May 01, 2002

The Actor Who Can Do it All



Russia’s most renowned living actor, Alexander Kalyagin, was born on May 25, 1942. He is also presently chairman of the Union of Theater Workers of Russia (in his second term).

A graduate of the Shchukin Theater School (1965) Kalyagin worked for 30 years at the Moscow Art Theater (MKhAT) and is known as an actor, to quote the late director Anatoly Efros, “who can do it all.” The amazingly wide range of roles Kalyagin has played confirms Efros’ words. At MKhAT, Kalyagin played Lenin, as well as many heroes from Chekhov, Moliere and others. Kalyagin has also acted in over 60 films. One of his most famous roles was in drag, as the Brazilian female-millionaire Dona Rosa d’Alvadores in the comedy Hello, I am Your Aunt! His portrayal of Mikhail Platonov in Nikita Mikhalkov’s Unfinished Play for Mechanical Piano (1977) earned him the main prize at the International Film Festival in San Sebastien. As a director, Kalyagin has staged Chekhov’s plays at Nanterre Theater in Paris and Gogol’s Inspector General at Cleveland’s Eldred Theater. In 1996, capitalizing on his vast expertise and wide authority in the world of Russian drama, he established his own private theater in Moscow, Et cetera.


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