Boris Zakhava

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Boris Zakhava
Born May 12 or 24, 1896
Pavlohrad, Russian Empire
Died November 25, 1976(1976-11-25) (aged 80)
Moscow, Soviet Union

Boris Evgenyevich Zakhava (1896–1976; Russian: Борис Евгеньевич Захава) was a Russian theatre director, actor and acting coach.

He was awarded the USSR State Prize (1952) and honored with the title of People's Artist of the USSR (1967). His notable role include portrayal of Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov in War and Peace (1968). Zakhava was an acting coach. He taught several generations of Russian actors, including Mikhail Ulyanov, Yuri Yakovlev, Vasili Lanovoy, Lyudmila Maksakova, Nikolai Gritsenko, Nikolai Timofeyev, Rolan Bykov, Andrei Mironov, Aleksandr Kalyagin, Leonid Filatov, Vyacheslav Shalevich, Leonid Kanevsky, Mikhail Derzhavin, Aleksandr Shirvindt, Aleksandr Zbruyev.[1]


Boris Zakhava was born in May 1896 in Pavlohrad, Russian Empire. It is unknown his birth date is May 12[1] or May 24.[2] Evgeni Zakhava, his father, was a graduate of Moscow Imperial Cadet School and was an officer at the Russian Imperial Army. Boris, like his father, graduated the 3rd Moscow Imperial Cadet School (1913). While being a cadet, he was acting in amateur performances. In the meantime he was involved in the centennial celebration of the victory over Napoleon in 1912, in Moscow.[1]

Zakhava studied at the acting class of Vsevolod Meyerhold (1913–1916) and acting at the Moscow Vakhtangov studio under Yevgeny Vakhtangov. Since he was being hired by Vakhtangov as an actor, Zakhava worked at his theatre (Vakhtangov Theatre) for entire life. In 1922 he performed as a Timur in Carlo Gozzi's Turandot. Zakhava was a teaching director at the acting studio (1925) and a leading director of Vakhtangov Theatre Company. He produced and directed Maxim Gorky's dramas, Yegor Bulychev and Others (1932, 1951) and Dostegayev and Others (1933, 1934).[3] Since 1939 he became a director of the Shchukin Theatrical School (f. Vakhtangov acting studio). In 1958 Zakhava directed William Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Mikhail Astangov in the main role.[1] In 1968 he portrayed Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov in Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace (original: Vojna i mir), an Academy Award winner film.

He died on November 25, 1976 in Moscow. Buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.[1]


Year Title Role
1937 Bezhin Meadow (Bezhin lug) Samokhin, Stepok's father
1965 Voyna i mir I: Andrey Bolkonskiy Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
1967 Voyna i mir III: 1812 god Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
Voyna i mir IV: Pierre Bezukhov Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
1968 War and Peace (Vojna i mir) Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov


  • Zakhava, Boris (1930). "Vakhtangov i ego studiia". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Internet Movie Database
  2. Internetowa encyklopedia PWN
  3. WIEM Encyclopedia