born July 11 [July 24, New Style], 1901, Moscow, Russia died January 1987, Moscow Russian actor of stage and screen, especially well known for his comic portrayals of middle-class buffoons, vagabonds, country bumpkins, rogues, and city slickers. Although Ilinsky debuted at the Novy Theatre in William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, it was not until he became associated with the experimental productions of Vsevolod Yemilyevich Meyerhold during the 1920s that Ilinsky became prominent. Among the notable roles he created under Meyerhold's direction are Istlen in mile Verhaeren's The Dawn (1920), Bruno in Fernand Crommelynck's Magnificent Cuckold (1922), and Prisypkin in Vladimir Mayakovsky's Bedbug (1928). He is perhaps best remembered for his creation of the role of Chlestakov in Meyerhold's world-famous revival of Nikolay Gogol's Inspector General (1926). Ilinsky recreated the latter role in 1938 at the Maly Theatre, the theatre where he acted and directed from 1938 until his retirement two years before his death at age 85. Ilinsky's film career paralleled his stage work, beginning in 1924, when he appeared as Krivcov, a private detective, in Yakov Protazanov's Aelita. In 1967 Ilinsky was awarded the Order of Lenin. He wrote an autobiography, Sam O Sebe (1961; About Myself).

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