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Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Who Acted In Russian Comedies and American TV Series, Dies At 59


Aleksander Kuznetsov and his wife attend the opening of a film festival in Moscow in 2010.
Aleksander Kuznetsov and his wife attend the opening of a film festival in Moscow in 2010.

Aleksandr Kuznetsov, whose acting career spanned Soviet comedies, Russian thrillers, and American TV dramas, has died in Moscow. He was 59.

Russian news agencies quoted relatives and friends of the actor as saying that Kuznetsov died of cancer on June 6. No further details were given.

Born in 1959 in the Russian Far Eastern region of Primorye, Kuznetsov acted in a host of Soviet movies in the 1980s.

He gained widespread fame in the 1988 film Jack Vosmyorkin, The American, where he played the lead role of a young man who is taken to the United States as a young boy and returns to Russia, lured by Soviet propaganda about economic opportunities in his native country.

The comedy was one of the first movies shot during Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms in the mid-1980s that showed the absurdity and shortcomings of the Soviet system.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kuznetsov moved to the United States, where he acted in a number of Hollywood films including The Peacemaker and Space Cowboys. He also had regular roles in many television series, such as Beverly Hills 90210, NYPD Blue, JAG, and 24.

More recently, he played the role of Father Viktor in The Americans, the TV series about a fictional sleeper cell of Soviet agents living in the United States.

Since the early 2000s, Kuznetsov had participated in different TV and film projects in Russia and taught at the Moscow's famed Art Theater School.

With reporting by TASS, NTV, RBK, and Radio Mayak
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