Tikhonov in 2003
|Born||Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Tikhonov
8 February 1928
Pavlovsky Posad, Soviet Union
|Died||4 December 2009
Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Tikhonov (Russian: Вячесла́в Васи́льевич Ти́хонов; 8 February 1928 in Pavlovsky Posad — 4 December 2009 in Moscow) was a Soviet and Russian actor whose best known role was as Soviet spy, Stierlitz in the television series Seventeen Moments of Spring. He was a recipient of numerous state awards, including the titles of People's Artist of the USSR (1974) and Hero of Socialist Labour (1982).
He was born in Pavlovsky Posad near Moscow. His mother was a kindergarten teacher and his father an engineer in the local textile factory. Vyacheslav dreamed of acting but his parents envisioned a different career, and during the war he worked in a munitions factory. After employment as a metal worker, he began [training for an] acting career in 1945. by entering, not without difficulty, the Actors’ Faculty of VGIK. After graduating VGIK with honours in 1950, he began his acting career on stage of Theatre Studio of Film Actor, where he worked for six years.
In 1948 he married Nonna Mordyukova, a popular actress at the time (the couple had one son, Vladimir, also an actor who died in 1990). The marriage was dissolved in 1963. Later Tikhonov married a second time to Tamara Ivanovna Tikhonova and had one child with her, Anna Tikhonova (also an actor) in 1969.
Tikhonov made his film debut in 1948. For the next few years, he appeared in relatively low-profile films and at the Film Actors' Studio Theatre in Smolensk. One of his notable roles there was the bear in the Erast Garin production of Yevgeni Schwartz's fairy-tale An Ordinary Miracle.
Tikhonov became more well-known with the release of the rural family drama Delo bylo v Penkove (It Happened in Penkovo, 1958), which was followed by several wartime dramas: Maiskie Zvyozdy (May Stars, 1959), set in Prague, and Na Semi Vetrakh (On the Seven Winds, 1962), on the Western front. In Yevgeny Tashkov's Zhazhda (Thirst, 1959), based on real events, Tikhonov, in the first of his spy roles, portrays a scout in an operation to free an Odessa water plant from the Nazis.
In Dve Zhizni (Two Lives, 1961) Tikhonov plays the less fortunate of two men who unwittingly meet in France, 40-odd years after fighting on opposite sides of the 1917 Revolution. Rostotsky's Dozhivyom do Ponedelnika (We'll Live Till Monday 1968), in which a history teacher plans to defend a student at a disciplinary meeting, earned Tikhonov a state prize. In 1979 Rostotsky made a documentary about his friend, called Profession: film actor."
Tikhonov also played Prince Andrei Bolkonski in the Oscar-winning adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (1968) by Sergei Bondarchuk (who played Bezukhov). But Tikhonov reportedly got the role only at the suggestion of the Minister of Culture when Innokenty Smoktunovsky opted for Kozintsev's Hamlet and Oleg Strizhenov was also unavailable.
In 1973, Tikhonov starred in the role for which he is most known for in the former Soviet republics, when director Tatiana Lioznova chose him over Smoktunovsky to star in an adaptation of Yulian Semyonov's novel Seventeen Moments of Spring as Standartenführer Stierlitz. The 17 moments are 17 days in the spring of 1945 just before the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II and centers around attempts by some of the Soviet Union's men in Germany to thwart secret peace talks between the Nazis and the U.S. and Britain. The film enjoyed enormous popularity among Russian viewers of several generations. Prior to that, however, it had faced the risk of remaining unknown: Mikhail Suslov had opposed the film to go on general release. He had claimed that the film was not showing the feat of the Soviet people in the war. Fortunately, the decision to release the would-be classic film was supported by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. Although several of Semyonov's Stierlitz novels were adapted for the screen, Tikhonov did not return, perhaps feeling that the original series was definitive. The role won him the title People's Artist of the USSR, one of a number of awards.
In 1976, [Tikhonov] rejoined Bondarchuk in an adaptation of Sholokhov's They Fought for Their Country. It suited Tikhonov by concentrating on character rather than histrionics and won him another state prize in the year that he finally joined the Communist Party. 1977 saw a change of pace with Rostotsky's Oscar-nominated Beliy Bim Chernoe Ukho (White Bim the Black Ear), in which Tikhonov played a middle-aged writer who is "adopted" by a non-pedigree setter puppy.
Though he was often typecast as militiamen or spies, there were good roles among them, such as the KGB general in the cold-war thriller TASS upolnomochen zayavit (Tass is authorised to announce, 1984), another television series based on a Semyonov novel. In later years he was able to display a wider range, including the bishop in Besy, a film version of Dostoyevsky's The Devils (1992) and Charlemagne, in the Ubit Drakona, (Kill the Dragon, 1998) after Yevgeny Schwartz's wartime satire. Schwartz was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen, and Tikhonov appeared in Eldar Ryazanov's fantasy-biography of the Danish fabulist, Andersen: Life Without Love (2006), playing God. In 8 February 2003, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, third degree, to Tikhonov.
