Osis, Janis

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Osis, Jānis


(also Ianis Augustovich Osis). Born June 23 (July 5), 1895, in Riga; died there Nov. 3, 1973. Soviet Latvian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1956).

Osis studied at Petrograd University. In 1916 he began to perform in the Latvian New Theater in Petrograd. After the October Socialist Revolution of 1917, Osis acted in a drama group of a Latvian rifle regiment. From 1919 until 1971 he was an actor at the Workers’ Theater of Soviet Latvia (now the A. Upīts Latvian Drama Theater in Riga).

Osis was an outstanding representative of Latvian realistic acting. He was noted for his profound psychological approach and vivid characterizations of social types. His best roles included Levij in Rainis’ Joseph and His Brothers, Mintaut in Rainis’ Indulis and Arija, Garoza in Lācis’ The Fisherman’s Son, Vanags in Upīts’ The Green Earth, and the title role in Rozis’ Ceplis. Osis’ roles in Russian and Soviet drama included Famusov in Griboedov’s Woe From Wit, the Mayor in Gogol’s The Inspector-General, Lyniaev in Ostrovskii’s Wolves and Sheep, Zabelin in Pogodin’s The Kremlin Chimes, and Gvozdilin in Pogodin’s Third Pathétique. Osis also appeared in films. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1950, 1951), the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals.


Grěviņŝ, V. Jānis Osis. Riga, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.