Is Vladimir Vysotsky Living or Dead?

Has Soviet singer, songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky died? Or is he still alive?

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Soviet singer, songwriter, poet and actor

Vladimir Vysotsky is ...

Dead
Born 25 Jan 1938 in Moscow
Died 25 Jul 1980 in Moscow
Age42 years, 6 months
Causemyocardial infarction
Correction?
Vladimir Vysotsky
Vladimir Vysotsky
Владимир Высоцкий

About Vladimir Vysotsky

Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky (Russian: Влади́мир Семёнович Высо́цкий; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr sʲɪˈmʲɵnəvʲɪtɕ vɨˈsotskʲɪj]; 25 January 1938 – 25 July 1980) was a Russian singer-songwriter, poet, and actor whose career had an immense and enduring effect on Soviet and Russian culture. He became widely known for his unique singing style and for his lyrics, which featured social and political commentary in often humorous street jargon. He was also a prominent stage and screen actor. Though his work was largely ignored by the official Soviet cultural establishment, he achieved remarkable fame during his lifetime, and to this day exerts significant influence on many of Russia's popular musicians and actors who wish to emulate his iconic status.

Death

Although several theories of the ultimate cause of the singer's death persist to this day (including a few rather sinister ones), given what is now known about cardiovascular disease, it seems likely that by the time of his death Vysotsky had an advanced coronary condition brought about by years of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as his grueling work schedule and the stress of the constant harassment by the government. Towards the end, most of Vysotsky's closest friends had become aware of the ominous signs and were convinced that his demise was only a matter of time. Clear evidence of this can be seen in a video ostensibly shot by the Japanese NHK channel only months before Vysotsky's death, where he appears visibly unwell, breathing heavily and slurring his speech. Accounts by Vysotsky's close friends and colleagues concerning his last hours were compiled in the book by V. Perevozchikov.

Vysotsky suffered from alcoholism for most of his life. Sometime around 1977, he started using amphetamines and other prescription narcotics in an attempt to counteract the debilitating hangovers and eventually to rid himself of alcohol addiction. While these attempts were partially successful, he ended up trading alcoholism for a severe drug dependency that was fast spiralling out of control. He was reduced to begging some of his close friends in the medical profession for supplies of drugs, often using his acting skills to collapse in a medical office and imitate a seizure or some other condition requiring a painkiller injection. On 25 July 1979 (a year to the day before his death) he suffered a cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for several minutes during a concert tour of Soviet Uzbekistan, after injecting himself with a wrong kind of painkiller he had previously obtained from a dentist's office.

Fully aware of the dangers of his condition, Vysotsky made several attempts to cure himself of his addiction. He underwent an experimental (and ultimately discredited) blood purification procedure offered by a leading drug rehabilitation specialist in Moscow. He also went to an isolated retreat in France with his wife Marina in the spring of 1980 as a way of forcefully depriving himself of any access to drugs. After these attempts failed, Vysotsky returned to Moscow to find his life in an increasingly stressful state of disarray. He had been a defendant in two criminal trials, one for a car wreck he had caused some months earlier, and one for an alleged conspiracy to sell unauthorized concert tickets (he eventually received a suspended sentence and a probation in the first case, and the charges in the second were dismissed, although several of his co-defendants were found guilty). He also unsuccessfully fought the film studio authorities for the rights to direct a movie called The Green Phaeton. Relations with his wife Marina were deteriorating, and he was torn between his loyalty to her and his love for his mistress Oksana Afanasyeva. He had also developed a severe inflammation in one of his legs, making his concert performances extremely challenging.