At 49 years old, Russian actor Evelina Bledans was pregnant with her third child. But when she appeared on live T.V. to talk about it, one audience member had something to say. When that something turned into insulting her Down syndrome son, things got heated while the nation looked on.
Bledans was born in April 1969 in Yalta, a town on the Crimean coast of the Black Sea. Of Ukrainian and Latvian parentage, as a child she had a passion for the performing arts and took acting and dance classes. As a teenager, she studied under the guidance of Russian director and actor Igor Vladimirov.
Upon graduating with honors in 1990, Bledans headed to America. There, her performance arts studies continued at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut. After a string of small acting roles, she relocated to Odessa in the Ukraine where her career began to flourish.