Raikin, Arkadii Isaakovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raikin, Arkadii Isaakovich


Born Oct. 11 (24), 1911, in Riga. Soviet estrada (variety stage) entertainer. People’s Artist of the USSR (1968).

After graduating from the Leningrad Theatrical Technicum in 1935, Raikin performed in the Leningrad Working Youth Theater and the Lenin Komsomol Theater; at the same time he performed on the estrada. In 1939 he won a prize at the All-Union Estrada Competition in Moscow. He subsequently performed at the Leningrad Theater of the Estrada and the Miniature, organized in 1939, later becoming the theater’s artistic director.

While at the Leningrad Theater of the Estrada and the Miniature, Raikin expanded the range of expressive means and developed the social and satiric pungency of his art by savagely attacking anything that stood in the way of the new life. As a rule, he has several roles in the same performance or stage miniature and is a master of instantaneous impersonation. He is equally talented as master of ceremonies, pantomimist, and lyrical monologuist. Raikin is also known for his tender, lyrical, and charming roles. His productions include Around the World in Eighty Days (1951), Laughter Is No Sin (1953), Seasons of the Year (1956), Love and Three Oranges (1959), From Two to Fifty (1961), Sorcerers Are Living Next Door (1964), Traffic Light (1969), and Selections ’73 (1973).

Raikin has toured abroad. He has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Beilin, A. Arkadii Raikin. [Leningrad-Moscow, 1960.]


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