Tikhonov appeared in Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar-winning Burnt By the Sun (1994) and also appeared in the 2010 sequel, which finished shooting before his death.
|Year||Film||Russian Title||Role||Other notes|
|1948||The Young Guard||Молодая гвардия||Volodya Osmukhin||Directed by Sergei Gerasimov
Won the Stalin Prize in 1949
|1950||In Peaceful Time||В мирные дни||sailor Volodya Grinevsky, torpedoman|
|1951||Taras Shevchenko||Тарас Шевченко||Representative of the St Petersburg youth|
|1954||This should never be forgotten||Об этом забывать нельзя||student Rostaslav Danchenko|
|1955||Stars on the wings of an airplane||Звёзды на крыльях||pilot Olexa Lavrinets|
|1956||The Heart is Beating Again||Сердце бьётся вновь||Leonid V.Golubev|
|1957||It Happened in Penkovo||Дело было в Пенькове||Matvey Morozov|
|1958||Extraordinary Incident||ЧП. Чрезвычайное происшествие||a sailor Viktor Raisky|
|1959||May Stars||Майские звёзды||lieutenant Andrew Rukavichkin|
|1959||Thirst||Жажда||lieutenant Oleg Bezborodko|
|1960||Midshipman Panin||Мичман Панин||Midshipman Basil Panin|
|1961||Two Lives||Две жизни||Duke Sergei Nashchekin|
|1962||Seven Winds||На семи ветрах||Captain Vyacheslav Suzdalev|
|1963||Optimistic Tragedy||Оптимистическая трагедия||Alexei, anarchist-sailor|
|1965||A Hero of Our Time||Герой нашего времени||Grigory Alexandrovich Pechorin (voice)|
|1968||War and Peace||Война и мир||Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky|
|1968||We'll Live Till Monday||Доживём до понедельника||Ilya Semyonovich Melnikov - History Teacher|
|1969||Family Happiness||Семейное счастье||Nikolai Andreyevich Kapitonov, notary|
|1970||The Roundabout||Карусель||master of the house|
|1970||One of us||Один из нас||spy Keller (voice)|
|1971||Yegor Bulychyov and Others||Егор Булычов и другие||parson Pavlin|
|1971||Man on the other hand||Человек с другой стороны||Victor Krimov|
|1971||Hold on to the clouds||Держись за облака||Vladimir Sevastiyanov (voice)|
|1974||Front Without Flanks||Фронт без флангов||Major Ivan Petrovich Mlinsky|
|1975||They Fought for Their Country||Они сражались за Родину||Nikolay Strel'tsov|
|1975||Story of a Human Heart||Повесть о человеческом сердце||(author's text)|
|1976||...And Other Officials||... И другие официальные лица||Kostantin Pavlovich Ivanov|
|1977||White Bim Black Ear||Белый Бим Черное ухо||Ivan Ivanovich (Master)|
|1977||Front behind the front Line||Фронт за линией фронта||Colonel Ivan Petrovich Mlinsky|
|1977||Drove through the streets of bureau||По улицам комод водили||master of bureau|
|1981||Unpaid Vacation||Отпуск за свой счёт||(narration)|
|1981||The Rear Front||Фронт в тылу врага||Colonel Ivan Petrovich Mlinsky|
|1984||European Story||Европейская история||Peter Losser, political commentator|
|1987||The Appeal||Апелляция||Dmitry V. Plotnikov|
|1988||To Kill a Dragon||Убить дракона||Charlemagne|
|1989||Love and Privileges||Любовь с привилегиями||Konstantin Gavrilovic Kozhemjakin|
|1991||The Ghosts of the Green Room||Призраки зелёной комнаты||Martin Chiverel|
|1992||The Possessed||Бесы||Tikhon, Bishop retired|
|1993||The Codex of Disgrace||Кодекс бесчестия||accountant Chugunov|
|1993||Provincial Benefit||Провинциальный бенефис||Ivan Semenovich Velikatov|
|1994||A Boulevard Romance||Бульварный роман||Stanislav Vasil'evich Kandinski|
|1994||Burnt by the Sun||Утомлённые солнцем||Vsevolod Konstantinovich|
|1995||The Codex of Silence 2: Trace of black fish||Кодекс молчания 2: След чёрной рыбы||police colonel Agaev (voice)|
|1995||An Adventure||Авантюра||Cameo appearance|
|1996||Sweet Friend of Years Forgotten Long Ago...||Милый друг давно забытых лет...||Fedor Fedorovich|
|1998||Composition for Victory Day||Сочинение ко Дню Победы||Lev Morgulis|
|2001||Berlin express train||Берлинский экспресс||Georgy Astakhov|
|2006||Eyes of the Wolf||Глазами волка||old scientist|
|2006||Andersen. A life without love||Андерсен. Жизнь без любви||God|
|Year||Title||Russian Title||Role||Other notes|
|1973||Seventeen Moments of Spring||Семнадцать мгновений весны||Max Otto von Stierlitz|
|1984||TASS Is Authorized to Declare...||ТАСС уполномочен заявить...||KGB General Konstantinov|
|1998||Waiting Room||Зал ожидания||Mikhail Zaitsev, director of the orphanage|
- Riley, John (December 10, 2009). "Vyacheslav Tikhonov: Actor best known for playing Soviet spies in a career spanning 60 years". The Independent (London). Obituaries; p. 44.
- "Soviet Union's favorite 'spy' dies aged 81". RIA Novosti. December 4, 2009. LexisNexis. Retrieved Dec. 4, 2009.
- Riley, John (July 12, 2008). "Nonna Mordyukova: Star of 'The Commissar', cause célèbre of glasnost cinema". The Independent (London). Obituaries; p. 44.
- Nostalgia for Love. Tatyana ANDRIASOVA. Moscow News (Russia). CULTURE; No. 29. July 28, 1995. LexisNexis. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2008.
- Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of February 8, 2003, no. 147" (in Russian). Presidential Administration of Russia. Retrieved December 20, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vyacheslav Tikhonov.|
- Vyacheslav Tikhonov at the Internet Movie Database
- Actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov, the Legendary Stierlitz (Biography)