Vasily Livanov

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Vasily Livanov
Vasily Livanov 26.01.2017.jpg
Born Vasily Borisovich Livanov
(1935-07-19) 19 July 1935 (age 82)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
(now Moscow, Russian Federation)
Occupation Actor, Screenwriter
Years active 1959–present
Spouse(s) Elena Livanova (1973–present)
Parent(s) Boris Livanov

Vasily Borisovich Livanov MBE,[1] FMF, PAR (Russian: Васи́лий Бори́сович Лива́нов; born 19 July 1935) is a Russian film actor, screenwriter and animator. He was named People’s Artist of the RSFSR in 1988.


Livanov's father, Boris Livanov, was a prominent actor of the Moscow Art Theatre. Vasily was brought up in the artistic milieu, as many Soviet/Russian actors (such as Olga Knipper and Alla Tarasova) worked with his father and frequented the Livanov house.

Livanov graduated from the Vakhtangov Theatre school and started his film career in 1959. His breakthrough role came in the 1963 adaptation of Vasily Aksyonov's Colleagues, in which he co-starred with Vasily Lanovoy and Oleg Anofriev.

Livanov's rather erratic bohemian lifestyle derailed his film career.[2] He made very few appearances in the movies produced in the late 1960s and 1970s, using his newly acquired hoarse voice to become the voice behind multiple popular Soviet cartoon characters – Gena the Crocodile, Udav (the snake) from 38 Parrots (Russian: 38 попугаев). His other contribution to the Soyuzmultfilm cartoon industry was co-writing the screenplay for the animated film Town Musicians of Bremen, a modernised adaptation of the eponymous folktale. He also directed a few animated films, e.g. The Blue Bird.

On 20 February 2006 Livanov became an Honorary MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) "for service to the theatre and performing arts".[3]

Sherlock Holmes[edit]

In the late 1970s and in the 1980s, Livanov returned to film stardom in what became the greatest success of his acting career: the role of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and other Holmes TV series directed by Igor Maslennikov.[4][5]

Those movies were filmed between 1979 and 1986, with the latter four stories forming the plot of a standalone big-screen feature entitled The Twentieth Century Approaches. Vasily Livanov played Sherlock Holmes and Vitaly Solomin played Doctor Watson.

On 27 April 2007 a sculpture featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson as portrayed by Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin was opened on the Smolenskaya embankment alongside the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Moscow (sculptor Andrey Orlov).[6]

Personal life[edit]

Vasily Livanov was a close friend of Vitaly Solomin and Rina Zelyonaya, who played Doctor Watson and Mrs. Hudson. As he writes in his memoir,

It happens so that when someone passes away, we customarily treat his actions and related events as the thing of the past. But everything about my beloved closest friend and partner Vitaly Solomin has become a part of my way of life, my conscience, so for me it will become the thing of the past only when I pass away too.[7]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Original title Role Other
1959 Letter Never Sent Неотправленное письмо Andrei
1960 Resurrection Воскресение Kryltsov
1962 Colleagues Коллеги Sasha Zelenin
1968 I Was Nineteen Ich war neunzehn Wadim Gejman
Junior and Karlson (animation) Малыш и Карлсон Karlsson-on-the-Roof (voice)
1969 Gena the Crocodile (animation) Крокодил Гена Gena the Crocodile (voice)
The Bremen Town Musicians (animation) Бременские музыканты Screenwriter
Ded Moroz and Summer (animation) Дед Мороз и лето Screenwriter
1970 Waterloo Ватерлоо officer
Karlson Returns (animation) Карлсон вернулся Karlsson-on-the-Roof (voice)
The Blue Bird (animation) Синяя птица dog, miner (voices) Director, screenwriter
1971 Cheburashka (animation) Чебурашка Gena the Crocodile (voice)
1973 On the Trail of the Bremen Town Musicians (animation) По следам бременских музыкантов Director, screenwriter
1974 Shapoklyak (animation) Шапокляк Gena the Crocodile (voice)
1975 The Captivating Star of Happiness Звезда пленительного счастья Nicholas I of Russia
1976 38 Parrots (animation) 38 попугаев Boa (voice)
1977 The Steppe Степь Kazimir
1979 Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson Шерлок Холмс и доктор Ватсон Sherlock Holmes
1980 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson Приключения Шерлока Холмса и доктора Ватсона Sherlock Holmes
1981 The Hound of the Baskervilles Собака Баскервилей Sherlock Holmes
The Mystery of the Third Planet (animation) Тайна третьей планеты Gromozeka (voice)
Dog in Boots (animation) Пёс в сапогах British detective (voice)
1983 The Treasures of Agra Сокровища Агры Sherlock Holmes
Cheburashka Goes to School (animation) Чебурашка идёт в школу Gena the Crocodile (voice)
1985 Contract (animation) Контракт security alarm (voice)
1986 The Twentieth Century Approaches Двадцатый век начинается Sherlock Holmes
1987 Friend Друг Drug (voice)
1988 Pereval (animation) Перевал Boris (voice)
1997 Don Quixote Returns Дон Кихот возвращается Don Quixote Director, screenwriter, producer
2000 The New Bremen Town Musicians Новые бременские Screenwriter
2005 The Master and Margarita Мастер и Маргарита Alexandr Stravinsky


External links[edit]