- Oct 9, 1926
- Nizhny Novgorod, Soviet Union [now Russia]
Bio: Evgeni Aleksandrovich Evstigneev (Yevgeni Yevstigneyev) was born on October 9, 1926, in Gorky, Russia, USSR (now Nizhni Novgorod, Russia). His father, named Aleksandr Mikhailovich, was a metal worker. His mother, named Maria Ivanovna (nee Chernysheva), was an industrial metal-miller. Young Evstigneev also worked as an industrial metal-worker in the city of… More
Bio: Evgeni Aleksandrovich Evstigneev (Yevgeni Yevstigneyev) was born on October 9, 1926, in Gorky, Russia, USSR (now Nizhni Novgorod, Russia). His father, named Aleksandr Mikhailovich, was a metal worker. His mother, named Maria Ivanovna (nee Chernysheva), was an industrial metal-miller. Young Evstigneev also worked as an industrial metal-worker in the city of Gorky.
In 1946 he made an effort to enter the Gorky Theatrical School. There he was criticized by one of the examiners and was rejected with a comment: "We do not need short, balding actors". He had to return to his industrial job. However, he was able to express his creativity through music performances. Evstigneev was fond of American jazz music, he was a drummer with a local jazz-band in the city of Gorky. There he was scouted by Vitali Lensky, who was the director of Gorky Theatrical School. Vitali Lensky immediately noticed Evstigneev's bright smile and musical virtuosity, and was impressed with Evstigneev's radiant personality and stage presence. Lensky admitted Evstigneev to his acting class without an entrance exams. From 1946-1951 Evstigneev studied acting and graduated from the Gorky Theatrical school in 1951. From 1951-1954 he worked with the Vladimir City Drama Theatre.
In 1954 Evstigneev came to Moscow in his pursuit of an acting career. At that time the cultural revival known as the "Thaw" was initiated by Nikita Khrushchev, which opened many new opportunities for talented people. From 1954-1956 Evstigneev studied at School of Acting of the legendary Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). There he became involved with the Moscow intellectual and artistic milieu. In 1955 Evstigneev joined Oleg Yefremov, Oleg Tabakov, Igor Kvasha, Galina Volchek, and other student-actors to start an independent theatre company, named 'Studio of Young Actors'. In 1956, upon their graduation, Evstigneev and his fellow actors became co-founders of their own theatre company in Moscow which became known as "Sovremennik". In 1957 he married actress Galina Volchek, their son Denis Yevstigneyev was born in 1961.
Evstigneev shot to fame after he starred as Comrade Dynin in 'Dobro pozhalovat, ili postoronnim vkhod vospreshchen' (Welcome, or No Trespassing 1964) by director Elem Klimov. He made remarkable performances in the films from such directors as Grigori Chukhrai, Eldar Ryazanov, Mikhail Shvejtser, Aleksandr Alov, Vladimir Naumov, Karen Shakhnazarov, Leonid Filatov, Stanislav Govorukhin, Vladimir Bortko, Yuri Kara, and other Russian film directors. From 1971-1992 he was a permanent member of the troupe of Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). His stage partners were Anastasiya Georgiyevskaya, Oleg Yefremov, Sergei Yursky, Aleksandr Kalyagin, Viktor Sergachyov, Yevgeni Kindinov, Boris Shcherbakov, and other notable Russian actors.
Evstigneev was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1974) for his theatrical work. He was designated People's Artist of the USSR (1983) and received numerous awards and recognitions for his acting works in film and on stage. Evstigneev suffered from a chronic heart condition and complications from a heart attack. He died while undergoing preparation for a heart surgery on March 4, 1992, in London, England, and was laid to rest in the Novodevichy Convent Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.
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