Sofronov, Vasilii Iakovlevich
Born Jan. 18 (30), 1884, in St. Petersburg; died Oct. 10,1960, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1956).
Sofronov began acting while he was a university student. He studied at the theater of the Society of Literature and the Arts from 1907 to 1910 and subsequently became an actor at the theater. In 1918 he helped found the Petrograd Bol’shoi Drama Theater (now the M. Gorky Leningrad Academic Bol’shoi Drama Theater).
Sofronov played Domingo and Spiegelberg in Schiller’s Don Carlos and The Robbers, the Fool and Richard in Shakespeare’s King Lear and Richard III, and the Baron and Salieri in Pushkin’s The Covetous Knight and Mozart and Salieri. Sofronov made a great contribution to the art of characterization in the Soviet theater. Noted especially for his portrayal of V. I. Lenin in Pogodin’s Man With a Gun, he also played Koshkin in Trenev’s Liubov Iarovaia, Zabelin in Pogodin’s The Kremlin Chimes, and Godun and Bersenev in Lavrenev’s Break. His roles in Gorky’s plays included Riabinin in Dostigaev and Others and Suslov in The Summer People.
Sofronov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1951), two orders, and various medals.