• 14 November 1906
  •  Simferopol, Taurida Governorate, Russian Empire [now Crimea, Ukraine]

Andrei Abrikosov


Andrei Abrikosov was a Russian film and stage actor best known for his leading and supporting roles in the Soviet films of the 1930s - 1950s, such as the silent film Tikhiy Don (1930) and the Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky (1938). He was born Andrei Lvovich Abrikosov on November 14, 1906, in Simferopol, Crimean province, Russian Empire (now Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine). His father, Lew Abrikosov, was an agricultural technician, and his mother was a homemaker. Young Abrikosov left his parents' home as a teenager, and wandered all over Russia for several years, until he finally came to Moscow in 1925, at the age of 18. His first job was a metal worker at a Moscow industry, albeit he had a dream to become an actor, as he was fascinated by the silent movies. In the summer of 1925 Abrikosov entered the acting studio of Aleksandra Khokhlova, but soon moved to the acting class of Z.S. Sokolova, the sister of Konstantin Stanislavski. In 1926 Abrikosov joined the troupe of the Maly Theatre, but directors did not give him any roles to play for the next five years. However, in 1930 he was cast by directors Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov as the main lead in the silent movie _Tikhiy Don (1931)_ (aka.. The Cossacks of the Don, or 'And Quiet Flows the Don') which was the first film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Mikhail Sholokhov. The film became popular in Russia and internationally, and Abrikosov became and instant celebrity. Andrei Abrikosov co-starred opposite Nikolay Cherkasov in the classic film Alexander Nevsky (1938) by director Sergei M. Eisenstein, and played supporting roles in both parts of 'Ivan the Terrible'. He was awarded the State Stalin's Prize (1941) and was designated People's Actor of Russia (1952) and People's Actor of the USSR (1968). During the 1930s he was a member of the troupe with the Moscow Chamber Theatre under directorship of Aleksandr Tairov. From 1938 to 1973 Abrikosov was a permanent member of the troupe at the Vakhtangov Theatre, and from 1953-1959 he was artistic director of the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow. During the peak of their acting career, in the 1950s and 1960s, Andrei Abrikosov performed together with his son, Grigori Abrikosov. They enjoyed much success, which brought the attendant pressure, and both developed addiction to alcohol. Both father and son Abrikosovs were notorious in Moscow for their frequent stage appearances after and between their routine drinks, and acting under the influence. However, their performances were usually so good that both were able to get away with alcohol abuse at work. Some performances by the father and son Abrikosovs under the influence were described in famous jokes about their ability to improvise on stage when they were drunk and completely forgot their lines, so they borrowed random phrases from several other plays and were able to get away with it brilliantly, often leaving the public amazed with their improvisations. Andrei Abrikosov died on October 21, 1973, and was laid to rest in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.