Armen Khostikyan was beloved for his television
and stage performances.
The actors' community of Yerevan gathered with
fans of their work last weekend at the Paronyan
Theater to mourn the loss of popular actor Armen
The 74-year old actor died July 22 of complications
Known for film and stage performances (especially
as part of the Sundukyan Theater), Khostikyan
was beloved for his satirical sketches, inexpressible
scenic charm and his inherent deep sense of humor.
Many who mourn his loss remember the impact his
entertainment had during the bleak years of the
early 1990s. Others remember how his appearance
on television enlivened any New Year's party.
"We are in debt to him as he made all of
us smile, and the smile is a very valuable thing.
The laughter has diminished in our city,"
said associate of the actor Ashot Ghazaryan.
In an interview a few years ago, Khostikyan recalled
with typical charm how he became a comedic actor.
"My father was 50 years old when I was born.
Can you imagine his happiness. He rented a carriage
and came to hospital for taking home his long-expected
son. On the way back my father picked up his child
in his arms and, as he was disconcerted and excited,
he turned the blankets upside down. At home when
the blankets were opened they saw two small feet
instead of head.
"Later it became clear that when my father
up-ended napkins he forgot to turn them back again
and brought me home in that position. So, I saw
the world upside down for the first time in my
life and I was destined to become a comedian and
nothing else," he was telling with his kind
smile on his face.
The road to becoming an actor became crucial
for Khostikyan when he was studying his first
year in Yerevan Medical University.
"My mother was a teacher of Russian language
in the Medical University and she wanted me to
become a doctor very much and I entered the University.
Once, during practical training the tutor told
me to take a bone and start telling about it and
describing it. The smell of formaldehyde made
me feel bad and the tutor told me that I would
never become a doctor. At that very moment one
of the students shouted out, 'he is an actor!
Read something for us'."
Armen Khostikyan read a monologue in the lecture
hall and put an end to his medical career.
In 1947 Khostikyan entered the acting department
of Yerevan Theatrical Institute and got his destined
profession under the guidance of the professor
During the last year of his study in the Institute
he had already been an actor of Sundukyan Theatre
and was appearing on the scene with such great
actors as Vahram Papazyan, Hrachia Nersisyan,
Vagharsh Vagharshyan, Avet Avetisyan and others.
During those years art director of the theatre
and famous director Vardan Atchemyan called Khostikyan
"an actor who has a charm with a radius of
four meters". And before entering the stage
he often used to say, "Armen, do whatever
you can so that people won't recognize you, because
the audience applauds you more than the leading
actors. They will take offence."
The turning point of Khostikyan's acting career
was after such movies as "Orchestra Boys",
"Golden Bull" and "Lipstick No.
4", where his characters became popular and
their expressions turned into winged words that
are repeated still.
In 1990, when cold and hunger were reigning in
the republic, Khostikyan created a troupe which
gave numerous performances, bringing humor and
laughter to countrymen who had little to smile
Khostikyan will be remembered as a serious satirist
and as a working and thinking actor.
"Khostikyan was the salt of our theater.
If he was performing in any performances then
success was assured," says Varduhi Varderesyan,
His associates praised Khostikyan's professional
and personal life. At his memorial, his wife's
weeping was alternating with her calming voice
to their grandchild: "He didn't leave. He
is with us. See, how many people came here, how
many flowers there are? People die only when they