Vasilii Vanin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vanin, Vasilii Vasil’evich


Born Jan. 1 (13), 1898, in Tambov; died May 12, 1951, in Moscow. Soviet Russian actor and director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1949).

In 1920, Vanin graduated from a studio in Tambov. He performed in various theaters. During the years 1924-49 he was a leading actor at the Moscow Province Trade Union Council Theater (which subsequently became the Mossovet [Moscow City Council of Workers’ Deputies] Theater). In the years 1950-51 he was principal director at the A. S. Pushkin Moscow Theater. He created vivid, heroic characters, drawn from the people. On the stage he played the roles of Kid Brother (in Bill’-Belotserkovskii’s The Storm, 1926) and Divisional Commander Chapaev (in the play of the same name, based on the novella by Furmanov, 1930), and in motion-pictures he played the role of Matveev in the films Lenin in October (1937) and Lenin in 1918 (1939). A special place in Vanin’s creative work was occupied by portrayals of his contemporaries—the geologist Kareev (in Afinogenov’s Mashen’ka, 1941) and Kochet, the secretary of the raion committee (in the film The Raion Committee Secretary, 1942). One of Vanin’s most important roles was that of Faiunin in L. Leonov’s play Invasion (1945) and in the film of the same name (also 1945). The traditions of Russian realistic art and attention to the “little man,” along with a satirical exposure of the environment which is deforming him, were reflected in Vanin’s tragicomic portrayal of the Raspliuev character (in Sukhovo-Kobylin’s Krechinskii’s Wedding, 1949).

Ideological maturity, an authenticity in portraying everyday life, and incisiveness of stage performance, along with a tendency for artistic generalization, gentle humor, satirical shading, and dramatic effects marked the creative art of this actor. Among his works as a director are Surov’s The Insult (1948) and Franko’s Stolen Happiness (1950). From 1930 on, Vanin engaged in teaching; beginning in 1944 he taught at the Ail-Union State Institute of Cinematography (as a professor from 1949). He won the State Prize of the USSR in 1943, 1946, and 1949. Vanin was awarded the Order of Lenin and two other orders as well as medals.


V. V. Vanin. Moscow, 1955. [A collection.]
Zhukova, L. Narodnyi artist SSSR V. V. Vanin. Moscow, 1952.


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