My Favorite Russian-American Actors

by Slavic | created - 29 Mar 2012 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

A list of my favorite Russian-American actors who were all born in the former USSR and who can speak Russian. Alive or deceased.

1. Elena Satine

Actress | Cowboy Bebop

Elena Satine hails from the Black Sea coast of the "Russian Riviera" in Sochi. She began her professional career at the tender age of 6 when she appeared on the popular Russian children's variety show "Morning Star". On a spontaneous trip to New York City, the young actress attended an open call ...

Young promising actress. Famous for "Magic City" and "Revenge". Should be more famous, the girl can act.

2. Anastasia Baranova

Music_department | Greenland

Anastasia Baranova was born on April 23, 1989 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR. She is known for her work on Greenland (2020), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) and Veronica Mars (2004).

Famous for Syfy's "Z Nation" tv series. Looks like a young rising star.

3. Mila Kunis

Actress | Black Swan

Mila Kunis was born Milena Markovna Kunis (Ukrainian: Miléna Márkivna Kúnis, Russian: Miléna Márkovna Kúnis) to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). The spoken language in her family is Russian, not Ukrainian.

Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, ...

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".

4. Milla Jovovich

Actress | The Fifth Element

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 (1997), Ultraviolet (2006), and the Resident Evil (2002) franchise.

Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich ...

My favorite actress from Ukraine. Famous for the "Resident Evil" franchise and breakthrough role in "The Fifth Element"

5. Olga Kurylenko

Actress | Quantum of Solace

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, ...

Loved her in "Centurion". Her breakout role was as Bond girl in "Quantum of Solace". Also starred in "Hitman", "Max Payne" and "Oblivion".

6. Margarita Levieva

Actress | Adventureland

Margarita Levieva is an American actress. Born in Leningrad, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (now Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation), at age three she began the rigorous training program of a competitive rhythmic gymnast. Levieva continued to train for the next 13 years, winning ...

Loved her in 'Spread' movie.

7. Irina Shayk

Actress | Hercules

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 ...

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.

8. Natalia Vodianova

Actress | Clash of the Titans

Natalia Vodianova was born on February 28, 1982 in Gorkiy, Gorkovskaya oblast, RSFSR, USSR as Natalya Mikhaylovna Vodyanova. She is an actress, known for Clash of the Titans (2010), Belle du Seigneur (2012) and Together Forever. She is married to Antoine Arnault. She was previously married to ...

It's funny how they chose a beautiful actress/model like her to play Medusa in Clash of The Titans. But it worked well.

9. Bar Paly

Actress | Pain & Gain

Bar Paly was born in Nizhniy Tagil, USSR, before relocating to Tel Aviv, Israel with her family when she was seven. In her early twenties she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for acting. Bar is best known for her recurring role as Special Agent Anna Kolcheck on NCIS: LA, and her hilarious...

"Pain & Gain". She played Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend. She had the funniest monologue in the whole movie. A scene stealer for me.

10. Natalie Burn

Actress | The Comeback Trail

Natalie Burn, born in Kiev, Ukraine, was guided into ballet training from the age of 4 by her mother, a former ballerina herself. By age 8, she was admitted into the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow, and in her teens, she moved to London to complete her education at the Royal Ballet ...

She looks a lot like Joanie Laurer aka Chyna. If anyone decided to make a biopic about Chyna, then she should play her.

11. 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 ...

Got her start in "Transporter-3". I haven't seen her anymore after that. The Hollywood hasn't noticed her.

12. Svetlana Khodchenkova

Actress | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Svetlana Khodchenkova is a Russian actress, known for her roles in Bless the Woman (2003) and in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

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, ...

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.

13. Anya Monzikova

Actress | S.W.A.T.

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. After only a ...

Been in a lot of different TV series. Was playing a girl survivor with bowgun in Asylum's "Zombie Apocalypse" tv movie.

14. Irina Voronina

Actress | Reno 911!: Miami

Irina Voronina came to the US in 2001 to pursue modeling career. Besides appearing in numerous print ads and magazines, Irina's acting career has soon taken off. We have recently seen her on a big screen in Reno 911! Miami (2007) and Epic Movie (2007). She is also a series regular in a first ever ...

Played Russian model in "Reno 911!: Miami". Used to be a Playboy mate.

