Merkur’ev, Vasilii Vasil’evich
Born Mar. 24 (Apr. 6), 1904, in Ostrov, in present-day Pskov Oblast. Soviet Russian actor and teacher. People’s Artist of the USSR (1960). Became a member of the CPSU in 1948.
In 1926, Merkur’ev graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Stage Arts. He made his stage debut in 1920 in the city of Ostrov. From 1928 to 1937 he performed at the Leningrad Theater of Acting, which was directed by L. S. Viv’en. Beginning in 1937 he was an actor at the A. S. Pushkin Leningrad Theater of Drama. Merkur’ev’s roles have included Maksimov in Lavrenev’s To Those in the Sea, Men’shikov in A. N. Tolstoy’s Peter I, Bortnikov in Nikolaev’s High Wave, Prokofev in Kupriianov’s Son of the Age, and Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. He has staged a number of productions.
Merkur’ev has also appeared in motion pictures. His film roles have included Stashkov in Member of the Government (1940), the Woodsman in Cinderella (1947), Nestratov in True Friends (1954), Fodor Ivanovich in The Cranes Are Flying (1957), Uncle Kostia in Serezha (1960), and Zhuravlev in Roll Call (1966). In 1932 he became an instructor at the Leningrad Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinematography, and he received a professorship there in 1950. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1947, 1949, and 1952, Merkur’ev has also been awarded two orders and various medals.