Mikhail Baryshnikov - Rotten Tomatoes

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Highest Rated:   58% The Turning Point (1977)
Lowest Rated:   46% White Nights (1985)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Riga, Latvia, Soviet Union. [now independent Latvia]
Born in the former Soviet Union, dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov came to ballet at the advanced age of 15. Because of his extraordinary leg-muscle strength, he was permitted to join Leningrad's Kirov Company, in which he worked his way up to featured soloist. During the Kirov's Canadian tour in 1974, Baryshnikov disappeared for several days, and when he resurfaced it was in the United States he asked for political asylum. The decision had as much to do with aesthetics as ideology; in Russia, even a ballet star could only go so far socially and financially. Baryshnikov joined the American Ballet, but later in what was considered a controversial move, he switched to George Balanchine's New York City Ballet. The reason was simple: Balanchine had strong links to musical comedy, and Baryshnikov was a lifelong fan of such American musicals as Oklahoma, West Side Story, and even Where's Charley? This devotion would later be manifested in a well-received 1980 ABC television special, Baryshnikov on Broadway. In 1977, the dancer made his American film debut in The Turning Point (1977), the most successful ballet-themed motion picture since The Red Shoes in 1948. For his down-to-earth acting as much as for his unquestioned dance skills, Baryshnikov received an Oscar nomination. That he quickly adapted himself to the Hollywood lifestyle was evident in his private life; he fathered a child by actress Jessica Lange, who ultimately moved on to a long-term relationship with actor/playwright Sam Shepard. Baryshnikov did not spare himself in his work as he grew older, and magazines frequently featured close-up photos of his battered knees and ankles. By the very nature of his reputation, he did not lend himself to being cast in "normal" film roles, and his best film showing outside of The Turning Point was in White Nights (1985), in which he played a ballet star who'd defected from the Soviet Union only to be kidnapped back into his homeland. The film wasn't exactly like real life, but it did allow him to trade steps with famed American dancer Gregory Hines -- and even permitted Baryshnikov to dabble in Errol Flynn-style acrobatics in his efforts to elude the Soviets.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Giselle
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Rehearsing a Dream
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Choreography by Balanchine: Chaconne, Prodigal Son, Ballo della Regina, The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Happy to Be Nappy and Other Stories of Me
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Ballet Favorites
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Great Pas de Deux
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet The Glory of the Kirov
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet The Cabinet Of Dr. Ramirez
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Russian Ballet: The Glorious Tradition, Vol. 1
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Company Business
  • Pyotr Ivanovich Grushenko
1991
No Score Yet Dancers
  • Tony
1987
No Score Yet Bold Steps
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet That's Dancing!
  • Actor
1985
46% White Nights
  • Nikolai "Kolya" Rodchenko
1985
No Score Yet American Ballet Theatre at the Met: Mixed Bill
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Don Quixote
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Baryshnikov - The Dancer and the Dance
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Carmen - Baryshnikov
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet When I Think of Russia
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet The Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre)
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet The Nutcracker
  • Actor
1977
58% The Turning Point
  • Yuri
1977
No Score Yet World's Young Ballet
  • Actor
1975

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
64% Doll & Em
2014-2015
  • Mikhail
  • 2015
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Host
  • Actor
  • Performer
  • 2015
  • 2003
No Score Yet Live From Lincoln Center
2000
  • Guest
  • 2004

Quotes from Mikhail Baryshnikov's Characters