Russian actor, director Mikhail Kozakov dead at 76

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Mikhail Kozakov

Mikhail Kozakov

Russian actor-director Mikhail Kozakov, the voice of the Little Elephant in the 1976-91 Soyuzmultfilm cartoon series 38 Popugaev (38 Parrots), has died after a long illness, the Ekho Moskvy Oleg Basilashvili radio station reported. He was 76.

Neither the date nor place of death was announced.

Also known as Mikhail Kazakov, he had been treated in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Media reported in recent weeks that the actor had been transferred to a hospice.

Kozakov narrated Zagadka Sfinksa (The Enigma of the Sphinx), a 1985 Soyuzmultfilm cartoon which was based on ancient Egyptian frescoes. He was in the voice casts of Muk-Skorokhod (Moock the Footman; 1975), based on V. Gauf’s fairy tale “Little Moock,” and Ecran’s A v Etoj Skazke Bylo Tak (And In This Fairy Tale It Was So; 1984).

Born Mikhail Mikhailovich Kozakov in Leningrad on October 10, 1934, he graduated from the Moscow Art Theatre School before studying filmmaking.

He started acting in 1956, starring in Mikhail Romm’s film Murders in the Rue Dante. Later, he had roles in such well-known Soviet films as Nine Days in One Year, The Shot, Amphibian Man and Hello, I’m Your Aunt.

Kozakov’s directorial credits included Pokrovsky Gates, Nameless Star and The Visit.

Also involved in the stage, he created his own theatrical company, “Russian Enterprise Mikhail Kozakov,” in 1996.

Kozakov was awarded the title People’s Artist of the RSFSR in 1980. He received the Medal of Honor last year.

From 1991 to 1996, he lived in Israel with his wife, theatre producer Anna Yampolskaya, with whom he had two children, Mikhail and Zoya. The two became estranged.

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