Ostuzhev, Aleksandr Alekseevich
(stage name of A. A. Pozharov). Born Apr. 16 (28), 1874, in Voronezh; died Mar. 1, 1953, in Moscow. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1937).
Ostuzhev made his stage debut in 1895. In 1896 he entered the Moscow Theatrical School, where he studied drama under A. P. Lenskii. From 1898, Ostuzhev was closely associated with the Malyi Theater, where he became an outstanding representative of the heroic romantic trend. Ostuzhev’s youthful ardor, fiery temperament, sincerity in conveying the subtlest feelings of his heroes, and the rare beauty of his voice contributed to his success. His acting style was greatly influenced by P. S. Mochalov’s and M. N. Ermolova’s tradition of educational and heroic-ideological art. Ostuzhev’s best roles included Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Chatskii in Griboedov’s Woe from Wit, Zhadov in Ostrovskii’s A Profitable Post, and Neznamov in Ostrovskii’s Guilty Though Guiltless.
About 1910, Ostuzhev became deaf, and his career as an actor became a heroic effort. He developed methods that enabled him to continue his work in the theater. The Great October Socialist Revolution brought new inspiration to his work. Ostuzhev’s rendition of the tragic and profoundly human roles of Othello in Shakespeare’s play and Uriel Acosta in Gutzkow’s play of the same name was of great significance in the history of Soviet theater. A winner of the State Prize of the USSR (1943), Ostuzhev was twice awarded the Order of Lenin.
REFERENCESStareishie mastera Malogo teatra: Avtobiografii. Moscow, 1949.
Filippov, V. L. A. A. Ostuzhev. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Khodorkovskaia, L., and A. Klinchin. “A. A. Ostuzhev: Akter Shekspira. “In Shekspirovskii sbornik 1958. Moscow, 1958.