Simonov, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Simonov, Nikolai Konstantinovich


Born Nov. 21 (Dec. 4), 1901, in Samara, present-day Kuibyshev; died Apr. 20, 1973, in Leningrad. Soviet actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1950); Hero of Socialist Labor (1971).

Simonov studied at the Petrograd Academy of Arts from 1919 to 1922. In 1924 he joined the company of the A. S. Pushkin Leningrad Academic Drama Theater. During the years 1932–33 he also worked at the Gorky Kuibyshev Drama Theater. Interpreting his roles with sublime heroic and romantic inspiration, Simonov vividly portrayed progressive Soviet people of great moral strength, ideological conviction, and militant humanism. His roles included Mekhonoshev in Romashov’s The End of Kirvoryl’sk, Vershinin in Ivanov’s Armored Train 14-69, Semen in Ianovskii’s Rage, Berest in Korneichuk’s Platon Krechet, General Murav’ev in Chirskov’s The Victors, and Khlebnikov in Shtein’s A Personal Case.

Classical roles occupied an important place in Simonov’s repertoire. Simonov played Protasov in L. N. Tolstoy’s The Living Corpse, Satin in Gorky’s The Lower Depths, Salieri in Pushkin’s Mozart and Salieri, and Matthias Clausen in Hauptmann’s Before Sunset. He acted in films beginning in 1924. His best film roles included Artem in Cain and Artem (1929), Zhi-kharev in Chapaev (1934), Chuikov in The Battle of Stalingrad (1949), and Montanelli in The Gadfly (1955). His most outstanding work in motion pictures was the title role in Peter I (1937–39). Simonov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1941, 1947, 1950) and the K. S. Stanislavsky State Prize of the RSFSR (1973). He was also awarded three orders of Lenin and various medals.


Ostroukhov, S. Narodnyi artist SSSR N. K. Simonov. Leningrad, 1951.
Tsimbal, S. Nikolai Simonov. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.