Oleg Nikolayevich Yefremov (1 October 1927, Moscow, Soviet Union – 24 May 2000, Moscow, Russia) was a Soviet and Russian actor and Moscow Art Theatre producer. He was a People's Artist of the USSR (1976) and a Hero of Socialist Labour (1987).
In 1949, he graduated from Moscow Art Theatre School and became an actor and later a producer of the Central Children Theater, started teaching at School-Studio by himself.
Oleg Yefremov debuted as a film actor in the melodrama The First Echelon in 1955. Since then he was regularly acting in films, and his every appearance on screen turned to be a real event for millions of spectators. Some of his most notable roles were in the films The Alive and the Dead (1964), melodrama Three Poplars in Plyushchikha (1967), Shine, Shine, My Star (1969), comedies Aybolit-66 (1966), and Beware of the Car (1966).
In 1956, having gathered around himself students and graduates of the School-Studio, both his coevals and pupils, Oleg Yefremov organized the Studio of Young Actors (subsequently — the Moscow famous Sovremennik Theatre and became its first director. Since 1970 he was an actor and a Chief Producer of the Moscow Art Theatre named after Maxim Gorky. In 1976 the actor became a Professor of Moscow Art Theatre School-Studio.
Oleg Nikolayevich Yefremov was born on 1 October 1927 in Moscow. His father was Nikolai Ivanovich Yefremov, his mother Anna Dmitrievna Efremova.
He grew up in a large communal apartment on the Arbat Street. His father served as an accountant in the Gulag system, and the future actor spent a part of his adolescence in the Vorkutlag camps, where he became closely acquainted with the criminal world.
In childhood Yefremov attended a drama club at the House of Pioneers.
He graduated from the School of the Moscow Art Theatre School in 1949.
From 1949 to 1956, Yefremov worked at the Central Children's Theater, where he played more than 20 roles, including Ivan ("Humpbacked Horse"), Coviel ("The Philistine in the Nobility"), Kostya Poletayev ("Pages of Life"), Alexey ( "In a good time!"). There he also made his debut as a director of the production of vaudeville "Dimka the Invisible" (1955).
In 1956, Oleg Yefremov organized the "Young Actors Studio" (later - the Moscow Theater "Sovremennik") and became the artistic director of the theater. On the stage of "Contemporary" he played in the performances "Forever Living" (Boris), "Destination" (Lyamin), "Nobody" (Vincenzo De Pretore). Among his directorial works are Five Evenings by Alexander Volodin, Eduard Rostan's Cyrano de Bergerac, Leonid Zorin's Decembrists trilogy, Alexander Svobin's Narodovoltsy, Mikhail Shatrov's Bolsheviks, Victor Rozov's Traditional Collection, Chekhov.
In 1970, Yefremov became the chief director of the Moscow Art Theater. After the division of the troupe in 1987 - the main stage director of the Moscow Art Theatre. For thirty years in the Art Theater, he has staged more than 40 performances and himself played in 14 of them. Among his works - "Dulcinea Tobosskaya" (the role of Don Luis), "Copper Grandmother" (Pushkin's role), "Duck hunting" (Zilov's role), "Party Committee Meeting" (Potapov's role), "Boris Godunov" (the title role). He staged Anton Chekhov's plays: "Ivanov" (1976), "The Seagull" (1980), "Uncle Vanya" (1985), "The Cherry Orchard" (1989), "The Three Sisters" (1997). His last, unfinished, directorial work was "Cyrano de Bergerac".
Oleg Yefremov played about 70 roles in feature and television films, the most famous of which are: The First Echelon by Mikhail Kalatozov, The Soldiers were Advancing by Leonid Trauberg, The Alive and the Dead by Alexander Stolper, Someone Is Ringing, Open the Door by Alexander Mitta, Beware of the Car by Eldar Ryazanov, Three Poplars in Plyushchikha by Tatyana Lioznova and Battalions ask for Fire by Vladimir Chebotarev and Alexander Bogolyubov.
Since 1949, Oleg Yefremov taught acting in the Moscow Art Theater School-Studio, produced several acting and director's courses, was a professor and head of the acting department.
He was one of the founders and the first secretary of the board of the Union of Theatre Workers of the Russian Federation.
Oleg Yefremov died on 24 May 2000 in Moscow. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery.