Ivan Mozzhukhin

Active - 1913 - 1930  |   Born - Sep 26, 1889   |   Died - Jan 1, 1939   |   Genres - Drama

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Russian actor Ivan Mozzhukhin was one of the most popular actors in French silent cinema where he was known as Ivan Mosjoukine. Born in Penza, Russia, to wealthy landowners, Mozzhukhin was training to be a lawyer in Moscow when the acting bug bit in 1920 and he left the school to join a road show from Kiev. The tall, good-looking Mozzhukhin wasted no time in establishing himself both on the Moscow stage and in early Russian cinema. Four years after leaving law school, he became the biggest star in Russian films. During the Bolshevik Revolution, he fled Russia with a group of filmmakers and performers led by Yakov Protazanov and moved to Turkey. Accompanying Mozzhukhin was his co-star and future first wife, Nathalia Lissenko. Later, Protazanvo and the group relocated to Paris, chronicling their arduous trips in the film Agonizing Adventure. It was in Paris, after entering the French film industry that Mozzhukhin changed his name. Typically cast in enigmatic and exotic leads, the actor became a film star of the first magnitude until the advent of sound when his career ground to a halt. By the time he died in 1939, Mozzhukhin was impoverished and forgotten.

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