Gneushev was opened in 1994. New shows were continually being replenished by young talented artists and original acts.A big celebration was held in December 1996 to mark the year of Nikulin jubilee - 75th birthday plus 50 years in the circus. In August 1997 the life of the great artist and great person came to an end but his memory is alive in circus world and in hearts of people. Yury Nikulin stared in 40 pictures. Those pictures are still the favorite pictures of all generations. - " Diamond hand", Caucasus prisoner", "Û - Operation", "Come up to me, Muchtar", " Twenty days without war"
One cannot imagine the motion picture world or the circus world without Nikulin. " Notoriety came to me late, when I was almost fifty. I was never intoxicated by this notoriety. No, I just worked, just lived, just socialized with friends, just read..." Yury Nikulin took on many different roles in the films but never performed miserable or ill-tempered persons. His characters were funny but aroused sympathy and love.
A lot of circus performers often take Nikulin's videos along when they leave for long tours, stating that without those videos their life would be much more boring. Gathering anecdotes all of his life, Nikulin published several anthologies - "Anecdotes from Nikulin" with the invariable autograph: "For joy and fun". His book "Almost serious" was reprinted several times.
For many years, Yury Nikulin hosted a TV show "The White Parrot Club" gathering famous people who shared with TV audience funny stories from their life and anecdotes. Yury Nikulin became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Peace Fund in 1992. In 1997 he set up a Fund - "Circus and Charity" to support circus veterans and young performers.
Throughout Yury Nikulin's long life, his thoughts and actions were always wise and fresh. That is why he was much loved by all ages, because his heart was forever young.