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The Most Famous

ACTORS from Russia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Actors. The pantheon dataset contains 9,996 Actors, 149 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 12th most number of Actors behind Australia and Spain.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Actors of all time. This list of famous Russian Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Russian Actors.

Photo of Yul Brynner

1. Yul Brynner (1920 - 1985)

With an HPI of 76.01, Yul Brynner is the most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages on wikipedia.

Yuliy Borisovich Briner (Russian: Юлий Борисович Бринер; July 11, 1920 – October 10, 1985), known professionally as Yul Brynner, was a Russian actor. He was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut in the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical The King and I, for which he won two Tony Awards, and later an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film adaptation. He played the role 4,625 times on stage and became known for his shaved head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it for The King and I. Considered one of the first Russian-American film stars, he was honored with a ceremony to put his handprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 1956, and also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. In 1956, Brynner received the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Rameses II in the Cecil B. DeMille epic The Ten Commandments and General Bounine in Anastasia. He was also well known as the gunman Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and its first sequel Return of the Seven (1966), along with roles as the android "The Gunslinger" in Westworld (1973), and its sequel, Futureworld (1976). In addition to his film credits, he also worked as a model and photographer and was the author of several books.

Photo of Armin Mueller-Stahl

2. Armin Mueller-Stahl (1930 - )

With an HPI of 62.81, Armin Mueller-Stahl is the 2nd most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Armin Mueller-Stahl (born 17 December 1930) is a German retired film actor, painter and author, who also appeared in numerous English-language films since the 1980s. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Shine. In 2011, he was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear.

Photo of Lila Kedrova

3. Lila Kedrova (1918 - 2000)

With an HPI of 61.64, Lila Kedrova is the 3rd most famous Russian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Yelizaveta Nikolaevna Kedrova (Russian: Елизавета Николаевна Кедрова; 9 October 1909 – 16 February 2000), known as Lila Kedrova, was a Russian-born French actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Zorba the Greek (1964), and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for the same role in the musical version of the film.

Photo of Michael Chekhov

4. Michael Chekhov (1891 - 1955)

With an HPI of 61.32, Michael Chekhov is the 4th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Chekhov (Russian: Михаил Александрович Чехов; 29 August 1891 – 30 September 1955), known as Michael Chekhov, was a Russian-American actor, director, author, and theatre practitioner. He was a nephew of the playwright Anton Chekhov and a student of Konstantin Stanislavski. Stanislavski referred to him as his most brilliant student. Although mainly a stage actor, he made a few notable appearances on film, perhaps most memorably as the Freudian analyst in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945), for which he received his only Academy Award nomination.

Photo of Yuri Nikulin

5. Yuri Nikulin (1921 - 1997)

With an HPI of 59.80, Yuri Nikulin is the 5th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Yuri Vladimirovich Nikulin (Russian: Юрий Владимирович Никулин; 18 December 1921 – 21 August 1997) was a Soviet and Russian actor and clown who starred in many popular films. He is best known for his roles in Leonid Gaidai's comedies, such as The Diamond Arm and Kidnapping, Caucasian Style, although he occasionally starred in dramatic roles and performed in Moscow Circus.He was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR in 1973 and Hero of Socialist Labour in 1990. He also received a number of state awards, including the prestigious Order of Lenin, which he received twice in his lifetime.

Photo of Leonid Kuravlyov

6. Leonid Kuravlyov (1936 - 2022)

With an HPI of 59.18, Leonid Kuravlyov is the 6th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Leonid Vyacheslavovich Kuravlyov (Russian: Леонид Вячеславович Куравлёв; 8 October 1936 – 30 January 2022) was a Soviet and Russian film actor. He became a People's Artist of the RSFSR in 1976.

Photo of Olga Knipper

7. Olga Knipper (1868 - 1959)

With an HPI of 58.64, Olga Knipper is the 7th most famous Russian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Olga Leonardovna Knipper-Chekhova (Russian: Ольга Леонардовна Книппер-Чехова; 21 September [O.S. 9 September] 1868 – 22 March 1959) was a Russian and Soviet stage actress. She was married to Anton Chekhov.Knipper was among the 39 original members of the Moscow Art Theatre when it was formed by Konstantin Stanislavski in 1898. She played Arkadina in The Seagull (1898), played Elena in the Moscow premiere of Uncle Vanya (1899), and was the first to play Masha in Three Sisters (1901) and Madame Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard (1904). She married Anton Chekhov, the author of these plays, in 1901. She played Ranevskaya again in 1943, when the theatre marked the 300th performance of The Cherry Orchard.

Photo of Sacha Guitry

8. Sacha Guitry (1885 - 1957)

With an HPI of 58.44, Sacha Guitry is the 8th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Alexandre-Pierre Georges Guitry (French: [gitʁi]; 21 February 1885 – 24 July 1957), known as Sacha Guitry, was a French stage actor, film actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright of the boulevard theatre. He was the son of a leading French actor, Lucien Guitry, and followed his father into the theatrical profession. He became known for his stage performances, particularly in boulevardier roles. He was also a prolific playwright, writing 115 plays throughout his career. He was married five times, always to rising actresses whose careers he furthered. Probably his best-known wife was Yvonne Printemps to whom he was married between 1919 and 1932. Guitry's plays range from historical dramas to contemporary light comedies. Some have musical scores, by composers including André Messager and Reynaldo Hahn. When silent films became popular Guitry avoided them, finding the lack of spoken dialogue fatal to dramatic impact. From the 1930s to the end of his life he enthusiastically embraced the cinema, making as many as five films in a single year. The later years of Guitry's career were overshadowed by accusations of collaborating with the occupying Germans after the capitulation of France in the Second World War. The charges were dismissed, but Guitry, a strongly patriotic man, was disillusioned by the vilification he received from some of his compatriots. By the time of his death, his popular esteem had been restored to the extent that 12,000 people filed past his coffin before his burial in Paris.

Photo of Vyacheslav Tikhonov

9. Vyacheslav Tikhonov (1928 - 2009)

With an HPI of 58.19, Vyacheslav Tikhonov is the 9th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Tikhonov (Russian: Вячеслав Васильевич Тихонов; 8 February 1928 – 4 December 2009) was a Soviet and Russian actor whose best known role was as Soviet spy, Stierlitz in the television series Seventeen Moments of Spring. He was a recipient of numerous state awards, including the titles of People's Artist of the USSR (1974) and Hero of Socialist Labour (1982).

Photo of Yevgeny Leonov

10. Yevgeny Leonov (1926 - 1994)

With an HPI of 57.15, Yevgeny Leonov is the 10th most famous Russian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Yevgeny Pavlovich Leonov (Russian: Евгений Павлович Леонов; 2 September 1926 – 29 January 1994) was a Soviet and Russian actor who played main parts in several of the most famous Soviet films, such as Gentlemen of Fortune, Mimino and Striped Trip. Called "one of Russia's best-loved actors", he also provided the voice for many Soviet cartoon characters, including Vinny Pukh (Winnie-the-Pooh).

Pantheon has 149 people classified as actors born between 1729 and 1989. Of these 149, 60 (40.27%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Armin Mueller-Stahl, Alisa Freindlich, and Vasily Livanov. The most famous deceased actors include Yul Brynner, Lila Kedrova, and Michael Chekhov. As of April 2022, 47 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Andrey Myagkov, Savely Kramarov, and Vera Alentova.

Living Actors

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Deceased Actors

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Newly Added Actors (2022)

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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.