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 Erast Garin

Born:   10 November [O.S. 28 October] 1902
Deceased:   4 September 1980

Soviet actor and stage and film director, screenwriter, and the Peoples Artiste of RSFSR


Erast Garin was born in Ryazan on November 10, 1902. After finishing a grammar school in Ryazan he volunteered to the Red Army in 1919. In 1919-1921 he played on stage of a garrison theater in Ryazan and the First Amateur Theater of the Red Army.

In 1921 Garin entered the theatre studio of Vsevolod Meyerhold and then studied at the State Higher Experimental Theatre Workshops (1922-1926). At the same time he took the stage at Meyerhold's Theater, where he played minor roles. Meyerhold appreciated his analytical sober mind and deferred to his opinions. Garin became one of Meyerhold's favourite students and actors.

The first big work by Garin was seven roles of inventors from Ilya Ehrenburg’s novel Trust (1924). In this work Erast Garin showed the art of flash-like transformations, dexterity, and parody.

This work that marked the beginning of the actor’s style and manner made him one of the leading actors of Meyerhold's Theatre. By the way, Erast Garin was the only one of Meyerhold's actors, who dared to argue with the Master himself. 
Garin gained fame and acclaim with the role of Gulyachkin in the play Mandate (1925) by N. Erdman. Garin endowed the flip-flopper character of Gulyachkin with the “power of castigating satire”. Generally speaking, Erast Garin was irresistible in grotesque comic roles, when impersonating negative characters. 
His creative legacy includes about forty film roles, seven director's works, several scenarios, and voice-over for three dozens of animated films. 
Erast Pavlovich died on September 4, 1980 in Moscow and was laid down to rest at the Vagankovo Cemetery.

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