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(Pseudonym of Mikhail Nikolaevich Rumiantsev). Born Nov. 27 (Dec. 10), 1901, in St. Petersburg. Soviet circus artist; clown. People’s Artist of the USSR (1969).
Karandash graduated from a technicum of circus art in 1930 and made his debut as a floor clown. Initially he appeared as a Charlie Chaplin type, but in 1934–35, while working in the Leningrad Circus, he created a new character, adopting the pseudonym of the French caricature artist Caran d’Ache. His character is an adult who retains the spontaneity and joie de vivre of the child; this helps to create comic situations and to lend credence to the stunts performed by the artist. He continually appears during the acts of acrobats, gymnasts, jugglers, and animal trainers. In 1946, Karandash began heading clown troupes. His students and partners included Iu. V. Nikulin and M. I. Shuidin. He has appeared in motion pictures (Karandash on the Ice) and has toured abroad on a number of occasions.
WORKSNa arene sovetskogo tsirka. Moscow, 1954.
REFERENCENikulin, L. Karandash. Moscow, 1951.
IU. A. DMITRIEV