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Vladimir Sokoloff Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Moscow, Russian Empire [now Russia]
Died in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameVladimir Alexandrovitch Sokoloff

Mini Bio (1)

Familiar character actor of Russian heritage who played in scores of films, mostly in the U.S. He studied at the University of Moscow but left there to attend the Moscow Academy of Dramatic Art. He joined the world- renowned Moscow Art Theatre, where he worked for the next decade as an actor and assistant director, eventually directing plays himself. In 1923, he emigrated to Berlin and spent most of the next decade acting in films there and in Austria. With the coming of the Nazis, he relocated first to Paris, in 1932, and then to the United States in 1937. He immediately found himself very busy with dozens of roles in many popular American films, ranging from Russian to Chinese, Mexican, and Italian characters. Although his specialty was gentle, beatific characters, he could and did on occasion play less noble types. Among his most memorable characterizations were Anselmo, the gentle rebel in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and the wise peasant in The Magnificent Seven (1960). He died in West Hollywood, California in 1962.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (1)

Elizabeth Alexandrova (10 December 1922 - 22 June 1948) (her death)

Trivia (15)

Although he spoke very English at the time of his arrival in the United States, his first stage role there was a lead in Georg Buchner's play "Danton's Death", under the direction of Orson Welles. Welles insisted that it would be demeaning for an actor of Sokoloff's reputation to play a small role and personally coached him in his English for the role, which he did phonetically. It was said that Welles was in awe of him and frequently asked him about his career in the Moscow Arts Theatre.
Wladimir Sokoloff was the ideal cast for easily remembered supporting roles. He demonstrated his skill in "Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney" (1927), "Katharina Knie" (1929) and "Die Herrin von Atlantis" (1932).
Wladimir Sokoloff - as his name let suppose - was born in Russia. He grew up at a German family and learnt there the German language. After the school he went back to Moscow and attended the theater school.
With the rise of Nazism, Sokoloff who was Jewish, moved first to Paris in 1932, then to the United States in 1937.
After a long career, he died of a stroke in 1962 in Hollywood, California.
He appeared in a number of Broadway plays from 1927 to 1950.
He was a pupil of Stanislavski, but in a 1960 newspaper article, he rejected Method acting (as well as all other acting theories).
On January 1, 1961, Sokoloff guest starred as "Old Stefano", a wise shepherd, in the ABC/Warner Brothers western series Lawman, with John Russell and Peter Brown.
He became an actor and assistant director with the Moscow Art Theatr before emigrating to Berlin in 1923.
In 1933 he emigrated to France and took part in the movies "Don Quichotte (1933), "Napoléon Bonaparte" (1934) and "Mayerling" (1936).
In 1937 he ended up in the USA where he played supporting roles full of characters in movie classics as "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937), "The Magnificent Seven" (1960) and "Taras Bulba" (1962).
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he appeared on a number of television series, including three episodes of CBS's The Twilight Zone ("Dust", "The Gift" and "The Mirror").
When he gave a guest performance in Berlin in 1923 he got offers for German stages. Finally he signed at Max Reinhardt - the road to film was only a stone's throw from here.
He quickly found work in American films, playing characters of a wide variety of nationalities (he himself once estimated 35), for example, Filipino (Back to Bataan), French (Passage to Marseille), Greek (Mr. Lucky), Arab (Road to Morocco), Romanian (I Was a Teenage Werewolf), Chinese (Macao), and Mexican (The Magnificent Seven). Among his better known parts are Anselmo in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) and the Old Man in The Magnificent Seven (1960).
He played from 1913 on different stages and became a very busy actor.

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