Innokenty Mikhailovich Smoktunovsky (Russian: Иннокентий Михайлович Смоктуновский; born Smoktunovich, 28 March 1925 – 3 August 1994) was a Soviet and Russian theater and film actor. He was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1974 and a Hero of Socialist Labour in 1990.
Innokenty Mikhailovich Smoktunovich
28 March 1925
|Died||3 August 1994 (aged 69)|
|Resting place||Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow|
|Title||People's Artist of the USSR (1974)|
Hero of Socialist Labour (1990)
Smoktunovsky was born in a Siberian village in a peasant family of Belarusian ethnicity. It was once rumored that he came from a Polish family, even nobility, but the actor himself denied these theories by stating his family was Belarusian and not of nobility. He served in the Red Army during World War II and fought in Kursk, Dnepr and Kiev battles. In 1946, he joined a theatre in Krasnoyarsk, later moving to Moscow. In 1957, he was invited by Georgy Tovstonogov to join the Bolshoi Drama Theatre of Leningrad, where he stunned the public with his dramatic interpretation of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's The Idiot. One of his best roles was the title role in Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy's Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (Maly Theatre, 1973).
His career in film was launched by Mikhail Romm's movie Nine Days in One Year (1962). In 1964, he was cast in the role of Hamlet in Grigori Kozintsev's celebrated screen version of Shakespeare's play, which won him praise from Laurence Olivier as well as the Lenin Prize. Many English critics even ranked the Hamlet of Smoktunovsky above the one played by Olivier, at a time when Olivier's was still considered definitive. Smoktunovsky created an integral heroic portrait, which blended together what seemed incompatible before: manly simplicity and exquisite aristocratism, kindness and caustic sarcasm, a derisive mindset and self-sacrifice.
Smoktunovsky became known to wider audiences as Yuri Detochkin in Eldar Ryazanov's detective satire Beware of the Car (1966), which revealed the actor's outstanding comic gifts. Later, he played Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Tchaikovsky (1969), Uncle Vanya in Andrei Konchalovsky's screen version of Chekhov's play (1970), the Narrator in Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror (1975), an old man in Anatoly Efros's On Thursday and Never Again (1977), and Salieri in Mikhail Schweitzer's Little Tragedies (1979) based on Alexander Pushkin's plays.
- Murder on Dante Street (1956) as Young fascist
- Soldiers (1956) as Lieutenant Farber
- Close to Us (1958) as Andrei
- Letter Never Sent (1960) as Konstantin Fyodorovich Sabinin
- Until Next Spring (1960) as Aleksei Nikolayevich Ruchyev
- After the Wedding (1962) as Narrator's voice
- Nine Days in One Year (1962) as Ilya Kulikov
- Mozart and Salieri (1962) as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Hamlet (1964) as Prince Hamlet
- On the Same Planet (1965) as Vladimir Lenin
- Beware of the Car (1966) as Yuri Detochkin
- Degree of Risk (1968) as Aleksandr Kirillov
- The Living Corpse (1968) as Ivan Petrovich
- Crime and Punishment (1969) as Porfiry Petrovich
- Tchaikovsky (1970) as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Uncle Vanya (1970) as Ivan Petrovich Voinitsky ("Uncle Vanya")
- As Ilf and Petrov rode a tram (1972) as Tram passenger
- Taming of the Fire (1972) as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
- Moscow-Cassiopeia (1973) as I.O.O.
- The Heron and the Crane (1974) as Narrator's voice
- Daughters-Mothers (1974) as Vadim Antonovich Vasilyev
- A Lover's Romance (1974) as Trumpeter
- Teens in the Universe (1974) as I.O.O.
- Take Aim (1974) as Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Mirror (1975) as adult Aleksei's voice
- The Captivating Star of Happiness (1975) as Ivan Bogdanovich Zeidler
- They Fought for Their Country (1975) as Surgeon
- Twenty Days Without War (1976) as Vyacheslav's voice (played by Nikolai Grinko)
- Trust (1976) as Nikolay Bobrikov
- The Princess on a Pea (1977) as King
- The Steppe (1977) as Moisei Moiseyevich
- On Thursday and Never Again (1977) as Ivan Modestovich
- The Barrier (1979) as Antony Manev
- Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979) as himself (cameo appearance)
- Little Tragedies (1979) as Antonio Salieri and Old Baron
- The Queen of Spades (1982) as Chekalinsky
- Dead Souls (1984) as Plyushkin
- Primary Russia (1985) as Emperor Justinian I
- The Last Road (1986) as Jacob van Heeckeren tot Enghuizen
- The Twentieth Century Approaches (1986) as Lord Thomas Bellinger
- Dark Eyes (1987) as Modest Petrovich
- Gardes-Marines, Ahead! (1987) as André-Hercule de Fleury
- First Encounter - Last Encounter (1987) as Counterintelligence colonel
- Mother (1989) as Governor
- A Trap for Lonely Man (1990) as Merlouche the artist
- Genius (1991) as Mafia leader Gilya
- Dandelion Wine (1997) as Colonel Freeley (voiced by Sergey Bezrukov; released posthumously)
- Dubrovsky, V. Ya. (2002) Иннокентий Смоктуновский. Жизнь и роли. B. M. Poyurovsky (ed.), Moscow: Iskusstvo. ISBN 5-210-01434-7.
- Герой Социалистического Труда Смоктуновский Иннокентий Михайлович :: Герои страны. Warheroes.ru. Retrieved on 10 May 2016.
- "I. Smoktunovsky, Russian Actor, 69". The New York Times. 4 August 1994. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
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