Iurii Nikulin

Nikulin, Iurii Vladimirovich


Born Dec. 18, 1921, in Demidov, Smolensk Oblast. Circus artist and carpet clown (clown performing between acts). People’s Artist of the USSR (1973). Member of the CPSU since 1943.

In 1950, Nikulin graduated from the Conversational Genre Studio of the Moscow Circus. He worked in a clown group headed by the well-known Soviet clown Karandash. Nikulin now performs with M. I. Shuidin. He has created the character of a phlegmatic, outwardly rather simple but actually crafty man—the exact opposite of his energetic and fidgety partner.

Nikulin has also won acclaim as a film actor. He has played in a series of film comedies In All Seriousness (The Dog Barbos and an Unusual Cross-country Race, 1961), Operation “Y” and Shurik’s Other Adventures (1965), and A Prisoneress in the Caucasus (1967). He has also acted in dramatic roles, including Kuz’ma Iordanov in When the Trees Were Tall (1962), Glazychev in Here, Mukhtar! (1965), and Miachikov in Old Robbers (1972). In 1970, Nikulin received the State Prize of the RSFSR for his work in films. He was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor and a number of medals.


Beilin, A. “Iurii Nikulin.” In Aktery sovetskogo kino, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968.
Iskusstvo klounady. Moscow, 1969. (Collection of articles.)