Russian actor Vasily Livanov, whose Sherlock Holmes was acknowledged even by British critics as the best screen image of the famous detective, marked his 75th birthday on Monday.
Livanov was born on July 19, 1935, in Moscow into the family of prominent actor Boris Livanov. He is gifted in many fields - as an actor, a scriptwriter, a film director, a writer and an artist. Livanov says he is interested in everything.
The actor appeared in more than 70 movies but his most famous role is Sherlock Holmes. Six screen versions of Arthur Conan Doyle's novels about the world-famous fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson have been made in Russia since 1979. In 2006, Livanov received the Order of the British Empire for his portrayal of the detective.
When casting actors for the first movie in 1979, film director Igor Maslennikov was guided by the drawings by Sidney Paget, a friend of Conan Doyle and the first illustrator of the book The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Livanov's candidacy for the role was prompted by cameraman Yuri Veksler. Some time later Vitaly Solomin was cast as Doctor Watson.
Speaking about the film's success, Livanov said, "We did not play anything, we are Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin congratulated Livanov on his birthday.
MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti)