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Reports: Prominent Russian Actor Aleksei Batalov Dies At 88

Aleksei Batalov at a film festival in Moscow in 2013
Aleksei Batalov at a film festival in Moscow in 2013

Russian media reports say prominent actor Aleksei Batalov, a screen star of the Soviet period known as The Thaw, has died at the age of 88.

The reports cite a friend saying that Batalov died in a Moscow hospital on June 15, following complications he suffered after breaking a hip over the winter.

Batalov was one of the most recognizable actors in the Soviet Union during the period of relative openness under Nikita Khrushchev after dictator Josef Stalin's death.

His role in the 1957 film The Cranes Are Flying, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, is considered one of his major achievements.

In the 1960s and '70s, Batalov appeared mostly in screen adaptations of Russian classics, including Anton Chekhov's The Lady With The Dog, in 1960, and Mikhail Bulgakov's The Flight, in 1970.

He also directed several movies that were popular across the Soviet Union.

But the role that brought him the most fame was the one he played in director Vladimir Menshov's movie Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981.

Based on reporting by Komsomolskaya Pravda and Interfax

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