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He first appeared on stage when at school yet. In 1963 Mikhail Kononov graduated from the Shchepkin Drama School and was admitted to the Maly Theatre. However, after five years of acting in theatre, in 1968 he quit the stage forever.
The typical image of his hero, a simple-hearted, kind and unaffected fellow, started taking its shape in his debut film Nash obshii drug (Our Common Friend) (1961) and further on in the revolutionary tragic comedy Nachalnik Chukotki (Chief of Chukotka) (1966), the war drama V ogne broda net (No Crossing Under Fire) (1967), the heroic comedy Na voyne, kak na voyne (At War as at War) (1968), and others.
As the actor stated himself, his best role was that of Foma in Andrei Tarkovsky’s well-known historic drama Andrei Rublev. One of the most popular films starring Mikhail Kononov was the series Bolshaya Peremena (The Long Recess) (1972), where he played the young teacher Nestor Petrovich. He was also popular for his roles in children’s films. Lots of Russian viewers remember Kononov as the sly and crafty space pirate Krys in the legendary children’s sci-fi movie Gostya iz budushchego (Guest from the Future) (1985).
In the last years of his life Mikhail Kononov rarely appeared in films and on public: he had to reject the roles he was offered as being off-grade.
Mikhail Kononov died after a painful and long illness on 16 July 2007 in Moscow.
Mikhail Kononov had more than 60 roles in cinema. Most famous are:
- Nachalnik Chukotki (Russian: Начальник Чукотки), 1966
- No Path Through Fire (Russian: В огне брода нет), 1968
- Andrei Rublev (Russian: Андрей Рублёв), 1969 as Foma
- The Beginning (Russian: Начало), 1970
- Big School-Break (Russian: Большая перемена), 1972
- Finist - Yasnyy sokol (Russian: Финист — Ясный Сокол), 1975
- Kapitan Nemo (Russian: Капитан Немо), 1975
- Twenty Days Without War (Russian: Двадцать дней без войны), 1976
- Siberiade (Russian: Сибириада), 1979 as Rodion Klimentov
- A Railway Station for Two (Russian: Вокзал для двоих), 1982
- Guest from the Future (Russian: Гостья из будущего), 1985
- Ona s metloy, on v chyornoy shlyape (Russian: Она с метлой, он в чёрной шляпе), 1987
- The Inner Circle (Russian: Ближний круг), 1991
- Assia and the Hen with the Golden Eggs (Russian: Курочка Ряба), 1994
- The First Circle (Russian: В круге первом), 2006
|This section requires expansion. (January 2014)|