15. Inna Korobkina

Actress | Dawn of the Dead

Inna Korobkina was born on February 23, 1981 in Magadan, Magadan region, RSFSR, USSR. She is an actress and producer, known for Dawn of the Dead (2004), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008). She has been married to Steve Valentine since August 28, ...

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.

16. 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 the United States to pursue his acting career there. Arriving ...

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.

17. Alex Veadov

Actor | We Own the Night

Alex Veadov was born on April 15, 1962 in Chernovtsy, Ukrainian SSR, USSR. He is an actor and director, known for We Own the Night (2007), Act of Valor (2012) and Agent Carter (2015).

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

18. Serge Levin

Actor | Stranger Things

Serge Levin is an award winning American film actor, writer and director. He is known for Stranger Things (2016), Alterscape (2018), War on War, The Americans (2013), Superstrata, Welcome to Willits (2016). He's the founder of Isle Empire Pictures, a media production company, and a music band ...

19. 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, ...

Highlights: 15 Minutes, National Treasure, Predators, Viy

20. Ravil Isyanov

Actor | Defiance

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, ...

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

21. Igor Jijikine

Actor | Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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 (2008).

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 ...

Noticed him in Indiana Jones-4 first. Loved it when he was yelling out orders in clean Russian and there were no English subtitles :)

22. Evgeniy Lazarev

Actor | Iron Man 2

Evgeniy Lazarev was born on March 31, 1937 in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, USSR as Evgeniy Nikolaevitch Lazarev. He is known for his work on Iron Man 2 (2010), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Duplex (2003). He was married to Akhmatova Obrucheva. He died on November 18, 2016 in Krasnogorsk, ...

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.

23. Oleg Vidov

Actor | Thirteen Days

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...

He was great in Wishmaster-2, Red Heat and Wild Orchid

24. Elya Baskin

Actor | Spider-Man 2

Elya Baskin is a Soviet Latvia-born American actor, best-known for his work on Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Name of the Rose (1986) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). He was born on August 11, 1950 in Riga, USSR [now Latvia] as Elya Zalmanovich Baskin to Zalman and Frieda Baskin, both of Russian Jewish descent. ...

Was great in Moscow on the Hudson opposite Robin Williams.

25. Mikhail Baryshnikov

Actor | The Turning Point

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 ...

White Nights

26. Ilia Volok

Actor | Gemini Man

Ilia Volok trained at the Moscow Art Theatre School under Russian actor Aleksandr Kalyagin and is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. He has appeared in over 150 films, television shows, and video games. He is known for his work on Gemini Man opposite Will Smith for director Ang Lee, Indiana ...

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'.

27. 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 ...

Played Russian President in "Salt".

28. Vladimir Mashkov

Actor | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

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 "...

He played a nice villain in Behind The Enemy Lines.

29. Victor Pedtrchenko

Actor | The Boondock Saints

Victor Pedtrchenko is an actor, known for The Boondock Saints (1999), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Blues Brothers 2000 (1998).

He was great as a Russian mobster in "Blues Brothers 2000".

30. Aleksandr Kuznetsov

The Bourne Supremacy

Aleksandr Kuznetsov was born on December 2, 1959 in Petrovka, Primorskiy kray, RSFSR, USSR as Aleksandr Konstantinovich Kuznetsov. He was an actor and writer, known for The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Space Cowboys (2000) and The Peacemaker (1997). He was married to Christina, Yuliya Rutberg and ...

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!

31. Anton Yelchin

Actor | Star Trek

Anton Yelchin was an American actor, known for playing Bobby in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Chekov in the Star Trek (2009) reboot, Charlie Brewster in the Fright Night (2011) remake, and Jacob in Like Crazy (2011).

He was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR, to a Jewish family. His ...

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.

32. 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. ...

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.

33. Yul Brynner

Actor | The Ten Commandments

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" ...

He played a kick-ass Rameses in "The Tenth Commandments". And a scary gungslinger robot in "Westworld".

34. Saveliy Kramarov

Actor | Tango & Cash

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.

35. Sasha Luss

Actress | Anna

Sasha Luss was born in Magadan, Magadan Oblast and moved to Moscow at a young age. As a child, she had no interest in pursuing a modeling career, preferring to spend her time writing and dancing. She frequently participated in ballet competitions before she suffered an ankle injury which prevented ...



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