Aleksandr Iuzhin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iuzhin, Aleksandr Ivanovich


(real surname, Sumba-tov). Born Sept. 4 (16), 1857, in the village of Kukuevka, in what is now Efremov Raion, Tula Oblast; died Sept. 17, 1927, in Nice; buried in Moscow. Russian actor, playwright, and theater figure. People’s Artist of the Republic (1922).

Iuzhin studied in the law department of the University of St. Petersburg from 1877 to 1881. In 1876 he made his professional stage debut in Tiflis. In 1882 he joined the Malyi Theater in Moscow, becoming manager of the company in 1909, chairman of its council in 1918, and administrative director in 1923. In 1877, Iuzhin made his debut as a playwright. His plays, including The Gentleman (1897) and Sunset (1899), are filled with romantic passion; yet they realistically criticize the gentry and the bourgeoisie. He also was the author of the historical dramas The Old Mold (1895) and Treason (1903). Iuzhin’s plays were staged in Moscow at the Malyi and other theaters.

A romantic actor, Iuzhin excelled in the works of Schiller (as Dunois in The Maid of Orléans and Marquis Posa in Don Carlos), Hugo (Don Carlos in Hernani and the title role in Ruy Blas), and Shakespeare (Macbeth, Richard III, and Coriolanus). Impressive for his nobility and poetic ardor, Iuzhin was known for his thorough, well-rounded characterizations. He also revealed a sense of humor and a taste for the ironic as Figaro in Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro, Bolingbroke in Scribe’s A Glass of Water, Teliatev in Ostrovskii’s Mad Money, and Fa-musov in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, Iuzhin was active in the Theater Division of the People’s Commissariat of Education, TsentroTeatr, and other organizations. He also gave lectures and wrote articles. Iuzhin Created heroic figures of monumental force, including Gleb Mironovich in A. K. Tolstoy’s The Posadnik and the title role in Lunacharskii’s Oliver Cromwell.


Zapiski, stat’i, pis’ma, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1951.
P’esy. Moscow, 1961.


Efros, N. E. A. I. Iuzhin. Moscow, 1922.
Filippov, V. A. Iuzhin-Sumbatov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1943.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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