• 8 October 1936
  •  Moscow, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]

Leonid Kuravlyov


Leonid Kuravlyov made his first appearance in a movie while he was still a student. In 1959 he played in the film Aujourd'hui nous ne quitterons pas nos postes (1959) by his classmate Andrei Tarkovsky. In 1960, he played the role of a sailor Kamushkin in a historical movie Michman Panin (1960) directed by Mikhail Shvejtser. Simultaneously, Kuravlyov acted in Vasiliy Shukshin's degree work Iz Lebyazhego soobshchayut (1960). That same year, Kuravlyov graduated from VGIK and joined the Theater Studio of Film Actors. From that moment on, Leonid Kuravlyov played a few leading parts and incidental characters in a few movies. In 1961, Kuravlyov starred in a famous Soviet melodrama Quand les arbres étaient grands (1962) with Yuriy Nikulin playing the leading part. Actor and film director Vasiliy Shukshin is considered to have been the one to widely introduce Leonid Kuravlyov to the general public. In 1964, he shot two films - Zhivyot takoy paren (1964) and Vash syn i brat (1966) - both starring Leonid Kuravlyov. Vasiliy Shukshin liked Kuravlyov's acting in these two movies so much that he would constantly offer him different roles in many of his projects. Kuravlyov, however, turned down each one of them because he did not wish to play clichéd characters. The role of Shura Balaganov in Mikhail Shvejtser's comedy The Golden Calf (1968) based on Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov's eponymous book was the next step in Leonid Kuravlyov's acting career, in which he managed to create an unforgettable sparkling image of a naive petty thief. Kuravlyov's other notable films of this period include one of the first Soviet horror movies Vij (1967) adaptation of Nikolay Gogol's novell directed by Georgiy Kropachyov, where he played young seminarist Khoma Brutus, and a psychological melodrama Nepodsuden (1969) directed by Vladimir Krasnopolskiy and Valeriy Uskov, where he played the negative character Sorokin. In the early 1970s, Leonid Kuravlyov would star in three to four films a year. He managed to play completely opposite characters like Robinson Crusoe in Stanislav Govorukhin's Robinson Crusoe (1973), Nazi officer Kurt Eismann in Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973), and Lavr Mironych in Pyotr Todorovskiy's Poslednyaya zhertva (1976). Even though Kuravlyov is very good at playing serious dramatic roles, he is still best known and mostly loved for his comic appearances in movies like Leonid Gayday's Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future (1973), where Kuravlyov played a thief named George Miloslavsky, who accidentally got teleported to the times of Ivan the Terrible. Interestingly enough, Andrey Mironov also tried out for this role, but Leonid Gayday decided in Kuravlyov's favor. In 1975, Leonid Kuravlyov starred in one his most famous comedies Afonya (1975), directed by Georgiy Daneliya. Kuravlyov played a very atypical character - a plumber named Afonya Borshchyov, who takes bribes, often gets into trouble, abuses alcohol, quarrels with his superiors at work, and doesn't really know what to do with his life. And then suddenly, one of his neighborhood "female clients" falls in love with him... About 62,2 mln. people went to see Afonya during its first year on cinema screens, making it an unconditional Soviet box-office leader of 1975. In 1979, Leonid Kuravlyov played a very short role of a thief named Kopchyoniy in Stanislav Govorukhin's cult series The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979). The actor masterfully created an accomplished and amazingly credible image of an experienced criminal in just a matter of minutes. During the 1980s, Leonid Kuravlyov starred in a number of memorable movies, such as Damy priglashayut kavalerov (1981), Cherchez la femme (1983), Demidovy (1984), TASS upolnomochen zayavit... (1984), Samaya obayatelnaya i privlekatelnaya (1985), Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Twentieth Century Approaches (1986) and many others. The 1990s were not the best times for the Russian cinema in general and most of the released movies were mediocre and low-grade. During this period, many actors were forced to star in low-quality films just to make ends meet, and Leonid Kuravlyov was not an exception. Perhaps, his role in a movie called Lady Into Lassie (1995) is the only one worth mentioning. In 2002 he starred in Russian mini-TV series Brigada (2002) as an MVD general. In 2009 he played the Nobleman in Disney's first Russian-only release, Kniga masterov (2009).


Movie Name Release Date
Σημαδιακό όνειρο – Viy (1967) March 22, 1972