Zuskin, Veniamin Lvovich

Zuskin, Veniamin L’vovich


Born Apr. 28, 1899; died Aug. 12, 1952. Soviet Jewish actor; People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1939).

In 1921, Zuskin entered the school of the Jewish State Chamber Theater, which later became the Jewish State Theater (GOSET), in Moscow; in the same year he was made a member of the theater’s company and made his debut in a performance ofSaliene by Shalom Aleichem. His best roles include the witch in Goldfaden’s The Witch, Senderl-Baba in The Journey of Benjamin III by Mendele Mokher Seforim, the matchmaker Soloveichik in Two Hundred Thousand and Gotsmakh in The Planets, both plays based on Shalom Aleichem, the Fool in King Lear by Shakespeare, the match-maker Badkhen in Freilekhs by Shneour, and the partisan Liakhovich in The Woods Stir by Lin’kov. His art was distinguished by virtuosity, mastery of self-transformation, musical feeling, and fluid expressiveness. He also worked as a director. In 1948 he became artistic director of GOSET, at the theatrical school of which he had taught since 1935. He also appeared in films, including The Man From the Borough (1930), The Border (1935), The Happiness Seekers (1936), and The Unsubdued (1945). He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946 and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and medals.


Dobrushin, I. Bin’iomin Zuskin. Moscow, 1939.