Mikhail Kozakov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mikhail Kozakov
Mikhail Kozakov 02.jpg
Born14 October 1934
Died22 April 2011 (2011-04-23) (aged 76)
CitizenshipSoviet UnionRussia, Israel
AwardsOrden of Honour.png
Narodny artist RSFSR.png Medal State Prize Soviet Union.png State Prize of RSFSR Vasilyevyh medal.jpg

Mikhail Mikhailovich Kozakov (in Russian: Михаил Михайлович Козаков) (14 October 1934, Leningrad – 22 April 2011,[1] Ramat Gan) was a Soviet, Russian and Israeli[2] film and theatre director and actor.[3]


Early life[edit]

Mikhail Kozakov was born on October 14, 1934 in Leningrad, the youngest of three brothers. His father Mikhail Emmanuilovich Kozakov was a Soviet writer and playwright of Jewish origin originally from the Poltava Governorate who served as a commissar in Lubny during the Russian Civil War, then worked as a journalist in Leningrad. He was among the authors who collaborated on The I.V. Stalin White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal.[4][5]

Kozakov's mother Zoya Alexandrovna Nikitina (née Gatskevich) was of mixed Serbian-Greek descent. Her family moved from Odessa to St. Petersburg. She finished the Karl May School and worked as an editor in publishing houses, the Leningrad Literature Fund (Litfund) and various magazines. This was her fourth marriage. She was arrested twice: first in 1937 following the arrest of her brother who served in the Imperial Russian Army during the civil war (he was sentenced to death while she spent a year in prison), then — in 1948 because of financial violations in Litfund (released in 1950). She was friends with many acclaimed writers who visited Kozakovs' apartment on the Griboyedov Canal, including Evgeny Schwartz, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Anatoly Marienhof, Boris Eikhenbaum, Anna Akhmatova.[3][4][6]

During the war Kozakov was evacuated to the Molotov Oblast along with other Leningrad children where he lived from 1941 to 1944. He then returned to the city and continued the secondary education. His brother Vladimir volunteered for the frontline and was killed in 1945. His second brother Boris was accidentally shot in 1946 in his flat by his classmate.[4]


In 1956, Mikhail Kozakov graduated from the Moscow Art Theatre School. In the summer of this year the picture by Mikhail Romm Murder on Dante Street was released, in which Kozakov acted, and in the autumn of that year he received the role of Hamlet in the performance at the Mayakovsky Theatre.[3]

From 1956 to 1959 Kozakov was an actor of the Mayakovsky Theatre.[3]

From 1959 to 1970 he was an actor of the Sovremennik Theatre.[3]

In the 1960s, Kozakov played several vivid roles, such as Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano de Bergerac of Rostand, director Efremov, 1964) in the play of the Sovremennik Theater; chamberlain from Schwarz's fairy tale "The Naked King" - a performance that in 1960 brought the theater a triumph, and then turned into a legend; Kistochkin in the comedy Aksenova "Always on sale" (director O. Efremov, 1965).[3]

On the stage of Sovremennik, Kozakov performed several more roles in the productions of Galina Volchek: Aduyev the elder in Ordinary History I. Goncharov (1966, State Prize of the USSR); Jerry Raiin in "Two on the swing" by W. Ibsen; The actor in M. Gorky's play "The Lower Depths"; Nicholas I in the "Decembrists" by L. Zorin (director O. Efremov); Master Zhivko in the "Masters" R. Stoyanov (Bulgarian director V. Tsankov), etc.[3]

In 1970, the actor left the Sovremennik. A year after he left the theater and its founder - Oleg Efremov. Following Efremov, Kozakov came to the Moscow Art Theater. There they were played by Lord Goring in "Ideal husband" Wilde (director Stanitsyn), Gusev in the play "Valentine and Valentina" Roshchina (director Efremov).[3]

In the Moscow Art Theater, Kozakov began to play Leonid Zorin's play The Copper Grandmother, where Rolan Bykov rehearsed Pushkin's role. The play was closed, and Kozakov went to the Theater on Malaya Bronnaya to Dunayev and Efros. Here the actor performed several more roles: Don Juan (Don Juan by J.-B. Molière, 1973); Kochkarev ("The Marriage" by NV Gogol, 1975); Rakitina ("A Month in the Country" by IS Turgenev, 1978).[3]

