Andrew Divoff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Andrew Divoff
Andrew Divoff in 2008.jpg
Divoff at AdventureCon in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 13, 2008
Born Andrew Daniel Divoff
(1955-07-02) July 2, 1955 (age 62)
San Tomé, Venezuela
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Raissa Danilova (29 February 1992–?) (divorced)[1]

Andrew Daniel Divoff (Russian: Андрей Ди́вов, correctly transcribed as Divov; born July 2, 1955) is a Venezuelan-born film, television actor and producer.[2] 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.[3]

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.[2] He used to speak Romanian but forgot the language when he had no one with whom to speak it.[4] Divoff's multilingual skills are showcased in many of his film and television roles.

Early life and education[edit]

Divoff was born in San Tomé, Venezuela. His father was Russian and his mother was Irish.[2] His parents worked as wildcatters for Exxon, and met because Divoff's maternal grandfather was his father's supervisor.[5] 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.[6] Divoff's first language was Spanish, but he learned English while still living in Venezuela.[6]

After Divoff's parents divorced, he emigrated with his sister and mother to Northern California when he was 10 years old.[2] 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.[5] 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.[7]

Divoff's mother worked for the State Department, and he moved with her when she was transferred to Spain.[2] Divoff lived five years in Vilassar de Mar (Spain), between 1973 and 1977, feeling himself to be Catalan too.[8] 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.[6] 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.[6] Divoff did not graduate from Georgetown University, instead deciding to take a year off to help his father settle in California for retirement.[6]


After returning to California, Divoff worked as a dispatcher for a limousine company, eventually becoming a limo driver in 1983.[6] During his evenings off, Divoff took acting lessons; his teachers included Milton Katselas, director of Butterflies are Free.[6] 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.[6]

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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[6] Divoff marks Another 48 Hours as the film that allowed him to quit his limo driving job and focus on acting.[6]

Divoff is best known for having played the nefarious Djinn in the first two films of the Wishmaster series. His other films include Another 48 Hrs., The Hunt for Red October, A Low Down Dirty Shame, Air Force One and Toy Soldiers.

Divoff played the lead role in the Midnight Syndicate's Indie horror flick The Dead Matter.[10]

Divoff had a recurring role on Lost 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 roles included his turn as Ivan Sarnoff on CSI: Miami Season 7 (2008–2009).[11] 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.

Personal life[edit]

Divoff was married to Russian actress Raissa Danilova.

Divoff's hobbies include sculpting and oil-painting.[9] He also enjoys swimming, skiing, and hiking.[6]


Film Performances
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Neon Maniacs Doc
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
1990 Graveyard Shift Danson
1991 Toy Soldiers Luis Cali
1992 Back in the U.S.S.R. Dimitro
1992 Interceptor Capt. Winfield
1993 Running Cool Bone
1993 Extreme Justice Angel
1994 A Low Down Dirty Shame Mendoza
1994 Dangerous Touch Johnnie
1994 Oblivion Red Eye / Einstein
1994 Hong Kong 97 Malcolm Goodchild
1995 The Random Factor Jake Anders
1995 The Stranger Angel
1995 Xtro 3: Watch the Skies Captain Fetterman
1995 Magic Island Blackbeard
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 Blast Omodo
1997 Air Force One Boris Bazylev
1997 Touch Me Dr. Vachenko
1997 Wishmaster The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest
1998 Crossfire Dekova
1998 Captured Robert Breed
1999 Stealth Fighter Roberto Menendez
1999 Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest
2000 Down 'n Dirty Jimmy
2000 Lockdown Perez Uncredited
2001 Faust: Love of the Damned M
2001 Blue Hill Avenue Detective Tyler
2003 Knight Club Krukov
2003 The Librarians Marcos
2004 Forbidden Warrior Ujis-Aka
2004 Moscow Heat Secretary Weston
2005 Dr. Rage Timothy Straun
2005 Sharkskin 6 Eddie
2006 American Dreamz Chinese Translator
2007 Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck Jack Whitaker
2007 Treasure Raiders Cronin
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 The Dead Matter Vellich
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
2017 Demons Jasper Grant

Video games[edit]

Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
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


Television Performances
Year Title Role Notes
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

Russian Guard

Russian Soldier

Episodes: "Wrong Number"

"Bad Timing"

"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 Breaking Point Aide 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

Gavriel Larca

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


Episodes: "Sniper"

"Land Pirates"




Walker, Texas Ranger Carlos Darius

Rudy Mendoza,

Alberto Cardoza

Episodes: "Deep Cover"

"Everyday Heroes"

"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.


JAG Russian Captain

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"
2013 Nikita Krieg Episode: "Reunion"
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"


  1. ^ Andrew Divoff IMDb biography
  2. ^ a b c d e Lanyon, Mary-Justine. (Winter 2015-2016). "A 'Bad Guy' With a Heart of Gold," Lake Arrowhead Magazine, pp, 41-43. <>. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Andrew Divoff". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-02-03. 
  4. ^ "Toxic Shock TV - Actor Andrew Divoff Interview". Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Andrew Divoff Interview". Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Justin Beahm Radio Hour Episode 6: Andrew Divoff". Justin Beahm. 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ ""Em sento català, fins i tot he cantat Havaneres a Calella!" - El món a RAC1". Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c "The Ghostman and Demon Hunter Show "The WishMaster, Andrew Divoff "". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 2018-02-06. 
  10. ^ "Distribution News for Midnight Syndicate's The Dead Matter - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ivan Sarnoff (Character)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 

External links[edit]