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  • Mikhail Ivanovich Zharov was a Soviet actor. He studied under the prominent director Theodore Komisarjevsky and debuted in Yakov Protazanov's Aelita. Later he became a Protazanov regular, appearing in The Man from the Restaurant together with Mikhail Chekhov. In the 1930s he was a leading actor of Alexander Tairov's Chamber Theatre, before moving to the Malyi Theatre where he was engaged from 1938 till the rest of his life and most fully unfolded his actor’s gift, mainly playing classical repertoire parts Mikhail Zharov gained wide popularity thanks to the role of Zhigan in Nikolai Ekk’s internationally known drama Road to Life. Playing the leader of a gang of thieves, the actor made use of the opportunities of the first sound-film: he endowed his character with a specific accent, played the guitar and sang songs with his peculiar charm. In 1933 he played in Boris Barnet's Okraina. The most acclaimed of his sound films were Peter the Great, in which he played Prince Menshikov, and Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, in which he played Malyuta Skuratov.

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