Born 8 November 1960 as Oleg Evgenyevich Menshikov in Serpukhov, USSR (now in Russia). His father was a military engineer and his mother was a doctor. During his childhood he attended music school where he learned to play piano and violin. Later he studied in the Mikhail Shchepkin Higher Theatre School in Moscow. His debut was the television movie Zhdu i nadeyus (1980). In the early 1990s he spent some time in London playing in the Globe Theatre. For his performance as Sergei Yesenin in When She Danced he received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His best known role is Mitya in the Oscar-winning historical movie Burnt by the Sun (1994). He went on to star in internationally co-produced movies, such as The Barber of Siberia (1998) and East/West (1999) as well as in adaptations of Russian literature, such as Statskiy sovetnik (2005) and Doktor Zhivago (2006). In 2005 he married actress Anastasia Chernova. He returned to the role of Mitya for two sequels: Burnt by the Sun 2 (2010) and Utomlennye solntsem 2 (2011). Since 2012 he's been the artistic director of the Yermolova Theatre in Moscow.