Oleg Yankovsky

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Oleg Yankovsky
Олег Янковский
Oleg Yankovsky2.jpg
Oleg Yankovsky, May 2007
Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky

(1944-02-23)23 February 1944
Died20 May 2009(2009-05-20) (aged 65)
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Russia
Years active1965–2009
TitlePeople's Artist of the USSR (1991)
Spouse(s)Lyudmila Zorina
ChildrenFilipp Yankovsky
AwardsOrden for Service II.png Orden for Service III.png Orden for Service IV.png
Ribbon Medal 850 Moscow.png
Narodny artist RSFSR.png Medal State Prize Soviet Union.png State Prize of RSFSR Vasilyevyh medal.jpg VLKSM-Prize-Medal-front.jpg RusStatePrize.jpg RusStatePrize.jpg

Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky (Russian: Оле́г Ива́нович Янко́вский; 23 February 1944 – 20 May 2009) was a Soviet and Russian actor who excelled in psychologically sophisticated roles of modern intellectuals.[1][2] In 1991, he became, together with Sofia Pilyavskaya, the last person to be named a People's Artist of the USSR.


Early life[edit]

Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky was born on 23 February 1944 in Jezkazgan, Kazakh SSR (now Kazakhstan). His family was of noble Russian, Belarusian[3][4] and Polish ancestry. His father, Ivan Pavlovich, was Life-Guards Semenovsky regiment's Stabskapitän. Yankovsky's father was arrested during the purges in the Red Army after the Tukhachevsky case and was deported with his family to Kazakhstan, where he died in the camps of the Gulag system.[2]

After the death of Stalin, the Yankovsky family was able to leave Central Asia for Saratov. Oleg's eldest brother, Rostislav, after graduating from the Saratov Theater School, went to Minsk to play at the Russian Theater. He took 14-year-old Oleg with him due to financial concerns, as in the family there was only one breadwinner – middle brother Nikolay. In Minsk, youngest Yankovsky made his debut on the stage – it was necessary to substitute the sick performer of the episodic role of the boy in the play The Drummer.[2]


After leaving school, Yankovsky returned to Saratov, where in 1965 he graduated from the Saratov Theater School. After graduation, he was accepted into the troupe of the Saratov Drama Theater, where for eight years of work he played a number of leading roles. After success in the role of Prince Myshkin in the play The Idiot in 1973, he was invited to the Lenkom Theatre.[2]

Yankovsky's film career was launched when he was cast in two movies The Shield and the Sword (1968) by director Vladimir Basov about World War II and Two Comrades Were Serving (1968) by Yevgeni Karelov about Russian Civil War.

During his prolific screen career, Yankovsky appeared in many film adaptations of Russian classics, notably A Hunting Accident (1977) and The Kreutzer Sonata (1987). A leading actor of Mark Zakharov's Lenkom Theatre since 1975, he starred in the TV versions of the theatre's productions, An Ordinary Miracle (1978) and The Very Same Munchhausen (1979) being the most notable. For his role in Roman Balayan's Flights in Dreams and Reality (1984), Yankovsky was awarded the USSR State Prize. He has been better known abroad for his parts in Tarkovsky's movies Mirror (as the father) and Nostalghia (in the main role).

In the early 1990s, Yankovsky also played quite different roles in Georgiy Daneliya’s tragic comedy Passport (1990) and in Karen Shakhnazarov’s historical and psychological drama The Assassin of the Tsar (1991). In 1991, he was the President of the Jury at the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.[5]

Starting in 1993, Yankovsky ran the Kinotavr Film Festival in Sochi. He continued to receive awards for his work with several Nika Awards from the Russian Film Academy for his directorial debut Come Look at Me (2001) and Valery Todorovsky's Lyubovnik (2002). He appeared as Count Pahlen in Poor Poor Paul (2004) and as Komarovsky in a TV adaptation of Doctor Zhivago (2006), directed by Oleg Menshikov.

The last film Yankovsky appeared in was Tsar, which was released in 2009 and demonstrated at the Cannes Film Festival on 17 May 2009, just three days before his death. Yankovsky played the sophisticated role of Metropolitan Philip in his last film.


