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Famous Russian actor, stage director, and acting coach Oleg Tabakov has passed away in Moscow. Tabakov also enjoyed recognition for lending his voice to beloved Soviet-era cartoon characters.
Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, expressed their condolences to the family of actor Oleg Tabakov, who passed away on Monday at the age of 82.
"The president is grieving with the family and friends of Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov and with his numerous students and fans of his talent," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Monday.
Tabakov started building his career in the 1950s Soviet Union, gradually becoming one of the best known and beloved actors of his generation. He received multiple awards for his film and stage work, including the 1980 Boston International Film Festival award for his portrayal of a 19th century Russian nobleman in "A Few Days from the Life of I. I. Oblomov."
In his later years, he taught acting in Moscow and served as director of several large theaters, including the legendary Chekov Moscow Art Theater.
Voice of Matroskin the cat
Tabakov was not only a great actor, but also a master in teaching his craft, according to renowned Russian director Nikita Mihalkov. The filmmaker directed Tabakov in "A Few Days from the Life of I. I. Oblomov."
The veteran actor "had an amazing ability to turn any material into a high-class work of art," Mihalkov was quoted as saying by mass-circulation daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
In addition to theater and movie roles, Tabakov was also popular for his voiceover work in children's cartoons. Notably, he played a tomcat named Matroskin in the Soviet-era animated series "Three from Prostokvashino," which featured a boy living in a village house with his pet dog and cat.
Read more: Russian cartoon competing for Oscars
After the news of Tabakov's death broke on Monday, citizens of his hometown of Saratov started laying wreaths to the monument of the cartoon character in the southern Russian city.
dj/kms (AP, Interfax, AFP)