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Russian actor Aleksey Batalov, known for the 1957 Cannes-winning film The Cranes Are Flying and the 1980 Oscar-winning movie Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears, died in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian news agency TASS reported, quoting the actor’s personal assistant. He was 88.
Batalov was born in the Central Russian city of Vladimir on Nov. 20, 1928, into a family of actors in the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1950, he graduated from the Moscow Art Theatre’s Acting Studio School and joined the theater’s troupe.
Batalov’s film career began in 1954 with a role in Iosif Kheifits‘ Bolshaya Semya (Big Family).
In 1957, he played the male lead in Mikhail Kalatozov’s WWII drama Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes Are Flying), which was awarded a Palme d’Or at Cannes and earned two BAFTA award nominations.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Batalov performed in a number of movies and began teaching at the National State Institute for Cinema.
Vladimir Menshov’s Moskva slezam ne verit (Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears), starring Batalov, won an Oscar in the best foreign-language film category in 1981.
Batalov appeared onscreen for the last time in the 1998 television series Chekhov & Co.