My Favorite Russian-American Actors

A list of my favorite Russian-American actors who were all born in the former USSR and who can speak Russian. Alive or deceased.
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Elena Satine
Actress, Magic City
Elena Satine was born in the Eastern European country of Georgia, which was then part of the Soviet Union. Her mother was an opera singer and a former model, while her father ran a textile business. Elena was raised on the Black Sea coast of the "Russian Riviera" in Sochi. She began her professional...
“ Young promising actress. Famous for "Magic City" and "Revenge". Should be more famous, the girl can act. ” - Slavic
“ Famous for Syfy's "Z Nation" tv series. Looks like a young rising star. ” - Slavic
Mila Kunis
Actress, Black Swan
The talented Milena "Mila" Markovna Kunis was born to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer, and she has an older brother named Michael. After attending one semester of college between gigs...
“ Probably the most popular actress on the list at the moment.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - first movie I noticed her from, and it was her breakthrough role. Voices Meg on Family Guy. Also starred in "Ted". ” - Slavic
Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich is an Ukrainian-born actress, supermodel, fashion designer, singer and public figure, who was on the cover of more than a hundred magazines, and starred in such films as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and the Resident Evil franchise. Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich was born on December 17...
“ My favorite actress from Ukraine. Famous for the "Resident Evil" franchise and breakthrough role in "The Fifth Element" ” - Slavic
Olga Kurylenko
Olga Kurylenko, a Ukrainian-born actress and model, went from sharing a cramped flat with her aunt, uncle, grandparents and cousin to starring as a Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig. She was born Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union. Her mother, Marina Alyabysheva...
“ Loved her in "Centurion". Her breakout role was as Bond girl in "Quantum of Solace". Also starred in "Hitman", "Max Payne" and "Oblivion". ” - Slavic
Margarita Levieva
Actress, The Invisible
Margarita Levieva is an American actress. Born in the Soviet Union. Levieva, was born in Leningrad, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, (now Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). At the age of three, she began the rigorous training program of a competitive rhythmic gymnast. Levieva continued to train for the next 13 years...
“ Loved her in 'Spread' movie. ” - Slavic
Irina Shayk
Irina Shayk--sometimes credited as Irina Sheik--was born in the USSR on January 6, 1986, as Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamova. She is a model and actress known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue between 2007 and 2014. She was the cover model for the 2011 issue. Shayk made her acting debut as Megara alongside Dwayne Johnson in Hercules.
“ Got her first break in "Hercules" (2014). Plays the wife of Hercules in the movie. She actually fooled me, had no idea at first that she was Russian, looked too exotic and dark for a typical Russian :) She had a hilarious interview on David Letterman show, look it up on youtube. ” - Slavic
“ It's funny how they chose a beautiful actress/model like her to play Medusa in Clash of The Titans. But it worked well. ” - Slavic
“ "Pain & Gain". She played Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend. She had the funniest monologue in the whole movie. A scene stealer for me. ” - Slavic
Natalie Burn
Natalie Burn is a fast-rising Hollywood actress, dancer, Prima Ballerina, choreographer, writer, singer, composer and a producer who has a résumé that is genuinely unique. Currently Ms Burn is partnering up with Peter Iliff the writer to produce "59 Rows of Teeth". Recently starring in "Awaken/Left To Die"...
“ She looks a lot like Joanie Laurer aka Chyna. If anyone decided to make a biopic about Chyna, then she should play her. ” - Slavic
Natalya Rudakova
Actress, Transporter 3
She was born in Leningrad, former Soviet Union. Her parents moved with her from Russia to New York when she was 17 years old, and she continues to reside in New York. While working as a hairdresser at a salon, she was discovered by Luc Besson, the co-writer of Transporter 3, in New York, when she crossed a street. He gave her acting lessons and cast her as the female lead in Transporter 3.
“ Got her start in "Transporter-3". I haven't seen her anymore after that. The Hollywood hasn't noticed her. ” - Slavic
Svetlana Khodchenkova
Actress, The Wolverine
Svetlana Khodchenkova is a Russian actress, known for her roles in Bless the Woman and in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. She was born Svetlana Viktorovna Khodchenkova on January 21, 1983, in Moscow and spent her childhood in Zheleznodorozhny, a small city about 6 miles east of Moscow, Russia. She was raised by a single mother, attended a public school, and once dreamed of becoming a medical doctor...
