Viven, Leonid Sergeevich

Viv’en, Leonid Sergeevich


Born Apr. 17 (29), 1887, in Voronezh; died Aug. 1, 1966, in Leningrad. Soviet actor, director, and teacher. People’s Artist of the USSR (1954). Member of the CPSU from 1945.

Viv’en graduated from the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute in 1910. That same year he was accepted at the St. Petersburg Theatrical School. In 1911 he began appearing in productions of the Aleksandrinskii Theater (now the Pushkin Leningrad Academic Dramatic Theater) and became a member of the theater’s troupe in 1913. His acting was distinguished by social characterizations and by exact portrayal. In 1924 he began his activity as a director, becoming principal director at the Pushkin Theater in 1937. Viv’en was an active propagandist of Soviet drama. He staged Seifullina and Pravdukhin’s Virineia (1926); Simonov’s The Russian People (1942); Leonov’s Invasion (1943), at the same time portraying Talanov the father; Nikitin’s The Northern Sunrise (1952); Aleshin’s Everything Is Left to the People (with A. N. Dauson, 1959); Dm. Zorin’s Friends and Years (with V. V. Erenberg); and The Zhurbins, based on Kochetov’s novel The Zhurbin Family (1963, with Dauson). Among Viv’en’s productions from classical Russian drama are Saltykov-Shchedrin’s The Death ofPazukhin (1924), Gogol’s The Inspector-General (1952), and Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1957, with Erenberg). Viv’en began teaching in 1913. In 1918 he was the organizer and subsequently the director of the School of Theatrical Skills, which later became the Leningrad Theatrical Institute (from 1940 as a professor, and from 1957 as head of the acting subdepartment). A recipient of the State Prize (1951), Viv’en was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.