The Most Famous

ACTORS from Ukraine

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This page contains a list of the greatest Ukrainian Actors. The pantheon dataset contains 10,030 Actors, 27 of which were born in Ukraine. This makes Ukraine the birth place of the 26th most number of Actors behind Denmark and Pakistan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Ukrainian Actors of all time. This list of famous Ukrainian 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 Ukrainian Actors.

Photo of Lee Strasberg

1. Lee Strasberg (1901 - 1982)

With an HPI of 71.78, Lee Strasberg is the most famous Ukrainian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages on wikipedia.

Lee Strasberg (born Israel Lee Strassberg; November 17, 1901 – February 17, 1982) was a Polish-born American actor, director, and theatre practitioner. He co-founded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951, he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and, in 1966, was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles. Although other highly regarded teachers also developed versions of "The Method", Lee Strasberg is considered to be the "father of method acting in America", according to author Mel Gussow. From the 1920s until his death in 1982, "he revolutionized the art of acting by having a profound influence on performance in American theater and film." From his base in New York, Strasberg trained several generations of theatre and film notables, including Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, Julie Harris, Paul Newman, Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Geraldine Page, Eli Wallach, and directors Andreas Voutsinas, Frank Perry and Elia Kazan.By 1970, Strasberg had become less involved with the Actors Studio and, with his third wife, Anna, opened the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute with branches in New York City and in Hollywood, to continue teaching the 'system' of Konstantin Stanislavski, which he had interpreted and developed, particularly in light of the ideas of Yevgeny Vakhtangov, for contemporary actors. The Institute's primary stated goal was "to reach a larger audience of eager and emerging talent" than was served by the Actors Studio's notoriously selective admission process, and as teachers of the method introduced their own personal interpretations of the discipline, "to dispel growing confusion and misrepresentation of the method, preserving what had by now become fundamental discoveries in actor training." The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute has its own rigorous sets of entrance criteria required for admission into their program.Former student Elia Kazan directed James Dean in East of Eden (1955), for which Kazan and Dean were nominated for Academy Awards. As a student, Dean wrote that Actors Studio was "the greatest school of the theater [and] the best thing that can happen to an actor." Playwright Tennessee Williams, writer of A Streetcar Named Desire, said of Strasberg's actors, "They act from the inside out. They communicate emotions they really feel. They give you a sense of life." Directors such as Sidney Lumet, a former student, have intentionally used actors skilled in Strasberg's "method".Kazan, in his autobiography, wrote, "He carried with him the aura of a prophet, a magician, a witch doctor, a psychoanalyst, and a feared father of a Jewish home... [He] was the force that held the 30-odd members of the theatre together, and made them 'permanent'." : 61  Today, Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, and Harvey Keitel lead this non-profit studio dedicated to the development of actors, playwrights, and directors. As an actor, Strasberg is probably best known for his supporting role as gangster Hyman Roth alongside his former student Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II (1974), a role he took at Pacino's suggestion after Kazan turned down the role, and which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also appeared in Going in Style (1979) and ... And Justice for All (1979).Strasberg's personal papers, including photos, are archived at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Photo of Milla Jovovich

2. Milla Jovovich (1975 - )

With an HPI of 70.31, Milla Jovovich is the 2nd most famous Ukrainian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 70 different languages.

Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich ( YOH-və-vitch; born December 17, 1975), known professionally as Milla Jovovich, is an American actress, supermodel, and singer. Her starring roles in numerous science-fiction and action films led the music channel VH1 to deem her the "reigning queen of kick-butt" in 2006. In 2004, Forbes determined that she was the highest-paid model in the world.Born in Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, Jovovich emigrated with her parents to London when she was five, and then to Sacramento, California; she finally settled in Los Angeles seven months later. In 1987, at the age of 12, she began modeling when Herb Ritts photographed her for the cover of the Italian magazine Lei. Richard Avedon featured her in Revlon's "Most Unforgettable Women in the World" advertisements. In 1988, Jovovich made her screen debut in the television film The Night Train to Kathmandu and appeared in her first feature film, Two Moon Junction. Jovovich gained attention for her role in the 1991 romance film Return to the Blue Lagoon, as she was then only 15. She was considered to have a breakthrough with her role in the 1997 French science-fiction action film The Fifth Element, written and directed by Luc Besson. She and Besson married that year, but soon divorced. She starred as the heroine and martyr in Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999). Between 2002 and 2016, Jovovich portrayed Alice in the action horror film franchise Resident Evil, which became the highest-grossing film series to be based on video games.Jovovich released a debut album, The Divine Comedy, in 1994, and a follow-up, The People Tree Sessions, in 1998. She continues to release demos for other songs on her official website and frequently contributes to film soundtracks. In 2003, model Carmen Hawk and she created the clothing line Jovovich-Hawk, which ran until 2008. Jovovich has her own production company, Creature Entertainment.

Photo of Ida Rubinstein

3. Ida Rubinstein (1883 - 1960)

With an HPI of 68.97, Ida Rubinstein is the 3rd most famous Ukrainian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Ida Lvovna Rubinstein (Russian: И́да Льво́вна Рубинште́йн; 3 October [O.S. 21 September] 1883 – 20 September 1960) was a Russian dancer, actress, art patron and Belle Époque figure. She performed with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes from 1909 to 1911 and then quit to form her own company. Boléro by Ravel (1928) was among her commissions.

