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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 May 1896Pavlograd, Pavlograd uyezd, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire [now Pavlograd Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine]
Date of Death 12 November 1976Moscow, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]
Birth NameBoris Evgenevich Zakhava

Mini Bio (1)

Boris Zakhava was notable Russian actor and director best known for his portrayal of General Kutuzov in epic film War and Peace (1966) by director Sergey Bondarchuk.

He was born Boris Evgenyevich Zakhava on May 12, 1896, in Pavlograd, Russian Empire. His father, named Evgeni Zakhava, was a graduate of the Moscow Imperial Cadett School and served as an officer at the Russian Imperial Army. Young Boris Zakhava followed his father's steps; from 1910 - 1913 he served at the 3rd Moscow Imperial Cadett School, graduating as Imperial Army officer in 1913. While being a Cadett, Zakhava engaged in amateur acting and was involved in the Centennial Celebration of the Victory over Napoleon in 1912, in Moscow.

From 1913-1916 Zakhava studied at the acting class of Vsevolod Meyerhold and also took acting at the Moscow Vakhtangov studio under the legendary actor-director Yevgeni Vakhtangov. In 1916 Zakhava was hired as an actor by Vakhtangov and worked with the Vakhtangov Theatre for the rest of his life. In 1925, he became teaching director at the acting studio, and also took position of the leading director at the Vakhtangov Theatre Company. In 1932 Zakhava produced and directed the acclaimed drama 'Egor Bulychev i drugie' (Yegor Bulychev and Others) by Maxim Gorky. From 1939 Zakhava became director of the Shchukin Theatrical School (formerly Vakhtangov's acting studio). He promoted student actors and directors to the main stage, resulting in successful 1939 production of 'Solomennaya shlyapka' (aka.. Straw hat) by young director Andrei Tutyshkin. In 1958 Zakhava himself directed the production of Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Mikhail Astangov in the title role.

From 1916 - 1976 Boris Zakhava was member of the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow. From 1924 - 1966 he was chairman of the Artistic Soviet at Vakhtangov Theatre, a position created specially for Zakhava to help him mitigate some tensions between members of the troupe and management. Zakahava proved himself as a skilled problem solver who protected his actors from the Soviet political pressures. Zakhava worked with such actors as Mikhail Ulyanov, Ruben Simonov, Boris Zakhava, Mikhail Astangov, Varvara Popova, Yuliya Borisova, Lyudmila Maksakova, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Marianna Vertinskaya, Nina Ruslanova, Irina Kupchenko, Natalya Tenyakova, Nikolai Plotnikov, Yuriy Yakovlev, Vladimir Etush, Vyacheslav Shalevich, Andrei Abrikosov, Grigori Abrikosov, Boris Babochkin, Nikolai Gritsenko, Nikolai Timofeyev, Vladimir Osenev and Vasiliy Lanovoy, and other notable Russian actors.

Boris Zakhava was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1952. He was decorated by the Soviet government for his achievements on stage and in film. Zakhava was honored with the title of the People's Artist of the USSR in 1967. He was best known for his portrayal of Kutuzov in the epic War and Peace (1966), directed by Sergey Bondarchuk. Boris Zakhava was also a legendary acting coach. He taught several generations of Russian actors, such as, Mikhail Ulyanov, Yuriy Yakovlev, Vasiliy Lanovoy, Lyudmila Maksakova, Nikolai Gritsenko, Nikolai Timofeyev, Rolan Bykov, Andrey Mironov, Aleksandr Kalyagin, Leonid Filatov, Vyacheslav Shalevich, Leonid Kanevskiy, Mikhail Derzhavin, Aleksandr Shirvindt, Aleksandr Zbruev, and many other renown actors.

Boris Zakhava was among the leading actors and director of the 20th century acting school in Russia. He was professor of Soviet State Institute of Cinema (VGIK), chair of directing at Moscow State Theatrrical Institute (GITIS), and Doctor of Art History. He was designated People's Actor of the USSR. Boris Zakhava died of a heart failure on November 25, 1976, in Moscow, and was laid to rest in the Novodevichi Convent Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

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