Born in Sverdlovsk. Graduated from the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre Music and Cinematography in 1968 (L. Makariev's class). Acted at the Leningrad Leninsky Komsomol Theatre from 1968 till 1970, then from 1970 till 1972 at the Krasnoyarsk Drama Theatre and at the Omsk Young Viewers' Theatre. In 1973 the actress joined the Company of the Leningrad Drama and Comedy Theatre (presently the Theatre on Liteiny). The same year she went into the Maly Drama Theatre Company. Nikulina plays Polina Chugaeva in Brothers and Sisters, the Mother in Mumu, a Woman in the church - The Devils, Woodcutter’s Wife in The Star-Child, Klovanskaya in The Moscow Chorus.