Vasiliy Livanov Poster


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Overview (3)

Born in Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR [now Russia]
Birth NameVasili Borisovich Livanov
Height 5' 9¾" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Vasili Borisovich Livanov was born on July 19, 1935, in Moscow, into the family of famous Russian actors. His grandfather, named Nikolai Livanov, was a notable theatre actor in Moscow. His father, named Boris Livanov, was a leading actor of the Moscow Art Theatre and a personal friend of Boris Pasternak, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Nikolay Cherkasov, Olga Knipper-Chekhova and other Russian cultural figures. His mother, named Evgenia Kazimirovna, was a professional artist.

Young Livanov was brought up in a highly intellectual environment. He was reading voraciously and also demonstrated his gift of an artist in numerous drawings and portraits. From 1950-1954 he studied as an artist at the Moscow Art School at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1954 he passed the admissions exams to the Surikov Art Institute, but then he decided to become an actor, like his father. From 1954-1958 he studied acting under Boris Zakhava at Shchukin Theatrical School, from which he graduated with honors in 1958. After graduation he joined the troupe of Vakhtangov Theatre for two seasons. From 1960-1964 Livanov was a permanent member of Moscow Theatre-Studio of Film Actors. He studied directing under Mikhail Romm for two years at the Supreme School of Directing at Goskino USSR, from which he graduated as an animation film director in 1966.

Livanov made his film debut in 1959, in a supporting role of a geologist in 'Neotpravlennoe pismo' (The Unmailed Letter 1959). Director 'Mikhail Kalatozov' was filming Livanov's scenes during a cold Russian winter storm, recording Livanov's voice live in the wind of a snowstorm, after which Livanov suffered a sore throat and obtained his hallmark hoarse voice. His breakthrough role came in 'Kollegi' (Colleagues 1962), an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Vasiliy Aksyonov. He enjoyed a steady film career as a supporting actor during the 60's and 70's. Livanov's hoarse voice became the hallmark voice of the famous Russian cartoon characters - Karlsson and Crocodile Gena. He also contributed to over a hundred other Russian cartoon productions made at Soyuzmultfilm Studio in Moscow. Livanov wrote several film scripts and plays, of which the animated 'Bremenskie muzikanty' (1970) became a popular hit. His story 'Moy lyubimy kloun' (My Favourite Clown) was adapted into an eponymous film starring Oleg Menshikov.

Vasili Livanov shot to international fame during the 1980's, when he was starring as Sherlock Holmes in the popular Russian TV series by director Igor Maslennikov. Livanov portrayed Sherlock Holmes as a refined intellectual, who is very elegant and English-looking in both demeanor and facial appearance. In 2000 Livanov and his co-star Vitali Solomin were voted the best impersonators of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in a poll by English press. For his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, Livanov was decorated with the Order of the British Empire of the second degree (2006), becoming the first Russian film actor to receive such an honor.

Vasili Livanov was designated with the title of People's Artist of Russia (1988) and received numerous awards for his works in film and television. From 1988-1992 he was Artistic Director of Moscow Experimental Theatre "Detective" in collaboration with Yulian Semyonov. During the 1990's he wrote a series of fairy-tales for children. In 2002 Livanov published a comprehensive book about Boris Pasternak based on his own research and meetings with the writer. Vasili Livanov is living in Moscow, Russia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Yelena Livanova (1963 - present) ( 3 children)
Alina Engelhardt (1959 - 1962) ( divorced)

Trivia (1)

Son of Boris Livanov

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