This Week in Armenian History

Death of Galya Novents (July 22, 2012)

In the 1970s and 1980s, Galya Novents was one of the prominent names in Soviet Armenian cinema. She received a special mention for Best Actress at the 42nd Venice International Film Festival (1985) for her role of Siranush in Albert Mkrtchian’s “The Tango of Our Childhood” and won the State Award of Armenia in the same year.

Galia (birth name, Galina) Novents was born on July 1, 1937, in Yerevan. She graduated in 1958 from the acting department of Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and Theater and launched her career at the State Theater in Kapan, province of Siunik, where she worked until 1961. Afterwards, she worked for many years at the Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theater (1961-1971 and 1983-1993), as well as the Vardan Achemyan Theater in Gyumri (1971-1977), the Yerevan Drama Theater (1977-1983), and the Hamazkayin State Theater (1993-1995).

A prominent name in Armenian theater and film, Novents brought to the screen the character of the Armenian woman, her agony, and silent sobs. She played more than 50 characters in different theater and radio performances, but her biggest presence was in the cinema, where she frequently played in the films by such directors as Frunze Dovlatian, Henrik Malian, and Albert Mkrtchian, like Hello, It’s Me (1966), We Are Our Mountains (1969), On This Crossroads (1971), The Song of Old Days, Nahapet (1977), A Piece of Sky (1980), Gikor (1982), The Tango of Our Childhood (1984), White Dreams (1985), Yearning (1990), along with other 30 movies.

Novents received the Movses Khorenatsi medal in 1998 and earned the title of People’s Artist of the Republic of Armenia in 2007. She was married to theater director Yervant Ghazanchian (1937-2019) and was the mother of the current president of the Theater Workers’ Union of Armenia, Hakob Ghazanchian.

She passed away on July 22, 2012, in Los Angeles, where she had lived since 1995, at the age of seventy-five. She was buried in Yerevan.