There, in Malaya Bronnaya, Kozakov staged two performances: Zorin's comedy The Pokrovsky Gate and O'Neill's play The Soul of the Poet.[3]

In 1986, Kozakov left the Theater on Malaya Bronnaya in Lenk. In 1986, he played the role of Polonius in Panfilov's Hamlet at the Lenkom Theatre, later, in the late 1990s, Shadow of the Father in the same Hamlet by German director Peter Stein.[3]


In 1978, Kozakov made his debut as a film director, with the two-part television film Nameless Star, based on the play of Mikhail Sebastian. Afterwards there were films The Pokrovsky Gate (1982), If We Believe Lopotukhin... (1983), Trustees by A.N. Ostrovsky (1983), Masquerade by M. Lermontov (1985) and others.[3]

During the years of perestroika, Kozakov left Russia. However, after working in the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv, Israel, as an actor and director (the role of Trigorin in Chekhov's "The Seagull" in Hebrew, staging and playing in "Lover" Harold Pinter, etc.), Mikhail Kozakov chose to return to Russia. In Moscow, he created his own theater called "Russian Entreprise Mikhail Kozakov."[3]

Since 2003, Kozakov was actor of the Mossovet Theatre ("Venetian merchant" - Shylock, "King Lear" - Lear). The actor read poetry on stage, radio, television, and recorded discs.[3]

In 1999, the actor, together with saxophonist Igor Butman, staged a play-concert on Brodsky's verses "Concert for voice and saxophone".[3]

In 1997, Mikhail Kozakov's "Acting Book" was published, in which he tells about his life, about different times and people of art in them.[3]

Death and personal life[edit]

In 2010 Kozakov was diagnosed with lung cancer. He went through unsuccessful treatment in Israel and died on 22 April, 2011 in a clinic near Tel Aviv. He was buried at the Vvedenskoye Cemetery in Moscow near his father, in accordance with his will.[7][8]

Kozakov was officially married five times. He left his last wife Nadezhda Sedova (47 years younger than him) in 2010 with a scandal, claiming that she had stolen his flat and that she was the cause of his illness, and fled to his fourth wife Anna Yampolskaya who lived in Israel along with their children Mikhail and Zoya.[9] He had a daughter Katerina and a son Kirill, also a prominent Russian actor, from his first marriage to Greta Taar, as well as a daughter Manana from his second marriage to Medea Berelashvili.[10]


Kozakov - People's Artist of Russia (1980), laureate of the State Prizes of the USSR (1967) and the RSFSR (1983), art director of the theater "Russian Entreprise Mikhail Kozakov"[3]

Selected filmography[11][edit]

Mikhail Kozakov




  1. ^ Актер и режиссер Михаил Козаков скончался в израильской клинике (in Russian). Комсомольская правда. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  2. ^ Мазурова C. (1997-04-05). Михаил Козаков: «Лучше рекламировать кофе, чем сниматься в плохой картине». Восточно-Сибирская правда (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Михаил Михайлович Козаков. Биографическая справка". RIA Novosti.
  4. ^ a b c Mikhail Kozakov (1989). Mikhail Kozakov. Fragments. — Moscow: Iskusstvo, pp. 107—113 (Memoirs) ISBN 5-210-00342-6
  5. ^ Russian Literature of XX Century. Writers, Poets, Playwrits: Bibliographic Dictionary in 3 Volumes. Volume 2 // Kozakov Mikhail Emmanuilovich. — Moscow: Olma-Press Invest, 2005, pp. 222—224 ISBN 5-94848-211-1 at the Pushkin House website
  6. ^ Zoya Alexandrovna Gatskevich (Nikitina) at the Karl May School website (in Russian)
  7. ^ Mikhail Kozakov's tomb
  8. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (2012). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2011. — Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, p. 188 ISBN 978-0-7864-6994-9
  9. ^ Mikhail Kozakov's last interview at the Stars' Secrets magazine, 26 April 2011 (in Russian)
  10. ^ Mikhail Kozakov: Am I Not a Genius?! documentary by Channel One Russia, 18 October 2014 (in Russian)
  11. ^ https://movies.nytimes.com/person/143213/Mikhail-Kozakov/filmography

External links[edit]