Photo of Paul Muni

4. Paul Muni (1895 - 1967)

With an HPI of 67.96, Paul Muni is the 4th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Paul Muni (born Frederich Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund; September 22, 1895– August 25, 1967) was an Austro-Hungarian-born American stage and film actor who grew up in Chicago. Muni was a five-time Academy Award nominee, with one win. He started his acting career in the Yiddish theater. During the 1930s, he was considered one of the most prestigious actors at the Warner Bros. studio, and was given the rare privilege of choosing which parts he wanted. His acting quality, usually playing a powerful character, such as the lead in Scarface (1932), was partly a result of his intense preparation for his parts, often immersing himself in study of the real character's traits and mannerisms. He was also highly skilled in using makeup techniques, a talent he learned from his parents, who were also actors, and from his early years on stage with the Yiddish theater in Chicago. At the age of 12, he played the stage role of an 80-year-old man; in one of his films, Seven Faces, he played seven different characters. He made 22 films and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1936 film The Story of Louis Pasteur. He also starred in numerous Broadway plays and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in the 1955 production of Inherit the Wind.

Photo of Alla Nazimova

5. Alla Nazimova (1879 - 1945)

With an HPI of 67.21, Alla Nazimova is the 5th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Alla Nazimova (Russian: Алла Назимова; born Marem-Ides Leventon, Russian: Марем-Идес Левентон; June 3 [O.S. May 22] , 1879 – July 13, 1945) was a Russian-American actress, director, and producer. On Broadway, she was noted for her work in the classic plays of Ibsen, Chekhov and Turgenev. She later moved on to film, where she served many production roles, both writing and directing films under pseudonyms. Her film Salome (1923) is regarded as a cultural landmark. Nazimova was bisexual and openly conducted relationships with women while being married to a man. She created the Garden of Allah hotel, which became a retreat for many celebrities of the time. She is credited with having originated the phrase "sewing circle" as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses.

Photo of Lyudmila Gurchenko

6. Lyudmila Gurchenko (1935 - 2011)

With an HPI of 67.01, Lyudmila Gurchenko is the 6th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Lyudmila Markovna Gurchenko (born Gurchenkov) (Russian: Людмила Марковна Гурченко, informal – Lucia, 12 November 1935 – 30 March 2011), was a popular Soviet and Russian actress, singer and entertainer. People's Artist of the USSR (1983).

Photo of Volodymyr Zelensky

7. Volodymyr Zelensky (1978 - )

With an HPI of 66.02, Volodymyr Zelensky is the 7th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 84 different languages.

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy (Ukrainian: Володимир Олександрович Зеленський, pronounced [woloˈdɪmɪr olekˈsɑndrowɪtʃ zeˈlɛnʲsʲkɪj]; born 25 January 1978) is a Ukrainian comedian and politician who is the 6th and current president of Ukraine since 20 May 2019. Prior to his political career, he obtained a degree in law and created a production company, Kvartal 95, which produces films, cartoons and TV comedy shows, including Servant of the People, in which Zelensky played the role of President of Ukraine. The series aired from 2015 to 2019. Before entering politics, he was a comedian, actor, screenwriter, film producer, and director. A political party bearing the same name as the television show was created in March 2018 by employees of Kvartal 95. Zelensky announced his candidacy for the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election on the evening of 31 December 2018, alongside the New Year's Eve address of President Petro Poroshenko on 1+1 TV Channel. At the time, Zelensky had already been one of the frontrunners in opinion polls for the election. Zelensky won the election with 73.2% of the vote in the second round, defeating Poroshenko.

Photo of Ida Kamińska

8. Ida Kamińska (1899 - 1980)

With an HPI of 65.89, Ida Kamińska is the 8th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  Her biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Ida Kamińska (September 18, 1899 – May 21, 1980) was a Polish actress and director. Known mainly for her work in the theatre, she was the daughter of Ester Rachel Kamińska who was known as the Mother of the Jewish Stage. The Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, Poland is named in their honor. In her long career Kamińska produced more than 70 plays, and performed in more than 150 productions. She also wrote two plays of her own and translated many works in Yiddish. World War II disrupted her career, and she later immigrated to the United States where she continued to act. In 1967, she directed herself in the lead role of Mother Courage and Her Children on Broadway. In 1973, she released her autobiography, titled My Life, My Theater.She starred in the 1965 film The Shop on Main Street, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. For her performance, she received special mention at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as nominations for the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Photo of Zbigniew Cybulski

9. Zbigniew Cybulski (1927 - 1967)

With an HPI of 65.28, Zbigniew Cybulski is the 9th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Zbigniew Hubert Cybulski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈzbiɡɲɛf tsɨˈbulskʲi]; 3 November 1927 – 8 January 1967) was a Polish actor, one of the best-known and most popular personalities of the post-World War II history of Poland.

Photo of Ross Martin

10. Ross Martin (1920 - 1981)

With an HPI of 64.69, Ross Martin is the 10th most famous Ukrainian Actor.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Ross Martin (born Martin Rosenblatt, March 22, 1920 – July 3, 1981) was an American radio, voice, stage, film and television actor. Martin was best known for portraying Artemus Gordon on the CBS Western series The Wild Wild West, which aired from 1965 to 1969. He was the voice of Doctor Paul Williams in 1972's Sealab 2020, additional characters in 1973's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, and additional character voices in 1978's Jana of the Jungle.

Pantheon has 27 people classified as actors born between 1879 and 1983. Of these 27, 10 (37.04%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Milla Jovovich, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Mila Kunis. The most famous deceased actors include Lee Strasberg, Ida Rubinstein, and Paul Muni. As of October 2020, 6 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Ross Martin, Leonid Bykov, and Alexander Granach.

Living Actors

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Deceased Actors

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Newly Added Actors (2020)

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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 17 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.