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In the early hours of 15 June, the great Soviet actor and director Aleksey Batalov passed away in a hospital in Moscow. 

Named as People’s Artist of the USSR in 1976, and Hero of Socialist Labour in 1989, Batalov was revered across the Soviet Union, having starred in over thirty films as well as directing three of his own, including a 1959 adaption of Nikolai Gogol’s short story, “The Overcoat” (1842). He was also known for his role as the narrator, on the much celebrated Soviet animation Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

Born in 1928 in Vladimir to a family of actors, Batalov went on to graduate from the Moscow Art Theatre’s Acting Studio in 1959, and joined the theatre’s troupe. He launchd his film career in 1954 with a role in Iosif Kheifits film, A Big Family, before attracting international recognition as the lead in Kalatozov’s WWII The Cranes are Flying (1957) which was awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and earned two BAFTA nominations. 

Batalov will also be remembered for his role in the Oscar winning 1981 film Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, directed by Vladimir Menshov. Batalov’s most recent onscreen performance was in 1998, on the Russian televesion series, Chekhov & Co. 

The actor’s funeral will take place on 19 June at the Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery in Moscow.

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