• 24 April 1898
  •  Moscow, Russian Empire [now Russia]

Anatoli Ktorov


Anatoli Ktorov, a brilliant Russian actor who was stuttering in real life but was perfectly eloquent in acting roles, had a career spanning from silent films to Academy Award-winning epic War and Peace (1966). He was born Anatoli Petrovich Ktorov on April 24, 1898, in Moscow, Russia. His grandfather was a successful merchant, his father, named Petr Ktorov, was an industrial engineer. His mother was a pianist and singer. Young Ktorov was brought up in artistic environment of Moscow's cultural milieu. He attended Classical Gymnasium in Moscow, and was fond of acting in school drama class. In 1916, at age 18, Ktorov became a student at the Acting School of Fedor Komissarzhevsky, a stern acting coach who was critical of Ktorov's stuttering. But Ktorov, who was a shy person in real life, demonstrated his remarkable persistence and determination; he practiced his lines several hundred times. In 1917 Ktorov made his acting debut on stage of Komissarzhevsky Theatre. Ktorov's stuttering was noticeable only in his real life off-stage, but he never stuttered on-stage. However, director Komissarzhevsky did not believe in Ktorov, and his career seemed to be limited to cameo roles. Ktorov's fate was changed by Illarion Pevtsov who believed in Ktorov's talent and took him as protégé. In 1919 Pevtsov introduced Ktorov to Vera Popova. She was an established actress and experienced acting coach, she also recognized Ktorov's talent and took him under her wing. Eventually Popova became Ktorov's partner on stage and in life. From 1920 - 1933 Ktorov was a permanent member of the troupe at Korsh Theatre in Moscow. There he played leading roles in classic dramas and comedies, as well as in contemporary plays, with Vera Popova as his permanent stage partner. In 1925 Ktorov shot to fame with the leading role in silent film Zakroyshchik iz Torzhka (1925) by director Yakov Protazanov. He also gave an impressive performance in Protazanov's Holiday of St. Jorgen (1930). The highlight of Ktorov's career was his brilliant performance as Paratov in Without Dowry (1937), a classic film by director Yakov Protazanov. However, Soviet directors did not want to cast him after the silent film era, and Anatoli Ktorov did not have any film work for 25 years. Ktorov's aristocratic looks and noble manners were not in demand in the Soviet Union, while most Soviet films were dominated by political propaganda under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. From 1933 - 1980 Ktorov was a permanent member of the troupe at Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). There his stage partners were such renown Russian actors as Alla Tarasova, Mark Prudkin, Olga Androvskaya, Angelina Stepanova, Nikolay Khmelyov, Mikhail Yanshin, Aleksei Gribov, Boris Livanov, Mikhail Kedrov, Viktor Stanitsyn, Anastasiya Georgiyevskaya, Vasili Toporkov, Mikhail Bolduman, Pavel Massalsky, and others. Ktorov's acting career spanned 60 years, until his last performances in 1976, on the stage of Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). There he played roles in such plays as 'Pickwick club', and adaptation of the eponymous book by Charles Dickens, 'Dni Turbinykh' (aka.. The days of the Turbins) by 'Mikhail Bulgakov', and 'Dyadya Vanya' (aka... Uncle Vanya) by Anton Chekhov, among other plays. Ktorov's most memorable stage performance at MKhAT was in the role as Bernard Shaw opposite Angelina Stepanova as Mrs. Campbell, in 'Milyy Lzhets' (aka.. Dear Liar) by Jerome Kilty, an extremely popular production that ran from 1962 to 1976. Ktorov's stage performance was captured on television in a popular TV adaptation of 'Milyy Lzhets', by director Anatoli Efros. Anatoli Ktorov was designated People's Artist of the USSR (1963), was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1952), and received numerous decorations for his contribution to the art of film and theatre. He gave remarkable performances in his last film roles, which are considered to be his best works, one as Prince Bolkonsky in War and Peace (1966) by director Sergey Bondarchuk, and then as King in Posol Sovetskogo Soyuza (1970). Anatoli Ktorov died of natural causes on September 30, 1980, in Moscow, and was laid to rest in Vvedenskoe Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.


Movie Name Release Date
Πόλεμος και ειρήνη – Voyna i mir (1966) April 28, 1968