Pevtsov, Illarion

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pevtsov, Illarion Nikolaevich


Born Nov. 25 (Dec. 7), 1879, in the village of Anatol’, now in Brest Oblast; died Oct. 10, 1934, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1932).

In 1902, Pevtsov graduated from the acting department of the School of Music and Drama of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. From 1902 to 1905 he acted in the Society for New Drama under V. E. Meyerhold, in 1905 in the Studio Theater on Povar-skaia Street, and then in provincial theaters. In 1922 he joined the Moscow Art Theater company, later acting in the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theater, in the second Moscow Art Theater, and beginning in 1925 in the A. S. Pushkin Leningrad Theater of Drama.

Pevtsov’s early period was marked by subtle portrayals of emotionally disturbed people. Among his best roles were the title role in A. K. Tolstoy’s Tsar Fedor Ioannovich; Ivan Karamazov and Myshkin in The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot, adapted from Dostoevsky’s novels; He in Andreev’s He Who Gets Slapped; and the title role in Merezhkovskii’s Pavel I. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Pevtsov performed mainly in Soviet plays, portraying enemies of the revolution. These roles included Nezelasov in Vsevolod Ivanov’s Armored Train 14-69 and Gen-nadii Dubrovin in Romashov’s The Fiery Bridge. He also successfully portrayed positive heroes, such as Krasil’nikov in Bill’-Belotserkovskii’s Calm. His most successful role was Professor Borodin in Afinogenov’s Fear, a character who passionately strives to understand and accept the justice of revolution. Pevtsov also acted in films, where his best role was the White Army colonel Borozdin in Chapaev (1934).


“Stranitsy avtobiografii.” In the collection I. N. Pevtsov. Leningrad, 1935.


Tsimbal, S. L. Tvorcheskaia subd’ba Pevtsova. Leningrad-Moscow, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.