Divoff at AdventureCon in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 13, 2008
Andrew Daniel Divoff
July 2, 1955
|Spouse(s)||Raissa Danilova (29 February 1992–?) (divorced)|
Andrew Daniel Divoff (Russian: Андрей Ди́вов, correctly transcribed as Divov; born July 2, 1955) is a Venezuelan-born actor and producer of Russian and Irish descent. Divoff has played many villains in film and on television, including drug cartel leaders, terrorists, and organized crime bosses, though he is best known for playing the evil Djinn in the first two Wishmaster films. Other noteworthy roles include the villains Luis Cali in Toy Soldiers, Cherry Ganz in Another 48 Hrs., Ernesto Mendoza in A Low Down Dirty Shame, Boris Bazylev in Air Force One, Ivan Sarnoff in CSI: Miami, Mikhail Bakunin in Lost, and Karakurt in The Blacklist.
Divoff's television guest appearances include roles on The A-Team, JAG, Highlander: The Series, Walker, Texas Ranger, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Burn Notice, Alias, Nikita, The Strain, and Colony.
Divoff can speak eight languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Catalan, Portuguese, and Russian. He used to speak Romanian but forgot the language when he had no one with whom to speak it. Divoff's multilingual skills are showcased in many of his film and television roles.
Early life and education
Divoff was born in San Tomé, Venezuela. His father was Russian and his mother was Irish. His parents worked as wildcatters for Exxon, and met because Divoff's maternal grandfather was his father's supervisor. Divoff describes himself as having been an introvert and an outsider during his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela, stating that he had experienced near-daily physical altercations and bullying from other children. Divoff's first language was Spanish, but he learned English while still living in Venezuela.
After Divoff's parents divorced, he emigrated with his sister and mother to Northern California when he was 10 years old. Upon moving to the United States, Divoff was supposed to enter the fifth grade, but the school principal held Divoff back because of his Spanish accent. Divoff states that this experience was a catalyst for his obsession with languages. When he was in the seventh grade, Divoff's school screened films in class, including Seven Days in May, which Divoff found inspiring. As a result, Divoff began envisioning himself as the hero in such films, and told his friends that he wanted to become an actor who did his own stunts.
Divoff's mother worked for the State Department, and he moved with her when she was transferred to Spain. Divoff lived five years in Vilassar de Mar (Catalonia), between 1973 and 1977, feeling himself to be Catalan too. While in Spain, Divoff tutored English-speaking students in Spanish and attended the University of Barcelona, where he completed a research project on linguistics in The Canterbury Tales. He transferred his credits to Georgetown University, where he continued his study of languages and linguistics, and has resided in the United States ever since. Divoff did not graduate from Georgetown University, instead deciding to take a year off to help his father settle in California for retirement.
After returning to California, Divoff worked as a dispatcher for a limousine company, eventually becoming a limo driver in 1983. During his evenings off, Divoff took acting lessons; his teachers included Milton Katselas, director of Butterflies are Free. His first role was that of a Russian guard for a 1986 episode of Misfits of Science. Divoff won the role via a telephone audition, in which was asked to scream, "Stop that truck!" in Russian and then in English with a Russian accent.
His first film role was in the 1986 cult horror film Neon Maniacs, in which he played a demonic surgeon. Divoff had a falling out with the filmmakers due to what he believed constituted animal abuse: real dead pigeons were used in one of the film's scenes.
Divoff's subsequent TV appearances in the 1980s included bit parts and work as an extra in The A-Team, The Twilight Zone, MacGuyver, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Matlock. Divoff's multilingual skills and international background helped win him some of these early roles. When auditioning for a guest role as a limo driver for Thirtysomething, Divoff pretended to be a Russian immigrant, and maintained the farce on set until the filming ended, dropping the Russian accent entirely.
Prior to 1990, Divoff landed small roles in big films such as The Hunt for Red October, and big roles in smaller projects such as television movie Fear Stalk, in which he portrayed a serial stalker - his first role as primary villain.
Divoff's breakthrough role came in 1990, when he was cast as the outlaw biker Cherry Ganz in Another 48 Hours. Divoff was vacationing in Berlin when he received the call that he won the role. He went out to celebrate at a nearby pub and then attended the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, grabbing a sledgehammer and participating in the Wall's destruction. Divoff marks Another 48 Hrs. as the film that allowed him to quit his limo driving job and focus on acting.
