Innokentiy Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky

Innokentiy Mikhailovich SmoktunovskyInnokentiy Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky
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Innokenti Michailowitsch Smoktunowski, Иннокентий Смоктуновский, Inokentijs Smoktunovskis, ( Инокентий ), Иннокентий Михайлович Смоктуновский,
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Novodevichy Cemetery

Innokentiy Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky (Russian: Иннокентий Михайлович Смоктуновский; March 28, 1925 – August 3, 1994) was a Soviet actor acclaimed as the "king of Soviet actors". He was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1974 and the Hero of Socialist Labour in 1990.

Smoktunovsky (birth name Smoktunovich) was born in a Siberian village and served in the Red Army during World War II. In 1946, he joined a theatre in Krasnoyarsk, later moving to Moscow. In 1957, he was invited by Georgy Tovstonogov to join the Bolshoi Drama Theatre of Leningrad, where he stunned the public with his dramatic interpretation of Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot. One of his best roles was the title role in Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy's Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (Maly Theatre, 1973).

His career in film was launched by Mikhail Romm's movie Nine Days of One Year (1962). In 1964, he was cast in the role of Hamlet in Grigori Kozintsev's celebrated screen version of Shakespeare's play, which won him praise from Laurence Olivier as well as the Lenin Prize. Many English critics even ranked the Hamlet of Smoktunovsky above the one played by Olivier, at a time when Olivier's was still considered definitive. Smoktunovsky created an integral heroic portrait, which blended together what seemed incompatible before: manly simplicity and exquisite aristocratism, kindness and caustic sarcasm, a derisive mindset and self-sacrifice.

Smoktunovsky became known to wider audiences as Yuri Detochkin in Eldar Ryazanov's detective satire Beware of the Car (1966), which revealed the actor's outstanding comic gifts. Later, he played Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Tchaikovsky (1969), Uncle Vanya in Andrei Konchalovsky's screen version of Chekhov's play (1970), the Narrator in Andrei Tarkovsky's The Mirror (1975), an old man in Anatoly Efros's On Thursday and Never Again (1977), and Salieri in Mikhail Schweitzer's Little Tragedies (1979) based on Alexander Pushkin's plays.

In 1990, he won the Nika Award in the category Best Actor. He died in 1994, aged 69.

One of the minor planets, Planet 4926 has been registered under the name of Smoktunovsky in the worldwide catalogue of planets.

Selected filmography

  • 1956 Soldiers
  • 1957 Storm
  • 1959 The Unsent Letter
  • 1961 Nine Days in One Year
  • 1964 Hamlet
  • 1966 Beware of the Car
  • 1969 Tchaikovsky
  • 1970 Crime and Punishment
  • 1970 Uncle Vanya
  • 1972 Taming of the Fire
  • 1973 Moscow-Cassiopeia
  • 1974 Teens in the Universe
  • 1975 Trust
  • 1975 They Fought for Their Country
  • 1979 The Barrier
  • 1979 Little Tragedies
  • 1979 Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
  • 1983 Two under one umbrella
  • 1984 Dead Souls
  • 1985 Russia at the beginning
  • 1985 Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • 1986 The Twentieth Century Approaches as Prime Minister Lord Thomas Bellinger
  • 1987 Dark Eyes
  • 1989 Mother
  • 1991 Genius
  • 1993 Gold
  • 1993 I Wanna Go to America
  • 1994 Enchanted
  • 1997 Dandelion Wine



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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Суламифь Хацкелевич-СмоктуновскаяСуламифь Хацкелевич-СмоктуновскаяWife00.00.192502.10.2016
        2Римма БыковаРимма БыковаWife05.05.192611.05.2008
        Мендель ГоршманFather in-law
        4Шира  ГоршманШира ГоршманMother in-law10.04.190604.04.2001