Not Born Beautiful

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Not Born Beautiful (Ne Rodis' Krasivoy) (Не Родись Красивой)
Not Born Beautiful.jpg
Genre Telenovela
Written by
Directed byAlexander Nazarov
Opening themeIf Love Lives In The Heart (Julia Savicheva)
Country of originRussia
Original language Russian
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes200
Running timeapproximately 45:00
Distributor Sony Pictures Television International
Original network STS
Original release5 September 2005 (2005-09-05) 
7 July 2006 (2006-07-07)

Not Born Beautiful (Russian : Не родись красивой, romanized: Ne rodis krasivoi) is a telenovela filmed in Russia, directed by Alexander Nazarov and shown from 5 September 2005 [1] to 7 July 2006 by the Russian network STS. It is a Russian spin of the Colombian "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" (I'm Betty, the Ugly One) telenovela, which has fostered more than a dozen versions in other countries. The telenovela reached success in Russia and boosted the ratings of the TV network STS.


Nelli Uvarova plays the role of a charming ugly girl, Yekaterina (Katya) Pushkareva. This became a breakout role in Nelli’s career and brought her national love and fame. During the broadcast of the series she became a real star of Russian television. Nelli's American counterpart America Ferrara also became widely known for her portrayal of the namesake of Ugly Betty.

The show attracted viewers who were not in the traditional viewing audience of telenovelas. In fall of 2005, fully one-third of Russian TV viewers, and 58% of Ukraine viewers, were tuning in to watch the show. [1] :209

According to TV's Betty Goes Global: From Telenovela to International Brand, Not Born Beautiful is likely the closest and most faithful of "Yo soy Betty, la fea"'s international adaptations. [1]

And according to its authors, in 2004-6, Russia was "at an apex" of "consumerism and glamour culture", and:

Ne rodis' krasivoy addresse[d] the central cultural conflict of post-Soviet culture: the negotiation between the Russian (Soviet) values and the new corporate bourgeois ones. [1] :209

In all 200 episodes were filmed, many on a one-per-day schedule. The "industrial pace of shooting" matched the industrial setting, Media City's studios in the former Soviet-era Moscow ball-bearing plant, which operated from the 1930s to 1990. [1] :207 This was 31 more episodes than in the Colombian original series. [2]

American TV executive James Kramer and other Americans were involved in bringing "Ugly Betty" to Russia. [3] [4]


Katya, a plain-looking girl, works as a secretary at the company Zimaletto, a manufacturer of uniforms and wedding dresses. [3] No man has paid attention to her yet, but she doesn't allow her looks to keep her from dreaming about love and happiness. [5]

Opening theme

The theme "If love lives in your heart" / "Esli v serdtse zhivet lyubov", with music and lyrics by Anastasiya Maksimova, performed by Yulia Savicheva became well known. The song, performed by Alsou, received a 2008 Russian MTV award as the first in a medley of nine songs required to be performed by singers or groups other than the original recording artist. [6]



ActorRoleCounterpart of "Yo Soy Betty La Fea"
Nelli Uvarova Yekaterina Pushkareva
Grigory Antipenko Andrey Pavlovich Zhdanov
Artoym SemakinNikolai ZorkinNicolás Mora
Pyotr Krasilov Roman Malinovsky
Olga Lomonosova Kira Voropayeva
Mikhail Zhigalov Valery Pushkarev
Irina Muravyova Yelena Pushareva
Yulia TakshinaVika
Ilya LubimovAlexander Voropaev
Maria MashkovaMasha, secretary
Anna DimovaAmura Buyo
Raisa Ryazanova Olga Uyutova
Natalya RizihSveta
Yulia KuvarzinaTanya
Irina SirotinskayaAlexandra Kriventsova
Viktor DobronrarovFyodor
Vitaly EgorovMilko Vukanovich
Sergey BolotaevSergey Potapkin


Dmitri ZenichevYaroslav Vetrov
Karina Ivanova; Darya LuzinaMaryana Pereguda
Alexander KorjenkovZakhar
Andrei KuzichevMikhail Borshyov
Olga LevitinaVasilisa
Olga Ostroumova Margarita Zhdanova
Natalya RiychkovaYuliana Vinogradova
Georgi Taratorkin Pavel Olegovich Zhdanov
Yulia RutbergKristina Voropaeva
Mihail ShklovskiVictor Tsypin
Oleg ShklovskiGeorgy Uryadov
Oleg KuhtaAnatoly
Irina ShebekoValeriya
Mikhail SafronovAlexander Alexeevich
Yevgeny KosirevAnatoly Ponchev
Victor CherepanovIvan Vasilyevich
Pavel Misailov Boris Filin
Sergey Epishev Boris Rulin
Vladimir Yaglych Leonid
Zakhar Ronzhin Radik
Mikhail Khimichev Nikita Minaev
Sergey OleksyakShurik
Ola KeyruAnton
Valery Zolotukhin Igor Sergeyevich
Lyudmila AlyokhinaLarisa Petrovna
Victor Bunakov Alexey
Victor RyabovFelix Korsakov, restaurant critic
Alexander Chislov Valeriy Vladimirovich
Alexey Losihin Dmitry Valerievich Sinitckiy
Oleg Maslennikov-Voytov Ronald
Natalya StarikovaNadezhda Tkachuk
Petar Zekavica Hans Kramer
Yulia VayshnurAnna Aleksandrovna
Yevgeny KalininSergey, bus driver

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Janet McCabe and Kim Akass, ed. (2013). TV's Betty Goes Global: From Telenovela to International Brand. I.B. Tauris. ISBN   9780857732996.
  2. "Ugly is the New Beautiful: An International Betty-base: "Не Родись Красивой" ["Ne Rodis Krasivoy"] — Russia (2005)".
  3. 1 2 Nina Porzucki (9 November 2014). "The American who turned Ugly Betty into a Russian".'s Magazine.
  4. Nina Porzucki (producer) (6 November 2014). "How to make an American sitcom work in Russia". Public Radio International's The World.
  5. "Ne rodis krasivoy (2005–2006): Plot Summary" . Retrieved October 24, 2016. (with plot summary credited to
  6. "MTV Russia Music Awards 2008".