On 20 May 2009, Yankovsky died from pancreatic cancer in Moscow, aged 65. A civil funeral took place at Lenkom theater. His burial was held on 22 May 2009 at Novodevichy Cemetery in the presence of his close relatives only.[6]

Personal life[edit]

  • Wife – Lyudmila Zorina (born 1 May 1941), actress, Honored Artist of Russia.
  • Son – Filipp (born 10 October 1968), actor and film director.
  • Daughter-in-law – Oksana Fandera (born 7 November 1967), actress.
  • Grandchildren – Ivan (born 30 October 1990), actor; Elizaveta (born 1 May 1994).
  • Brothers – Rostislav Yankovsky (5 February 1930 – 26 June 2016), actor, People's Artist of the USSR; Nikolai Ivanovich Yankovsky (26 July 1941 – 25 May 2015), deputy director of the Saratov Puppet Theater "Teremok".
  • Nephew – Igor Yankovsky (born 29 April 1951), actor.


Honours and awards[edit]

Soviet and Russian awards
Cinematic and public awards
  • 1977 – Lenin Komsomol Prize – "for talented contemporary incarnation of the images in the movie"
  • 1983 – Best Actor of the Year – for starring in the film Love by Request (according to a poll of the magazine "Soviet Screen")
  • 1983 – Winner of the category "Best actor" of the All-Union Film Festival
  • 1988 – Prize for Best Actor (in the film "Filer") at Valladolid International Film Festival
  • 1989 – Award "for outstanding contributions to the profession" at the "Constellation" film festival for his role in "To Kill a Dragon"
  • 1991 – Nika Award, three times; in the "Actor", for Best Actor in the film "Regicide" and for Best Actor in the film "Passport"
  • 2001 – Award for Best Actor at the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr – for the film "Come Look at Me"
  • 2001 – Prize of the Russian Cultural Foundation at ORFF Kinotavr in Sochi
  • 2001 – Grand Prix "Gold" Listapad at the Minsk International Film Festival "Listapad" – for his role in "Come look at me"
  • 2001 – First place in the competition "Vyborg Account" at the film festival "Window to Europe" in Vyborg – for the film "Come Look at Me"
  • 2001 – Stanislavsky Theatre Prize – for the main role in the play "Jester Balakirev" of the Moscow State Theatre, "Lenk" [74]
  • 2002 – Nika Award – for Best Actor in the film "The Lover"
  • 2002 – The award "Golden Aries" – for Best Actor in the film "The Lover"
  • 2002 – Award for Best Actor at the ORFF "Kinotavr" in Sochi – for his role in "The Lover"
  • 2002 – Award for Best Actor at the festival "Constellation" – for his role in the movie "The Lover"
  • 2002 – Winner of "Idol" in the "Idol of the Year" – for the main role in the play "Jester Balakirev" of the Moscow State Theatre, "Lenk" and for his role in "Come look at me"
  • 2003 – Golden Eagle Award – for Best Supporting Actor in the film "Poor, Poor Pavel"
  • 2003 – Special Award from the Administration of Krasnodar Krai ORFF "Kinotavr" in Sochi
  • 2005 – Theatre Prize "Hit of the Season" – for the play "Tout payé", or "Paid by all"
  • 2006 – Golden Eagle Award – for Best Actor on Television (in multiserial film "Doctor Zhivago")
  • 2006 – Prize of the Russian Television Academy TEFI – for best actor on television (in multiserial film "Doctor Zhivago")
  • 2007 – Award "Triumph"
  • 2008 – Public award – the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, "For Fatherland and work"
  • 2009 – Award "Triumph"
  • 2009 – Stanislavsky Award (posthumously given to his son Filipp)
  • 2009 – Prize "long-term President" Kinotavr – for outstanding contribution to Russian cinema" (posthumously)
  • 2009 – Award for Best Actor at the festival "Constellation" – a starring role in "Anna Karenina" (posthumously)]
  • 2010 – Golden Eagle Special Prize for his contribution to the development of national cinema (Posthumously)
  • 2010 – Nika Award for 2009 – "Best Actor" (posthumously), for the combination of roles in the film "Anna Karenina" and "King"


  1. ^ Peter Rollberg (2009). Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema. US: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 283–284. ISBN 978-0-8108-6072-8.
  2. ^ a b c d "Янковский Олег Иванович. Биографическая справка". RIA Novosti.
  3. ^ "День рождения Олега Янковского" (in Russian). Fishki.net. 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ Ivanov, Andrey (23 February 2016). "Тот самый Янковский: памяти великого артиста". teleprogramma.pro (in Russian).
  5. ^ "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  6. ^ Умер Олег Янковский (in Russian). NEWSru.com. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.

External links[edit]