Evgeni Leonov - Rotten Tomatoes

Evgeni Leonov

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Birthplace:   Moscow, Russia
Evegeni Leonov was a Russian film and stage actor who is best known for his leading roles in such comedies as Kin-Dza-Dza (1986), Mimino (1977), and Dzhentlmeny udachi (1972).He was born Evgeni Pavlovich Leonov on September 2, 1926, in Moscow, Russia, USSR (now Moscow, Russia). He was the second son in the family. His father, Pavel Vasilevich Leonov, was an aviation engineer and his mother, Anna Il'inichna was a housewife. Young Evgeni Leonov had a dream of becoming a pilot like the famous Valeri Chkalov. During the Second World War his school studies were interrupted by invasion of the Nazi Armies. Leonov became a metal-worker after completion of only seven years of secondary school. Leonov worked in the aviation industry and studied at the Aviation Tecnical School, named after S. Ordzhonikidze. There he started acting as an amateur at the student's club.One day in 1943, Leonov decided to become a professional actor. He borrowed a coat from his brother and went to the Moscow State Theatre Studio, where he took an entrance exam. He presented monologues from Anton Chekhov and Mikhail Zoschenko to the State Commission of 25 professionals, including Andrei Goncharov and Rostislav Zakharov, the renown director from the Bolshoi Theater. After finishing the prepared monologues Leonov was asked to perform something else. "Something else is even worse", he replied. The State Commission saw his great potential, and Leonov became a student at the drama class of the Moscow State Theatre Studio. There his teachers were Rostislav Zakharov and Andrei Goncharov. He continued his day job as an industrial worker, and studied acting at nights, graduating in 1947, as an actor.Leonov became a stage actor at the Moscow Dzerzhinsky Borough Theatre, which was renamed the Stanislavsky Theatre in 1948. He had no roles for two years and struggled through working extras at the Mosfilm. In 1949 Leonov played his first cameo roles in 'Karandash na ldu' and 'Schastlivy reis'. His first serious work was the supporting role in 'Delo Rumyantseva' (1955). In the course of his film career Leonov played a dazzling variety of leading and supporting roles in more than 60 films. Leonov is best remembered for his roles in popular films from directors Vladimir Fetin, Leonid Gaidai, Mark Zakharov, and Georgi Daneliya. He was twice awarded the State Prize of the USSR, was decorated and received the honorable title of People's Actor of USSR (1978) for his film roles and for his stage works.Evgeni Leonov was among the leading comedians in Russian cinema of the Soviet era. He was best known for his roles in such films as Polosatyy reys (1960), Dzhentlmeny udachi (1972), Kin-Dza-Dza (1986), Mimino (1977), and _Osenniy marafon (1979). Leonov also demonstrated his range in dramas and period films, such as Belorusskiy vokzal (1970) and _Chaikovskiy (1969)_. He was the voice of Vinnie the Pooh in the eponymous cartoon. His happy face and a sincere smile was a guarantee for success of a film or a stage play. Leonov's stellar stage career, spanning more than 50 years, really took off in 1954, with the role of Lariosik in 'Dni Turbinykh', a play by Mikhail A. Bulgakov. From 1974 - 1994 Leonov was a permanent member of the troupe at Moscow Lenkom Theatre under the directorship of Mark Zakharov. There his stage partners were such actors as Inna Churikova, Leonid Bronevoy, Oleg Yankovskiy, Aleksandr Abdulov, Nikolai Karachentsov, Aleksandr Zbruyev, Aleksandra Zakharova, Tatyana Kravchenko, Aleksandr Lazarev, Dmitri Pevtsov, and other notable Russian actors. Leonov gave a remarkable performance in the leading role as Tevye in 'Pominalnaya Molitva', an adaptation of Tevye the Milkman story by Sholom Aleichem, which was the last role of this great Russian actor.Outside of his entertainment career, Evgeni Leonov was fond of fine art; he developed a passion for collecting Russian landscape paintings and graphics, as well as Russian period furniture and antiques. He enjoyed treating his friends and guests to the highlights of his private collection at his home in Moscow. Leonov was also famous for his remarkable hospitality, he and his wife, Vanda Vladimirovna Stoilova, were refined gourmet connoisseurs, and shared their passion with many friends. Evgeni Leonov died of a heart attack on January 29, 1994, in Moscow, and was laid to rest in the Novodevichy Convent Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.Date of Death29 January 1994, Moscow, Russia

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Vinni-Pukh (Winnie Pooh)
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Polosatyy reys
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Passport
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Autumn Marathon
  • Vasily
1982
No Score Yet Volshebnoye koltso (The Magic Ring)
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Mimino
  • Ivan
1978
No Score Yet Afonya (Афоня)
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Vinni Pukh i den zabot
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Vinni Pukh idyot v gosti
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet Gentlemen of Fortune
  • "Dotsent"
1971
No Score Yet Tchaikovsky
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet Vinni Pukh
  • Actor
1969
No Score Yet Zigzag udachi (The Zigzag of Success) (Zigzag of Luck)
  • Actor
1968

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