LEONTOVICH, EUGENIE


LEONTOVICH, EUGENIE (1900–1993), actress. Born in Moscow, Russia, the daughter of a czarist army officer, Leontovich fled to Berlin in 1918 and worked with Russian refugee actors under the direction of Gregory Ratoff (1893–1960). They married in 1923 and continued to act together in the United States. They divorced in 1949. In 1930 Leontovich played Grusinskaya in Vicki *Baum's Grand Hotel on Broadway. Other memorable characterizations included Tatiana in Tovarich (London, 1935) and the dowager empress in Anastasia (New York, 1954). Her other Broadway performances included Revue Russe (1922), Twentieth Century (1933), Bitter Oleander (1935), Dark Eyes (which she co-wrote with Elena Miramova, 1943), Obsession (1946), The Cave Dwellers (1957), A Call on Kuprin (1961), and Medea and Jason (1974). In 1958 she was nominated for a Best Actress Tony Award for her performance in The Cave Dwellers.

She appeared in several films as well, namely Four Sons (1940), The Men in Her Life (1941), Anything Can Happen (1952), The World in His Arms (1952), The Rains of Ranchipur (1955), and Homicidal (1961). In 1953 she founded a repertory theater in Los Angeles. She joined the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago in 1964. Her colleagues there included Morris Carnovsky, Lilian Gish, James Earl Jones, and Sam Wanamaker. Leontovich wrote a two-act play entitled Anna K (1973), based on Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina.

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.