Born on January 25, 1938 in Moscow in the family of a military signalman.
In 1947-1949. lived with his father and his second wife in the city of Eberswalde-Finow (Germany), then returned to Moscow.
While studying at school, Vysotsky studied in a drama club and wanted to enter a theater institute, but at the insistence of his parents he passed exams at the V.V.Kuibyshev Moscow Construction Institute, from which he soon left. In the summer of 1956 he entered the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko School-Studio at the Moscow Art Theater.
After graduating from the studio (1960) he worked at the Pushkin Moscow Drama Theater and at the Moscow Theater of Miniatures. Then he began acting in films.
In 1964 he was admitted to the Moscow Theater of Drama and Comedy on Taganka, where he worked until the end of his life. The artist played more than 20 roles on the Taganka stage, of which the role of Hamlet from Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name is best known.
In 1960-1961. the first songs of Vysotsky appeared. During his life, he created about a thousand of them. Not officially recognized, bypassing radio, television, print, thanks to the tape, Vysotsky's songs became known to everyone.
Many songs and ballads were intended for movies. In 1966, Vysotsky starred in the film "Vertical" and wrote five songs for it. In total, he played in 30 feature films. The last years of Vysotsky's life were dramatic. With nationwide popularity, he could not achieve the publication of his poems, the release of records; was very upset with the bullying unleashed in the press. He was ill from overvoltage, in 1979 he suffered clinical death.
He died on July 25, 1980 in Moscow, was buried at the Vagankovskoye cemetery. Only after his death was published the first collection of his poems "Nerve" (1981).
In 1987, he was posthumously awarded the USSR State Prize for the role of MUR captain Gleb Zheglov in the five-part television film directed by S. S. Govorukhin "The meeting place cannot be changed"