Following Another 48 Hours, Divoff landed antagonist roles in other significant projects, primarily in the action genre. These projects included Toy Soldiers and A Low Down Dirty Shame. In rare instances, Divoff portrayed the protagonist or hero, such as in Running Cool and Interceptor.
1997 proved to be another breakthrough year for Divoff, with the release of Air Force One and Wishmaster. In his portrayal of a Russian terrorist henchman in Air Force One, as in many other films, Divoff performed his own stunts. Divoff stated in an interview that he has performed his own stunts so frequently that it is often assumed that he used to be a professional stuntman, however, this is not the case. He simply preferred to perform his own stunts because it gave him complete control over every aspect of his characters.
Divoff is best known for having played the nefarious Djinn in the first two films of the Wishmaster series. Wishmaster was directed by special effects artist Robert Kurtzman, and featured cameo appearances by several popular horror actors, including Robert Englund, Tony Todd, Angus Scrimm, Kane Hodder, and Reggie Bannister. Divoff reprised the role as the Djinn in Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, directed by Jack Sholder.
in 1999, Divoff and a friend penned a script for a third film called Wishmaster: The Third Millennium, which had a Y2K theme involving "American warship in Asia and it is hit by a missile, and all hell breaks loose. Incidentally, there is a meeting going on at the UN and monsters come to life right there and go through the crowd and start ripping it up." Divoff's script also required lavish special effects, and featured "gargoyles on buildings coming to life and coming down into the street."
Divoff's script wasn't optioned, and he ultimately did not return for Wishmaster 3 or Wishmaster 4, stating that he believed those projects did not have the capacity for impressive special effects due to a significantly lower budget, and because he felt that these sequels didn't have the love for the franchise of the earlier entries.
Divoff later reunited with Robert Kurtzman for the "grindhouse"- inspired horror film The Rage, and has since appeared in several other horror films, including in the Midnight Syndicate's Indie horror flick The Dead Matter as the lead villain. in The Hatred as a former Nazi, and in the Miles Doleac film Demons as a religious zealot.
Divoff had a recurring role on Lost (Seasons 3 and 6, 2006-2007 and 2010 respectively) as Mikhail Bakunin, a Russian member of the Others who lived in the Flame station of the DHARMA Initiative. He appeared in "The Cost of Living", and later in "Enter 77" and "Par Avion". He later appeared, in flashbacks, in "One of Us," and reappeared in the episodes "D.O.C.", "The Man Behind the Curtain", "Through the Looking Glass" and "The Package".
Other recurring television roles included his turn as Ivan Sarnoff on CSI: Miami Season 7 (2008–2009). Ivan Sarnoff was a Russian Mobster leader who owned an MMA fighting studio in S07E04 Raging Cannibal. Ivan also ran a horse race betting scam in S07E13 And They're Offed. Then Ivan targets the CSI team in S07E19 Target Specific. In the last episode of the season, Ivan escapes an assassination attempt by the Russian mob in S07E25 Seeing Red.
In 2015 and 2016, Divoff had a recurring role as Karakurt in Season 3 of The Blacklist in episodes "The Djinn," "Sir Crispin Crandall," "Zal Bin Hasaan," "Kings of the Highway," "The Director," and "The Director: Conclusion."
Other business ventures and philanthropy
Divoff has pursued a number of other business ventures in addition to professional acting, and uses many of these businesses as a springboard for philanthropic and environmentalist efforts. In the early 1990s, he was a co-owner of the blues bar and restaurant Sunset Social Club.
Divoff states that he is passionate about environmental issues and water rights, and believes that the best form of activism is simply to help people in need. Several years after his move from actor William Boyd's former home in Hollywood to the Lake Arrowhead region of the San Bernardino Mountains in 1992, Divoff formed a logging crew during a time when he described acting opportunities as scarce. Divoff and his crew focused on removing trees that were dead or dying due to a pine beetle infestation.
