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Oleg Yankovsky

Oleg Yankovsky, May 2007
Born Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky
23 February 1944(1944-02-23)
Jezkazgan, Kazakh SSR, USSR
Died 20 May 2009 (aged 65)
Moscow, Russia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1965–2009
Spouse(s) Lyudmila Zorina (1962–2009)

Oleg Ivanovich Yankovsky (Russian: Олег Иванович Янковский) (February 23, 1944, Jezkazgan, Kazakh SSR, USSR – May 20, 2009, Moscow, Russia[1]) was a Soviet/Russian actor who has excelled in psychologically sophisticated roles of modern intellectuals. In 1991, he became, together with Alla Pugacheva, the last person to be named a People's Artist of the USSR.



Born into a noble family of Polish stock, son of Life-Guards Semenovsky regiment's Stabskapitän, Oleg Yankovsky formed an ambition to emulate his brother Rostislav and joined the Saratov Drama Theatre in 1965. His film career was launched two years later, when he was cast in two movies about World War II.

During his remarkably prolific screen career, Yankovsky appeared in many film adaptations of Russian classics, notably My Sweet and Tender Beast (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 The Mirror (as the father) and Nostalghia (in the main role).

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 Pavel (2004) and as Komarovsky in a TV adaptation of Doctor Zhivago (2006), directed by Aleksandr Proshkin.

The last film Yankovsky appeared in was Tsar, which was released in 2009.


Final shot of Nostalghia.


On May 20, 2009 Yankovsky died from pancreatic cancer in Moscow, aged 65. A civil funeral took place at Lenkom theater. His burial was held on May 22, 2009, at Novodevichy Cemetery in presence of his close relatives only.[1]


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