Akim Tamiroff

Akim Tamiroff
Paramount Pictures


Akim Tamiroff
Film: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Born Oct. 29, 1899 in Tbilisi, Georgia
Died Sept. 17, 1972 in Palm Springs, CA

Akim Tamiroff was a veteran Russian character actor. His career began on the Russian stage and spanned nearly 35 years of Hollywood films.

Tamiroff made his debut shortly after the Russian revolution, came to the U.S. with a Moscow Art Theater group in 1923 and appeared in a series of Chekhov plays.

When the troupe returned to Russia, he stayed behind and soon found a well-placed niche with New York's prestigious Guild Theater, where he met and married actress Tamara Shayne.

The two arrived in Hollywood simultaneously with the 1929 stock market crash and there ensued a long hiatus in his career, broken finally by his well-remembered 1934 appearance in "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer."

After heeding an agent's advice not to to work on his English but to maintain his thick Russian accent, his credits as a character actor became legion.

They included "Anthony Adverse" in 1936, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in 1942, "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" and "Dragon Seed" in 1944 and "Funeral in Berlin" in 1966.

Tamiroff was a former president of the Russian-American Mutual Aid Society, an organization formed in 1943 to aid needy Russian actors.

He died at age 72.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1936 Best Supporting Actor The General Died at Dawn Nomination
    1943 Best Supporting Actor For Whom the Bell Tolls Nomination

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