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Beloved Russian Comic Actor Mikhail Derzhavin Dead At 81

Mikhail Derzhavin attends the gala evening dedicated to the centennial of the founding of the Boris Shchukin Theater Institute at the Theater of Yevgeny Vakhtangov Theater in Moscow in October 2014.

Mikhail Derzhavin, a Russian comic actor widely beloved for his roles in numerous iconic films of the Soviet era, has died at the age of 81.

Derzhavin died on January 10, the Moscow Academic Theater Of Satire announced in a brief Facebook post. It did not give the cause of death.

Born in Moscow, Derzhavin began his career as a theater actor in 1959.

He was lauded for his stage performances but better known for roles in more than 40 Soviet movies -- many of them comedies -- including They Were The First, Three Men In A Boat Not Counting The Dog, and My Sailor Girl.

Derzhavin shot to fame as host of a wildly popular satirical TV show, Little Cafe 13 Chairs, from 1967 to 1980.

The Satire Theater, as it is known for short, said on Facebook that a funeral announcement would be made later.

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