Alexander Borisovich Belyavsky (6 May 1932 – 8 September 2012) was a Soviet/Russian actor who appeared in more than one hundred films. Belyavsky was also the first presenter of the popular TV Show The 13 Chairs Tavern. In 1988 he was designated The Meritorious Artist of Russia; in 2003, he was named a People's Artist of Russia. Alexander Belyavsky was born in Moscow, to Boris Moiseyevich Belyavsky and his wife Lyubov Alexandrovna. He was the family's eldest child, with two younger siblings. After finishing school in 1949 he enrolled into the Geological research faculty of the Moscow's Gold and Non-ferrous metals Institute where he studied up until 1955, making frequent trips to the Central Asian Soviet republics for professional practice. After the graduation Belyavsky spent several years in Irkutsk, working for the East-Siberian Geological department. He made his debut as an actor at the Irkutsk Drama Theatre, playing Molchalin in Alexander Griboyedov's Woe from Wit. Back in Moscow Belyavsky continued working as a geology engineer, occasionally taking part in amateur theatrical productions staged by The Teachers' House. He decided then to quit his regular job, enrolled into the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, and joined Vladimir Etush's class at the Vakhtangov Theatre. In summer 1957 Belyavsky made his debut on screen in Tales About Lenin (as a young worker Kolya). Three years later, still a student, he appeared in the Kiev Studio's film Save Our Souls (1960). In 1964 Belyavsky joined the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, then moved in 1966 to the Theatre-Studio of a Cinema Actor. All in all he appeared in more than one hundred films (working in Poland, East Germany, North Korea, Finland, France, Chekhoslovakia, United States), one of his best-known roles being that of villainous Fox in Stanislav Govorukhin's The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979). In the 1990s Belyavsky hosted several TV shows; he played Leonid Brezhnev in Igor Gostev's Grey Wolves (1993). In 1999 he returned to the theatre and in 2003 was awarded the title of The People's Artist of Russia. In December 2003, Alexander Belyavsky suffered a stroke which left him incapacitated. On September 8, 2012, he was found on the ground by the house where he lived, having fallen, apparently, from the staircase window between the 5th and the 6th floor of the house he lived in. The initial police reports implied it was suicide; later it was suggested the fall might have been accidental. Alexander Belyavsky was buried in Kuzminskoye Cemetery in Moscow.
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