Moskvin, Ivan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moskvin, Ivan Mikhailovich


Born June 6(18), 1874, in Moscow; died there Feb. 16, 1946.Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1936).

From 1893 to 1896, Moskvin studied in the drama department of the Music and Drama School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. Between 1896 and 1898 he performed at the Yaroslavl Theater and at the Korsh Theater in Moscow. He joined the Moscow Art Theater in 1898 and became its director in 1943.

Moskvin’s talent and originality was revealed in the actor’s portrayal of the title role in A. K. Tolstoy’s Tsar Fedor Ioannovich in 1898. His interpretation of the role somewhat foreshadowed his characterization of the wanderer Luka in Gorky’s The Lower Depths. It was through Russian dramaturgy that Moskvin’s versatility as an actor was revealed.

Moskvin protested against decadent tsarist Russia in his highly dramatic portrayal of Fedia Protasov in L. N. Tolstoy’s The Living Corpse. The tragic theme of the “humiliated and the insulted” was embodied in the suffering character of Captain Snegirev in an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Moskvin’s ability to re-create social types was reflected in his graphic portrayals of the moneygrubber Prokofii Pazukhin in Saltykov-Shchedrin’s The Death of Pazukhin and the hypocritical and cruel bigot and despot Foma Opiskin in an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Village of Stepanchikovo.

Moskvin also appeared in comic and satiric roles, particularly during Soviet times. He created the tragicomic role of Epikhodov in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, as well as the roles of Khlynov and Pribytkov in Ostrovskii’s Fiery Heart and The Last Victim, Chervakov in Leonov’s Untilovsk, Nozdrev in Gogol’s Dead Souls, and Zagoretskii in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit.

In works by Soviet playwrights, Moskvin was outstanding in the tragic role of Pugachev in Trenev’s The Pugachev Revolt, the gently humorous role of Professor Gornostaev in Trenev’s Liubov’ Iarovaia, the role of Ivan Gorlov in Korneichuk’s The Front, and the role of Rear Admiral Belobrov in Kron’s Officer of the Navy.

In addition to theatrical acting and directing, Moskvin appeared in films. His film roles included the title role in Polikushka (1922) and Vyrin in The Station Master (1925).

Moskvin was a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1943 and 1946, he was also awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


“Stat’i i vystupleniia.” In I. M. Moskvin: Stat’i i materialy. Moscow, 1948.


Iezuitov, N. “Moskvin.” In Aktery MKhAT ν kino. Moscow, 1938.
Markov, P. “Moskvin.” In Teatral’nye portrety. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Sobolev, Iu. “I. M. Moskvin.” In the collection Mastera MkhAT. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.