Born Jan. 31, 1899, in aul (village) No. 21, Taranovskoe Raion, Kustanai Oblast; died Apr. 2, 1974, in Alma-Ata. Soviet Kazakh actor. People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR (1931). Member of the CPSU from 1925.
Umurzakov began his acting career in amateur theater groups in Kustanai and later became one of the founders of the professional Kazakh theater. In 1925 he joined the company of the M. Auezov Kazakh Drama Theater in Alma-Ata. His best roles included Zhantys in Auezov’s Night Rumblings, Darkembai in Abai (after a work by Auezov; State Prize of the USSR, 1952), the title role in Musrepov’s Amangel’dy (1939), Osip in Gogol’s The Inspector-General, and the title role in Shakespeare’s Othello. Umurzakov was the first to play the role of V. I. Lenin on the Kazakh stage, in Pogodin’s Man With a Gun.
In 1937, Umurzakov began to act in films, performing the title role in Amangel’dy (1939), Erden in The Songs of Abai (1946), and the Grandfather in The Land of Our Fathers (1966; K. Baiseitova State Prize of the Kazakh SSR, 1968).
Umurzakov was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.