Innokenty Smoktunovsky

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Innokenty Smoktunovsky
Born Innokenty Mikhailovich Smoktunovich
(1925-03-28)March 28, 1925
Tatyanovka, Tomsk Oblast, RSFSR, USSR
Died August 3, 1994(1994-08-03) (aged 69)
Moscow, Russia
Occupation actor
Years active 1956 — 1994

Innokentiy Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky (Russian: Иннокентий Михайлович Смоктуновский; March 28, 1925 – August 3, 1994) was a Soviet actor acclaimed as the "king of Soviet actors". He was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1974 and the Hero of Socialist Labour in 1990.

Smoktunovsky (birth name Smoktunovich) was born in a Siberian village in a peasant family of Polish ethnicity[1] and served in the Red Army during World War II. In 1946, he joined a theatre in Krasnoyarsk, later moving to Moscow. In 1957, he was invited by Georgy Tovstonogov to join the Bolshoi Drama Theatre of Leningrad, where he stunned the public with his dramatic interpretation of Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot. One of his best roles was the title role in Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy's Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (Maly Theatre, 1973).

His career in film was launched by Mikhail Romm's movie Nine Days of One Year (1962). In 1964, he was cast in the role of Hamlet in Grigori Kozintsev's celebrated screen version of Shakespeare's play, which won him praise from Laurence Olivier as well as the Lenin Prize. Many English critics even ranked the Hamlet of Smoktunovsky above the one played by Olivier, at a time when Olivier's was still considered definitive. Smoktunovsky created an integral heroic portrait, which blended together what seemed incompatible before: manly simplicity and exquisite aristocratism, kindness and caustic sarcasm, a derisive mindset and self-sacrifice.

Smoktunovsky became known to wider audiences as Yuri Detochkin in Eldar Ryazanov's detective satire Beware of the Car (1966), which revealed the actor's outstanding comic gifts. Later, he played Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Tchaikovsky (1969), Uncle Vanya in Andrei Konchalovsky's screen version of Chekhov's play (1970), the Narrator in Andrei Tarkovsky's The Mirror (1975), an old man in Anatoly Efros's On Thursday and Never Again (1977), and Salieri in Mikhail Schweitzer's Little Tragedies (1979) based on Alexander Pushkin's plays.

In 1990, he won the Nika Award in the category Best Actor. He died in 1994, aged 69.

One of the minor planets, Planet 4926 has been registered under the name of Smoktunovsky in the worldwide catalogue of planets.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]