“ She played Viper in "The Wolverine" (2013), unfortunately her voice was dubbed in the movie because of her heavy Russian accent which is a shame, they should've kept it, make Viper character Russian. ” - Slavic
Anya Monzikova
Actress, Iron Man 2
Anya Monzikova was born in Vologda, Russia to Natalia Monzikova a single mother of two. When her mom met her step-dad, an American on a vacation to Moscow, fate had brought a new twist to this young girl's life. Her mother re-married and the two moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. to live. At a young age, Anya loved to perform...
“ Been in a lot of different TV series. Was playing a girl survivor with bowgun in Asylum's "Zombie Apocalypse" tv movie. ” - Slavic
Irina Voronina
Actress, Lazer Team
Born in a small town in Russia, Irina always dreamed of becoming a model. At the age of 20 she moved to Milan to see if she could make her dreams come true. She was soon signed by an agency and started instantly booking print jobs and TV commercials. International modeling career brought Irina to the US...
“ Played Russian model in "Reno 911!: Miami". Used to be a Playboy mate. ” - Slavic
“ Noticed her in "Dawn Of The Dead" (2004) first, and then in "Driven To Kill" (2009) playing Steven Seagal's wife. Should do more zombie movies. ” - Slavic
Pasha D. Lychnikoff
Actor, Deadwood
Born in Moscow, a student of Moscow Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pasha (aka Pavel) Lychnikoff, appeared on Moscow's stages in such productions as Gogol's Inspector General and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. In early 90s Pasha moved to America to pursue his acting career in the United States. Arriving at JFK Airport with five dollars in his pocket...
“ I love this talented actor. My favorite cameo by Pasha is in Die Hard 5 when he was played a cab driver having to sing to Bruce Willis Sinatra's song :) doesn't get better than that. I think it was probably his most star-prized role. ” - Slavic
“ First noticed him in "We Own The Night". Alex was so natural at playing a gang leader that he gave me the creeps! Great actor. Saw him also in Act of Valor, Dram Me To Hell, and The Equalizer ” - Slavic
Serge Levin
Serge Levin is an American film actor, writer and director. He is known for The Americans, Alterscape, Superstrata,Re-Animator: Evolution, Jack Goes Home, Welcome to Willits, Lorenz Fractal, Pack of Cigarettes and War on War.
Oleg Taktarov
Actor, Predators
"Oleg makes an impression." On his DVD commentary for "Righteous Kill" (2008), director Jon Avnet remarks that he needed a powerful actor to play Russian mob enforcer Yevgeny Mugalat, a character who survives six gunshots at close range. International star Oleg Taktarov, born in Sarov, Russia, proved uniquely capable of fulfilling Avnet's demanding expectations...
“ Highlights: 15 Minutes, National Treasure, Predators, Viy ” - Slavic
Ravil Isyanov
Born in 1962 in the Soviet Union in Greater Moscow area, the city of Voskresensk. Throughout childhood, Ravil attended classes in music, ballet, theater, as well as going for sports - ice hockey, boxing and soccer among them. After completing his 2 years national service in the Soviet Air Force, Ravil worked for two seasons in Khabarovsk Theater...
“ Born in 1962 in the Soviet Union in Greater Moscow area, the city of Voskresensk.

I see him on TV a lot. Famous for GoldenEye, and K-19: The Widowmaker ” - Slavic
Igor Jijikine
Igor Jijikine is a Russian-American actor best known for his powerful scenes opposite Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He was born Igor Zhizhikin, in 1965, in Russia. Young Igor was fond of movies and acting; he was also a good sportsmen. He attended the Moscow State College of Physical Culture and trained in gymnastics...
“ Noticed him in Indiana Jones-4 first. Loved it when he was yelling out orders in clean Russian and there were no English subtitles :) ” - Slavic
“ This guy gets around in some good movies. I think he did a great job as General Dmitri in 'Lord of War' despite the funny Russian stereotype. ” - Slavic
Oleg Vidov
Actor, Red Heat
Oleg Borisovich Vidov was born in the suburbs of Moscow on 11 June 1943 to Varvara Vidova, a teacher, and Boris Nikolaievich Garnevich, an economist. As a child he lived with his mother, who worked for the Soviet government in the field of education in Mongolia and East Germany. When his mother was sent to China on assignment...