Divoff later became a partner in Verdant Resource and in Alpine Village Water Company that serves a nearby mountain community. Verdant Resource holds a patent for a wind-powered water pump. With the help of a government grant, Divoff and the other partners at the water company provided running water to a small community using Verdant's pump technology.
in 2014, Divoff developed his own craft beer, the Djinn's Hellabrew, which he has sold to benefit charities including Smile Train, Operation Provider, and the Hollywood Police Activities League. In 2017, Divoff formed his own brewing company, Three Marm Brewing, a "marm" being the part of a tree trunk that forks into two or more trunks. The partners of Three Marm Brewing are predominately members of Divoff's former logging crew. Divoff and his partners are planning to open a taproom in Crestline, California, and have other new beer flavors in development, including the Logger Lager and Mystic Mast Stout.
Divoff was married to Russian actress Raissa Danilova.
|1988||Mac and Me||Policeman #2|
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||Foxtrot Weapons Officer|
|1990||An American Summer||Dode|
|1990||Another 48 Hrs.||Cherry Ganz|
|1991||Toy Soldiers||Luis Cali|
|1992||Back in the U.S.S.R.||Dimitro|
|1994||A Low Down Dirty Shame||Mendoza|
|1994||Oblivion||Red Eye / Einstein|
|1994||Hong Kong 97||Malcolm Goodchild|
|1995||The Random Factor||Jake Anders|
|1995||Xtro 3: Watch the Skies||Captain Fetterman|
|1996||Oblivion 2: Backlash||Jaggar / Einstein|
|1996||For Which He Stands||Paulo|
|1996||Adrenalin: Fear the Rush||Sterns|
|1996||Nemesis 4: Death Angel||Bernardo|
|1997||Air Force One||Boris Bazylev|
|1997||Touch Me||Dr. Vachenko||Credited as Andy Divoff|
|1997||Wishmaster||The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest|
|1999||Stealth Fighter||Roberto Menendez|
|1999||Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies||The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest|
|2000||Down 'n Dirty||Jimmy|
|2000||Faust: Love of the Damned||M|
|2001||The Rage Within||Shane|
|2001||Blue Hill Avenue||Detective Tyler|
|2003||The Librarians||Marcos||a.k.a. Strike Force|
|2004||Moscow Heat||Secretary Weston|
|2005||Dr. Rage||Timothy Straun|
|2006||American Dreamz||Chinese Translator|
|2007||Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck||Jack Whitaker|
|2007||The Rage||Dr. Viktor Vasilienko|
|2008||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||Russian Soldier|
|2008||Boston Strangler: The Untold Story||John Marsden|
|2009||Magic Man||Rudolph Treadwell|
|2010||Shadows in Paradise||Lt. Stronach|
|2010||The Dead Matter||Vellich|
|2011||Slip and Fall||Dean Dickman|
|2012||Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-animation||Gerald Tovar, Jr|
|2014||Bad Asses||Leandro Herrera|
|2014||Pretty Fine Things||Dr. Murray|
|2017||The Hatred||Samuel Sears|
|2018||Vault||Buddy Woonsocket||In production|
|2008||Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3||General Nikolai Krukov|
|2008||Lost: Via Domus||Mikhail Bakunin|
|2010||Call of Duty: Black Ops||Lev Kravchenko|
|2012||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Lev Kravchenko|
|1986||Misfits of Science||Guard||Episode: "Grand Elusion"|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Vladimir||Episode: "Need to Know/Red Snow"|
|1986||The A-Team||Episodes: "Firing Line" and "Dishpan Man"|
|1987||MacGyver||Russian Guard||Episode: "Soft Touch"|
|1987||Matlock||Federal Agent||Episode: "The Reporter"|
|Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Edgar
|Episodes: "Wrong Number"
"The Krushchev List"
|1987||Hooperman||Episode:"John Doe, We Hardly Knew Ye"|
|1989||Thirtysomething||Limo Driver||Episode: "Success"|
|1989||Heartbeat||Yuri||Episode: "From Russia with Love"|
|1989||Out on the Edge||Luke||Television film|
|1989||Breaking Point||Aide||Television film|
|1989||Fear Stalk||Man||Television film|
|1990||By Dawn's Early Light||Russian Premier's Assistant (voice only)||Television film|
|1993||The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||Blackbeard LaCutte)||Episode: "Pirates!"|
|1996||Deadly Voyage||Romachenko||Television film|
