John Freedman

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Vladimir Zeldin Dies at 101

Posted by John Freedman on October 31, 2016 at 4:05 PM

One of Russia's most beloved actors, Vladimir Zeldin, has died at the age of 101. Zeldin starred in countless popular productions at the Soviet Army Theater, where he began working in 1945, and continued on for decades at the Russian Army Theater after the venue was renamed in the early 1990s. According to RIA Novosti Zeldin spent his 101st birthday, Feb. 10, as he always did throughout his life, on stage performing. He continued performing through the end of the season. He spent most of the month of October in the hospital. Zeldin made his professional debut on stage in the Transport Theater in Moscow in 1938 (this is now Gogol-Center). The Russian press claims that he holds the Guinness Book record for the oldest actor to perform regularly on stage, although the Guinness Book site actually lists a Bulgarian actor aged 94. So, whether it is official or not, Zeldin was obviously the true record holder. In addition to his countless roles in theater, he also performed numerous memorable roles in film, "Tale of Siberian Lands" (1947), "Carnival Night (!956) and "Uncle Vanya" (1970). 

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