Obraztsov, Sergei

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Obraztsov, Sergei Vladimirovich


Born June 22 (July 5), 1901, in Moscow. Soviet Russian theatrical figure, actor, and director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1954) and Hero of Socialist Labor (1971). Son of V. N. Obraztsov.

Obraztsov studied in the department of painting at the Higher Arts Studios from 1918 to 1926. From 1922 to 1930 he performed at the Moscow Art Musical Studio of the Moscow Art Theater (from 1926, the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater). He acted in strong character roles at the Second Moscow Art Theater from 1930 to 1936.

Obraztsov first used puppets in his performances in 1920. By the mid-1930’s he had become a popular variety performer, known for his parodies “romances with puppets.” The head of the State Central Puppet Theater since 1931, Obraztsov developed the theory and techniques of the theater, created the theater’s repertoire, and trained many actors and directors. His productions for children include Speranskii’s Kashtanka (1935), Tarakhovskaia’s By a Wave of the Wand (1936), Gernet’s Aladdin’s Lamp (1940), Marshak’s Mister Twister (1961), and Gernet’s Little Tiger Petrik (1965). Those for adults include Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas (1941); Speranskii’s The Deer King (1943); The Unusual Concert (1946); Shtok’s The Devil’s Mill (1953) and The Divine Comedy (1961); The Housewarming (1970); and The Central Puppet Theater Shows and Tells (1973).

Since 1956, Obraztsov has also worked in film as a screenwriter and director. Among his films are The Amazing Is Close at Hand (1962), The Movie Camera Accuses (1968), Improbable Truth (1970), and Who Needs Him, This Vas’ka! (1973). Vice-president of the International Puppeteers Union from 1957 to 1976, Obraztsov was made president in 1976. He has been president of the Soviet center of this organization since 1958. He has taught intermittently, since 1935, and in 1973 he became a professor. Obraztsov received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946 and the K. S. Stanislavsky State Prize of the RSFSR in 1967. He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals.


Akter s kukloi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Moia professiia. Moscow, 1950.
O tom, chto ia uvidel, uznal i ponial vo vremia dvukh poezdok v London. Moscow, 1956.
“Estafeta iskusstv.” Iskusstvo kino, 1966, nos. 1, 3, 7; 1967, no. 3; 1968, nos. 6, 11; 1971, no. 6.


Smirnova, N. I. Sovetskii teatr kukol, 1918–1932. Moscow, 1963.
Smirnova, N. I. Teatr Sergeia Obraztsova. [Moscow, 1971.] [18–645–3; updated]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.