|1996||Tarzan: The Epic Adventures||Nicholai Rockoff||Episodes: "Tarzan's Return: Part 1" and "Tarzan's Return: Part 2"|
|Highlander: The Series||Bryan Slade
|Episodes: "A Bad Day in Building A"
"Little Tin God"
|EZ Streets||Andre 'Frenchie' Desormeaux||Episodes "Pilot," "Every Picture Tells a Story," and "A Terrible Beauty"|
|1998||Acapulco H.E.A.T.||The Raven||Episodes: "Code Name: The Raven Part 1" and "Code Name: The Raven Part 2"|
|1998||Killers in the House||Delaney Breckett||Television film|
|Nash Bridges||Carl Dugan
|Walker, Texas Ranger||Carlos Darius
|Episodes: "Deep Cover"
"Winds of Change"
|2001||UC: Undercover||Martin Ritger||Episode "Of Fathers and Sons"|
|2001||The Agency||Colonel Grachev||Episode "Deadline"|
|2002||Dracula||Doctor||Uncredited. TV miniseries.|
Col. Fadil Najjar
|Episodes: "Defending His Honor"
"Bridging the Gulf"
|2005||Alias||Lucien Nisard||Episodes: "Search and Rescue" and "The Descent"|
|2006||The Unit||The Major||Episode: "True Believers"|
|2008||Burn Notice||Ivan||Episode: "Comrades"|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Andre Bushido||Episode: "Wildlife"|
|2008||Leverage||Sergei||Episode: "The Marriage Job"|
|2009||Criminal Minds||Dad||Episode: "Bloodline"|
|2008-2009||CSI: Miami||Ivan Sarnoff||Episodes: "Seeing Red," "Target Specific," "Raging Cannibal" and
"And They're Offed"
|Lost||Mikhail Bakunin||Episodes "The Cost of Living", "Enter 77", "Par Avion", "One of Us", "D.O.C.", "The Man Behind the Curtain", "Through the Looking Glass" and "The Package"|
|2010||The Good Guys||Pedro||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2014||The Strain||Peter Bishop||Episode: "Night Zero"|
|2015-2016||The Blacklist||Karakurt||Episodes: "The Djinn," "Sir Crispin Crandall," "Zal Bin Hasaan," "Kings of the Highway," "The Director," and "The Director: Conclusion"|
|2017||Colony||Ambassador King||Episode: "Lost Boy"|
- Andrew Divoff IMDb biography
- Lanyon, Mary-Justine. (Winter 2015-2016). "A 'Bad Guy' With a Heart of Gold," Lake Arrowhead Magazine, pp, 41-43. <http://threemarmbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ExcerptLakeArrowheadMagazine.pdf>. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Andrew Divoff Interview". www.thecryptradioshow.com. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- "Andrew Divoff". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
- "Toxic Shock TV - Actor Andrew Divoff Interview". Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- "The Justin Beahm Radio Hour Episode 6: Andrew Divoff". Justin Beahm. 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- Gregamortis (2014-04-15). "Land Of The Creeps: Land Of The Creeps Episode 070 : Andrew Divoff Says Make A Wish". Land Of The Creeps. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
- "Andrew Divoff". mumien-monster-mutationen (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- ""Em sento català, fins i tot he cantat Havaneres a Calella!" - El món a RAC1". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "The Ghostman and Demon Hunter Show "The WishMaster, Andrew Divoff "". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
- "Andrew Divoff - Below the Belt Show". Below the Belt Show. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
- "A Chat with Horror Icon Andrew Divoff Star of The Wishmaster Series [Interview]". Geekadelphia. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- StrangeLand Oddities (2018-03-06), Be Careful What You Wish For with Andrew Divoff 2018, retrieved 2018-04-14
- "INT: Andrew Divoff". Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- "Distribution News for Midnight Syndicate's The Dead Matter - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Ivan Sarnoff (Character)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Andrew Divoff Talks Djinn HellaBrew, Rock and Shock, and Raising Money for Smile Train - Dread Central". www.dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- "2016 Celebrity Bowling Tournament Raises $10K for Hollywood PAL - Hollywood Police Activities League". Hollywood Police Activities League. 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Wilson, Kelly (October 9, 2017). "Hollywood Villain, Local Good Guy to Open Crestline Brewery". Oh, So Cal!. Retrieved April 14, 2018.