Akim Tamiroff

Birth Name: Hovakim Tamiryants (Armenian: Հովակիմ Թամիրյանց)

Date of Birth: 29 October, 1899

Place of Birth: Tiflis, Georgia or Baku, Azerbaijan (both then in Russian Empire)

Date of Death: September 17, 1972

Place of Death: Palm Springs, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Armenian

Akim Tamiroff was an American actor. His roles include the films The General Died at Dawn and For Whom the Bell Tolls, both of which he was nominated for an Academy Award for, as well as China Seas, High, Wide, and Handsome, Dangerous to Know, The Buccaneer, The Great McGinty, Five Graves to Cairo, Ocean’s 11, Touch of Evil, The Trial, Don Quixote, and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, among many others. He played characters of many ethnicities.

He was born in Tiflis, now Georgia, or Baku, now Azerbaijan, to an Armenian family. His father was an oil worker and his mother was a seamstress. He moved to Moscow to learn acting, and changed his name to Akim Mikhailovich Tamiroff (Аким Михайлович Тамиров). After the Russian Revolution in 1917, he joined several other actors in Paris, France, forming the La Chauve-Souris touring revue, then moved to the U.S. in 1923.

Akim was married to actress Tamara Shayne, until his death. Tamara was a Russian Jewish immigrant. She was the daughter of actor Veniamin Olkenitsky-Nikulin/Benjamin Nikulin and the sister of actor Konstantin Shayne.

Akim spoke Armenian, Russian, English, French, and Italian.

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