Nicholas Saunders (actor)

Nikita Nikolayevich Soussanin (June 2, 1914 – August 6, 2006) was a Ukrainian–American film, television, theatre actor, theatre translator and stage manager.

Nicholas Saunders
Nicholas Saunders (actor).gif
Photo: Theatre World 1969-1970
Nikita Nikolayevich Soussanin

(1914-06-02)June 2, 1914
Kyiv, Ukraine
DiedAugust 6, 2006(2006-08-06) (aged 92)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation(s)Film and television actor
Children2 including, Lanna Saunders
Parent(s)Nicholas Soussanin and Olga Baclanova

Life and careerEdit

Saunders was born in Kyiv, Ukraine[1] to Ukrainian parents Nicholas, an actor and Olga, an actress.[2] He was raised in Hollywood, California.[1]

Saunders began his career in 1938, appearing in the Broadway play The Bridal Crown, playing the pastor.[3]

Later in his career, Saunders appeared and starred in other Broadway plays, including Lady in the Dark, playing Liza's father;[4] A Highland Fling, playing Sandy MacGill;[5] Happily Ever After, stage-managing and playing Stubbs;[3] Marriage is for Single People, playing Reginald Hecuba;[6] The Magnificent Yankee, playing Mason;[5] The Fifth Season, stage-managing;[3] A Call on Kuprin, playing Mr. Kendall and guard at Yalta;[7] Take Her, She's Mine, playing the principal, Mr. Whitmyer, Frank Michaelson, and Mr. Hibbetts;[5] The Passion of Josef D., language consultant and playing Sukhanov, Orjonikidze, and ensemble;[5][8] Scenes and Revelations, playing Mr. Karonk;[9] and Zoya's Apartment, translating the play with Frank Dwyer.[10][3][5]

Saunders started his television career in 1947, appearing in Kraft Television Theatre.[citation needed] He also was a Russian radio announcer on Voice for America, in the same year.[1] In 1950, Saunders played Sergeant Ross in the television series Martin Kane, Private Eye from 1950 to 1952.[1] He also played Captain J. Barker in The Phil Silvers Show.[2][11]

In 1990, Saunders retired. He won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, which he shared with his writing partner Frank Dwyer, in 2005.[2]


Saunders died in August 2006 of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 92.[1][2][12]



Year Title Role Notes
1952 Bread of Freedom TV Movie
1959 Keep in Step Captain J. Barker TV Movie
1966 The Journey of the Fifth Horse TV Movie
1971 Bananas Douglas
1975 Deadly Hero
1978 The Defection of Simas Kudirka Soviet chairman TV Movie
1981 C.O.D. T.B. Dumore
1983 Daniel Jail Doctor
1987 Invisible Thread General TV Movie


Year Title Role Notes
1947–1948 Kraft Television Theatre 3 episodes
1949 The Boris Karloff Mystery Playhouse 1 episode
1949–1951 The Philco Television Playhouse 4 episods
1949 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre Leonard Vole 1 episode
1950 Lights Out 1 episode
1950–1954 Martin Kane, Private Eye Sgt. Ross 16 episodes
1953 Campbell Summer Soundstage 1 episode
1954 Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers 1 episode
1955 The World of Mr. Sweeney 1 episode
1956–1959 The Phil Silvers Show Captain J. Barker 30 episodes
1956 Chevron Hall of Stars 1 episode
1960–1961 Naked City Holman/George Herner 2 episodes
1961 Peter Loves Mary Captain Morgan 1 episode
1961 The Law and Mr. Jones Hayward 1 episode
1961 Armstrong Circle Theatre Suzhinski/Schmidt 2 episodes
1961 Route 66 George Slocum 1 episode
1962 Car 54, Where Are You? Lt. Cushman 2 episodes
1963 Espionage Colonel G 1 episode
1964 The Defenders Inspector Harding 1 episode
1965 For the People The Foreman 1 episode
1966–1967 The Jackie Gleason Show General Goronsky/Judge John J. Fenton 2 episodes
1970 All My Children Chief Bradley (1080) 1 episode
1984 As the World Turns Justice 1 episode


  1. ^ a b c d e Lentz, Harris (April 24, 2007). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006. McFarland. p. 327. ISBN 9780786429332 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d "Nicholas Saunders, 92; TV and Stage Actor, Translated Plays From Russian Into English". Los Angeles Times. October 17, 2006. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "Nicholas Saunders". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Dietz, Dan (February 2, 2015). The Complete Book of 1940s Broadway Musicals. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 153. ISBN 9781442245280 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Nicholas Saunders". Playbill. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Leonard, William (1983). Broadway Bound: A Guide to Shows that Died Aborning. Scarecrow Press. p. 297. ISBN 9780810816527 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "A Call on Kuprin Broadway Original Cast". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "The Theater: Chayefsky's 'Passion of Josef D.'; Author Directs Drama at the Barrymore; Stalin Is Portrayed by Peter Falk". The New York Times. February 12, 1964. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  9. ^ Rich, Frank (June 26, 1981). "The Stage: 'Scenes and Revelations'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Rich, Frank (May 11, 1990). "Review/Theater; Marooned in Moscow After the Revolution". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Rosin, Gene (November 1, 2010). Sparks of Liberty: An Insider's Memoir of Radio Liberty. Penn State Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0271038636 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Willis, Hodges, John, Ben (June 1, 2009). Theatre World 2006–2007 – The Most Complete Record of the American Theatre. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 417. ISBN 978-1557837288 – via Google Books.

External linksEdit