Alexander Kaidanovsky primarily appeared in classic Russian films such as The Golden River (1973) and Nikita Mikhalkov's At Home Among Strangers, a Stranger at Home (1975). Internationally, he is best-known for playing the title role in Andrei Tarkovsky's classic sci-fi/thriller Stalker (1979). During the 1980s, Kaidanovsky attempted to become a director but returned to acting in the '90s.
A native of southern Russian, Kaidanovsky studied his craft at the Rostov Theater School and at the Schukin Institute. He then spent 1969 to 1971 performing with the Vakhtangov Theater and 1971 to 1972 with the Moscow Arts Theater before making his film debut in 1973. At his peak Kaidanovsky was among Soviet Russia's most popular actors during the '70s, but in 1980, he turned his back on performing to study directing at the Institute of Cinema in Moscow. There he studied under Tarkovsky and it is small wonder that his directorial debut, A Simple Death, was done in a style very close to his mentor's. Kaidanovsky's most acclaimed film is The Kerosene Seller's Wife (1988). In addition to directing films, Kaidanovsky has held special workshops for aspiring directors in which he acts as a mentor and guides them through the filmmaking process. In 1993, Kaidanovsky directed a video about the life of Sergei Paradjanov, Maestro. He then returned to acting, appearing in international productions such as Secrets Shared With a Stranger (1995). Just before his death, Kaidanovsky was working on the internationally produced project Dromoman.