Kyra Petrovskaya Wayne, the descendant of one of the old Russian noble families, grew up in the Soviet Union. At the age of eight she won admission to a special school for musically gifted children, The Leningrad Academic Capella, and became a member of the children's singing group of The Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet. She continued her education at The Institute of Theatre Arts, becoming an actress and a concert singer.
The war with Germany interrupted her ascending career. She was drafted into the Red Army and became a sharpshooter. Wounded twice, she returned to service as a field nurse, working at the front lines on the ice of Lake Ladoga and at a military hospital. She was awarded three medals and allowed to resume her true profession - theatre.
Kyra joined The Moscow Satire Theatre and continued to appear on a concert stage as a classical singer. One of her important roles at the Satire Theatre was in a political comedy Mr. Perkins' Mission Into The Land Of The Bolsheviks (written by a Deputy Minister Of Soviet Foreign Affairs). The play dealt with the Soviet political aspirations and future reparations and the Lend-Lease. It became a
“must see” for American and European diplomats.
Mr. Perkins and his entourage in Moscow suspecting that their suite is “bugged” by Soviets.
Because Kyra spoke several foreign languages fluently, she was invited to various diplomatic receptions as a representative of the Young Soviet Intelligencia. At one of receptions she met her future American husband. They were married in a big church wedding, attended by the entire diplomatic corps accredited to the Soviet Union during the
Second World War. Kyra left Russia as an American War Bride in 1946.
Russian wedding. The crown over Kyra’s head is held by a British Chargé d’ Affairs, Frank Roberts.
Her theatre career did not flourish in America. Her Russian accent limited her opportunities, although she continued to sing. As television was becoming popular, Kyra had a musical program on a local ABC channel in Pennsylvania - Interlude with Kyra. She appeared and was interviewed on many television shows and began a new career as a lecturer under the auspices of The National Platform Association, which eventually led to her becoming an Enrichment Lecturer for the Royal Viking Cruise Lines.
Her appearance on Groucho Marx ‘You Bet Your Life’ resulted in an offer to write a book. Thus, her new career as a writer was born. She became a prize-winning bestselling author, whose new novel The Chaperone is introduced on this website.