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28 April 1924|
|Died||4 September 2014(aged 90)|
Donatas Banionis (28 April 1924 – 4 September 2014) was a Lithuanian and Soviet actor. He is best known for his performance in the lead role of Tarkovsky's Solaris as Kris Kelvin. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Banionis began his career with some films in Lithuanian, but he would later play mainly in Russian language films. He has also worked outside the USSR like in the title role Francisco Goya of the USSR-GDR coproduction Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment (1971), directed by Konrad Wolf and in the title role as Ludwig van Beethoven in the 1976 DEFA-production Beethoven - Tage aus einem Leben. Aside from films, he was a popular stage actor in Panevėžys, where he acted since the age of 17, and which was frequented by Donatas' fans from all over the former Soviet Union. His first teacher was Juozas Miltinis. He acted in Vilnius, in the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.
Vladimir Putin once stated that Banionis was the reason why he joined the KGB.[clarification needed] Banionis died on 4 September 2014 from a stroke. He was 90 years old. President Putin expressed his condolences to his family.
- Marytė (1947) - episode
- Nobody Wanted to Die (1966) - Vaitkus
- Beware of the Car (1966) - pastor
- Dead Season (1968) - Ladeinikov
- The Red Tent (1969)
- Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment (1971) - Goya
- King Lear (1971)
- Solaris (1972) - Kris
- Mama, I'm Alive (1977)
- Faktas (1981)
- Cry of the Dolphin (1987) - Bar-Mattai
- Anastasia (2006)
- "How the Actor Donatas Banionis Inspired Vladimir Putin to Become a Spy". The Daily Beast.com. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "Soviet-Era Actor Who Inspired Vladimir Putin Dies at 90". Hollywood Reporter.com. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
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