Russian actor Tikhonov dies at 81

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 11:50 AM

Russian news reports say iconic film actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov has died in Moscow at age 81.

Quoting the Russian Union of Cinematographers, the ITAR-Tass reported that Tikhonov died Friday in a Moscow clinic, several days after a heart attack.

He was known in the West for his role of a Russian prince in the 1967 Oscar-winning film version of "War and Peace."

Since the late 1950s, Tikhonov starred in dozens of Soviet and Russian films. His characters often portrayed Soviet heroes who fought for the triumph of Communist ideas.

In the 1973 television series "17 Moments of Spring," Tikhonov portrayed a historical Soviet spy who thwarted Nazi negotiation attempts with a U.S. operative.

The role won him government awards and immense popularity.