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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