Pavel Massalskii

Massal’skii, Pavel Vladimirovich


Born Aug. 22 (Sept. 4), 1904, in Moscow. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1963).

Between 1922 and 1924, Massal’skii studied at the theaterstudio of Iu. A. Zavadskii. In 1925 he joined the Moscow Art Theater, making his debut in the role of Prince Dmitrii Shuiskii in A. K. Tolstoy’s Tsar Fedor Ioannovich. His acting is distinguished by subtle humor, comic lightness, refined elegance, fluid movements, and charm. Brilliant technical skill has characterized Massal’skii’s best comic roles, which have included Jingle in the The Pickwick Club (adapted from Dickens), Count Almaviva in Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro, Charles Surface in Sheridan’s The School for Scandal, Viscount Goring in Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, Vovo in L. N. Tolstoy’s The Fruits of Enlightenment, Nick in Hellman’s The Autumn Garden, and Ludovic in Anouilh’s Y’avait un prisonnier. His dramatic roles have included the Baron and Zakhar Bardin in Gorky’s The Lower Depths, and Enemies and Vronskii in Anna Karenina (adapted from L. N. Tolstoy).

Massal’skii has appeared in motion pictures since 1927; his film roles have included Kneischitz in Circus (1936) and the Polish king Sigismund in Ivan the Terrible (part 2, 1958). Since 1947 he has taught at the Vladimir I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Studio School (professor since 1961). A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1952, he has also been awarded two orders and a medal.