“ He was great in Wishmaster-2, Red Heat and Wild Orchid ” - Slavic
Elya Baskin
Elya Baskin is a Russian-American Latvian actor known for his work on Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Name of the Rose (1986) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). He has been married to Marina since 1995. They have one child. He has ultimately become one of the most popular choices whenever a Russian is needed in a TV-episode or a major movie production due to his ancestry and accent...
“ Was great in Moscow on the Hudson opposite Robin Williams. ” - Slavic
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Boyishly cute, diminutive and strong as a bull, but as graceful as any gazelle or swan, Mikhail Baryshnikov is a household name even to non-balletomanes. Widely considered to be one of the greatest and biggest names in dance. Mikhail began his ballet studies in his native Riga, Latvia. He was accepted by the Leningrad Choreographic School...
“ White Nights ” - Slavic
Ilia Volok
Ilia Volok is a Soviet-born actor. He has appeared in over 90 films, television shows, and video games. He was born on November 1, 1965 in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Ukraine. He is known for his work on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)...
“ Should play more thugs in Law & Order CSI. I haven't seen him in any speaking roles yet, the guy deserves much more since he got beaten up by Harrison Ford in 'Air Force One'. ” - Slavic
Vitali Baganov
Actor, Salt
Baganov came to acting via a somewhat circuitous route. Born in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia), he attended Leningrad State University, where he studied astronomy for 4 years. After that - it must have been in his stars - he entered the State Institute of Theater, Music and Cinematography...
“ Played Russian President in "Salt". ” - Slavic
Vladimir Mashkov
Vladimir Lvovich Mashkov was born in Tula, to Natalia, a puppet theatre director, and Lev Mashkov, an actor. He worked for Oleg Tabakov's theatre where he performed in Alexander Galich's "My Big Land", Neil Simon's "Biloxy Blues", Nickolai Gogol's "The Inspector General", Jean-Batiste Moliere's "Don Juan"...
“ He played a nice villain in Behind The Enemy Lines. ” - Slavic
“ He was great as a Russian mobster in "Blues Brothers 2000". ” - Slavic
“ Not famous yet, but I think he could've become another great character actor. Give him meatier roles in bigger movies playing some bad guys and he will become a movie star overnight! ” - Slavic
Anton Yelchin
Actor, Star Trek
Anton Yelchin was an American actor, known for playing Bobby in Hearts in Atlantis, Chekov in the Star Trek reboot, Charlie Brewster in the Fright Night remake, and Jacob in Like Crazy. He was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR, to a Jewish family. His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin...
“ Most young promising actor on the Hollywood scene from Russia. Gone too soon, but will never be forgotten. RIP Anton. Famous for Alpha Dog, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and Hearts in Atlanis. ” - Slavic
Alexander Godunov
Actor, Die Hard
He was born on Sakhalin Island at the far eastern end of the former Soviet Union and began studying dance at age 9 in the Riga State Ballet School. He later said his mother put him there to prevent his becoming "a hooligan". One of his classmates and friends at the school was Mikhail Baryshnikov. After graduating he toured with the Moscow Classical Ballet...
“ Famous for playing a German terrorist henchman in Die Hard, having a big showdown with Bruce Willis. And for a comedy Money Pit with Tom Hanks. ” - Slavic
Yul Brynner
Exotic leading man of American films, famed as much for his completely bald head as for his performances, Yul Brynner masked much of his life in mystery and outright lies designed to tease people he considered gullible. It was not until the publication of the books "Yul: The Man Who Would Be King" and "Empire and Odyssey" by his son...
“ He played a kick-ass Rameses in "The Tenth Commandments". And a scary gungslinger robot in "Westworld". ” - Slavic
Saveliy Kramarov
Actor, 2010
A Russian comedian who gave up a successful film career in his homeland for religious freedom and bit parts in the United States. He made 42 films in the former Soviet Union before he was allowed to leave in the early 1980's.
“ Moscow On The Hudson, Red Heat, Armed and Dangerous, Tango & Cash - he had a hilarious cameo as a car owner. ” - Slavic