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"It's a horror, we don't know what to do." Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

Yevhen Hait was only 61 years old

People's Artist of Ukraine Oleh Filimonov, who was the first to report the death of the famous actor and screenwriter Yevhen Hait in Odesa, told OBOZ.UA about his friend. According to Filimonov, his close friend had never had heart problems (this diagnosis was the cause of death, according to doctors).

Oleh Filimonov says that Hait always led a healthy lifestyle. The news of Yevhen's passing has become a great tragedy for his parents and his famous younger brother, who lives in Russia. Rostyslav Hait is a co-founder of the Kvartet I theater group.

"What happened is a complete surprise for all of us," says People's Artist of Ukraine Oleh Filimonov, who worked and was friends with Yevhen for many years. "He had some sores, but nothing to do with his heart. It is an absolute shock for all his friends. We still can't get over it. He had always led a healthy lifestyle, had no bad habits, and did not drink alcohol at all. When I was drinking at a celebration, I was loudly envious of the people next to me: "Well, what do you think? Tell me about the taste." I said: "Zhenia, raise a glass!" He was categorical: "No. I don't know the reasons for his refusal, some kind of internal rejection."

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"Zhenia was born in September 1962 in the family of the then very famous Valerii Hait, the legendary captain of KVN (captain of the Odesa "Chimney Sweeps" team (champions in 1967), the "Business People" team (winners in 1971), and the first leader of the "Odesa Gentlemen"), and later a playwright," continues Filimonov, "Zhenka was brought up in a bohemian atmosphere, he was surrounded by very interesting people from childhood – KVN participants, writers, comedians. When they say that nature rests on the children of talented people, it's not about Yevhen – he grew up exceptionally gifted."

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"I knew him from my student days. He was graduating from the Faculty of Philology at Odesa University, and I was teaching at the university at the time. From time to time we crossed paths, he would come to our cabbage parties, and we would come to his, where Zhenia played the first violin. Both as an author and as a performer. When KVN was revived in 1986 after a rather long period, Valerii Hait became the head of our team, and Zhenia joined the team as an actor and one of the authors. The team, oddly enough, consisted mainly of physicists and mathematicians, but there were also philologists. Zhenia and I were among them," Oleh recalls.

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"After the victory in 1987, the "Odesa Gentlemen" troupe was organized, and we went on tour," continues Filimonov. "Zhenia, among other things, took on administrative duties and later became our commercial director. Despite all his philological background, he was great at multiplying three-digit numbers in his head. Let's say I called him: "This city, 1990". He would answer: "We had four concerts at this price, you got this much." He had a phenomenal math memory. At the same time, he was an exceptionally subtle person. He was well-read and educated. He even taught at school for a while. He always told very funny stories about his students."

"During the life of the "Gentleman's Show" program, which ran for 16 years on television, Zhenia, as part of the writing team, won all the television awards that were available in the post-Soviet space. "In addition to being a brilliant author, he was also distinguished by his exceptional editorial talent," continues Hait's friend. "He was a great joke maker, always finding the exact words. When social media appeared, I read his literary studies and poems with great pleasure. He had both lyrical and hooligan poems. He was very fond of singing. He created the band "Hait + 5": he was the soloist, and he was accompanied by five beauties with a conservatory education. I don't even think it was organized to make money, he just really liked it."

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"To people who don't know him, it might seem that Zhenia looked a little strange. He liked hippie clothes," adds Filimonov, "but when he started talking, the picture of a person dressed differently from everyone else immediately disappeared. You just listened to what he was saying because he was an amazing storyteller. A man who had read everything in the world. I knew foreign literature better, because it was my main specialty, and he knew the rest well. He was a very deep connoisseur of cinema. Zhenia was very much loved by women, he was such a ladies' man. He had a beautiful girlfriend, Yana, and he and his wife divorced a long time ago."

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"He and I liked to just meet to talk. I would sit in my garden, he would come to me. I would drink cognac, he would drink tea. And we talked for a long time... And what happened is a horror. We are all absolutely devastated. Today, the three of us met: me, Alik Tarasul, and Vitia Yavnyk, the people who made our plays ("The Odesa-Mama Train" and "Odesa-Mama-2", etc.). They are authors, I am an actor and producer. Zhenia was our fourth. He is a co-author of almost all of our plays. So far, we don't know what to do and how to live further."

''It's a horror, we don't know what to do.'' Oleg Filimonov on the causes of the sudden death of his friend and artist Yevhen Khait

"Immediately after we found out, we went to his parents. We called an ambulance and gave them sedative injections. My mother refused to understand what had happened, and my father, Valerii Isaakovych, was in a very serious condition at first – he could not say a word, he was crying. It was only when the medication took effect that we were able to talk to him a little bit. His younger brother Rostyslav was eager to come, and we talked to him, but for some reason, it was impossible. The situation is the same with Zhenia's son – he is a sports analyst who has been living in Russia for a long time. Yesterday, I received calls and emails from friends from all over the world," says Filimonov.

"I have known Zhenia for almost 40 years. We worked together on almost all projects. We were more than friends to each other," Hait's friend, screenwriter Oleksandr Tarasul tells us. I would talk to him in the evening, and the next morning I would get a call saying that he was gone. Stress because of the war, nerves, the inability to come up with something to save people – these are the reasons for what happened. He was a very unusual person, both externally and internally. He wrote wonderful poetry. His family, especially his mom and dad, are going through an incredibly difficult time. Everything happened suddenly – the ambulance arrived, but they only pronounced him dead."

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