Akim Tamiroff  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Akim Tamiroff (October 29, 1899, Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia - September 17, 1972, Palm Springs, California) was an actor of Armenian ethnicity, trained at the Moscow Art Theatre drama school. He arrived in the US in 1923 on a tour with a troupe of actors and decided to stay.

Tamiroff's film debut came in 1932 in an uncredited role in Okay, America!. He performed in several more uncredited roles until 1935, when he co-starred in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer. The following year, he was cast in the title role in The General Died at Dawn, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in the 1937 musical High, Wide, and Handsome and the 1938 proto-noir Dangerous to Know opposite Anna May Wong, frequently singled out as his best role.

In the following decade, he appeared in such films as The Soldier and the Lady, The Buccaneer, Union Pacific, North West Mounted Police, The Corsican Brothers, Tortilla Flat, Five Graves to Cairo, For Whom the Bell Tolls (another Oscar nomination), The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Great McGinty and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.

In later years, Tamiroff appeared in Touch of Evil, Me and the Colonel, Ocean's Eleven, Topkapi, Alphaville and After the Fox.

While Tamiroff may not be a household name in the present day, his malapropistic performance as the boss in 1940's "The Great McGinty" inspired a character that is: Boris Badinov, the male counterpart of the villainous husband-and-wife team Boris and Natasha on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Akim Tamiroff" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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