Andrew Divoff

Andrew Daniel Divoff (Russian: Андрей Ди́вов, correctly transcribed as Divov; born July 2, 1955) is a Venezuelan-American actor, stunt coordinator and producer of Irish descent.[2][3] Divoff has played many villains in film and on television, including drug cartel leaders, terrorists, and organized crime bosses, though he is best known for playing the evil Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest in the first two Wishmaster films. Other noteworthy roles include the villains Luis Cali in Toy Soldiers, Cherry Ganz in Another 48 Hrs., Ernesto Mendoza in A Low Down Dirty Shame, Boris Bazylev in Air Force One, M (short for as Mephistopheles) in Faust: Love of the Damned, Ivan Sarnoff in CSI: Miami, Mikhail Bakunin in Lost, and Karakurt in The Blacklist.[4]

Andrew Divoff
Divoff at AdventureCon in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 13, 2008
Andrew Daniel Divoff

(1955-07-02) July 2, 1955
OccupationActor, producer, stunt coordinator
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Raissa Danilova (29 February 1992–1998; divorced)[1]

Divoff's television guest appearances include roles on The A-Team, JAG, Highlander: The Series, Walker, Texas Ranger, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Burn Notice, Alias, Nikita, The Strain, and Colony.

Divoff can speak nine languages: English, Russian,[2] Spanish, Italian, French, German, Catalan, Portuguese and Swedish. He used to speak Romanian but forgot the language when he had no one with whom to speak it.[5] Divoff's multilingual skills are showcased in many of his film and television roles.

Early life and education

Divoff was born in San Tomé, Venezuela. His father was Russian and his mother was Irish.[2][3] His parents worked as wildcatters for Exxon, and met because Divoff's maternal grandfather was his father's supervisor.[3] Divoff describes himself as having been an introvert and an outsider during his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela, stating that he had experienced near-daily physical altercations and bullying from other children.[6] Divoff's first language was Spanish, but he learned English while still living in Venezuela.[6][3]

After Divoff's parents divorced, he emigrated with his sister and mother to Northern California when he was 10 years old.[2] Upon moving to the United States, Divoff was supposed to enter the fifth grade, but the school principal held Divoff back because of his Spanish accent. Divoff states that this experience was a catalyst for his obsession with languages.[3] When he was in the seventh grade, Divoff's school screened films in class, including Seven Days in May, which Divoff found inspiring. As a result, Divoff began envisioning himself as the hero in such films,[7] and told his friends that he wanted to become an actor who did his own stunts.[8]

Divoff's mother worked for the State Department, and he moved with her when she was transferred to Spain.[2] Divoff lived five years in Vilassar de Mar (Catalonia), between 1973 and 1977, feeling himself to be Catalan too.[9] While in Spain, Divoff tutored English-speaking students in Spanish and attended the University of Barcelona, where he completed a research project on linguistics in The Canterbury Tales.[6] He transferred his credits to Georgetown University, where he continued his study of languages and linguistics, and has resided in the United States ever since.[6] Divoff did not graduate from Georgetown University, instead deciding to take a year off to help his father settle in California for retirement.[6]


After returning to California, Divoff worked as a dispatcher for a limousine company, eventually becoming a limo driver in 1983.[6] During his evenings off, Divoff took acting lessons; his teachers included Milton Katselas, director of Butterflies are Free.[6] His first role was that of a Russian guard for a 1986 episode of Misfits of Science. Divoff won the role via a telephone audition, in which was asked to scream, "Stop that truck!" in Russian and then in English with a Russian accent.[6]

His first film role was in the 1986 cult horror film Neon Maniacs, in which he played a demonic surgeon. Divoff had a falling out with the filmmakers due to what he believed constituted animal abuse: real dead pigeons were used in one of the film's scenes.[10]

Divoff's subsequent TV appearances in the 1980s included bit parts and work as an extra in The A-Team, The Twilight Zone, MacGuyver, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Matlock. Divoff's multilingual skills and international background helped win him some of these early roles. When auditioning for a guest role as a limo driver for Thirtysomething, Divoff pretended to be a Russian immigrant, and maintained the farce on set until the filming ended, dropping the Russian accent entirely.[10]

Prior to 1990, Divoff landed small roles in big films such as The Hunt for Red October, and big roles in smaller projects such as television movie Fear Stalk, in which he portrayed a serial stalker - his first role as primary villain.

Divoff's breakthrough role came in 1990, when he was cast as the outlaw biker Cherry Ganz in Another 48 Hours. Divoff was vacationing in Berlin when he received the call that he won the role. He went out to celebrate at a nearby pub and then attended the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, grabbing a sledgehammer and participating in the Wall's destruction.[6] Divoff marks Another 48 Hrs. as the film that allowed him to quit his limo driving job and focus on acting.[6]

Following Another 48 Hours, Divoff landed antagonist roles in other significant projects, primarily in the action genre. These projects included Toy Soldiers and A Low Down Dirty Shame. In rare instances, Divoff portrayed the protagonist or hero, such as in Running Cool and Interceptor.

1997 proved to be another breakthrough year for Divoff, with the release of Air Force One and Wishmaster. In his portrayal of a Russian terrorist henchman in Air Force One, as in many other films, Divoff performed his own stunts. Divoff stated in an interview that he has performed his own stunts so frequently that it is often assumed that he used to be a professional stuntman, however, this is not the case.[11] He simply preferred to perform his own stunts because it gave him complete control over every aspect of his characters.[11]

Divoff is best known for having played the nefarious Djinn in the first two films of the Wishmaster series. Wishmaster was directed by special effects artist Robert Kurtzman, and featured cameo appearances by several popular horror actors, including Robert Englund, Tony Todd, Angus Scrimm, Kane Hodder, and Reggie Bannister.[4] Divoff reprised the role as the Djinn in Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, directed by Jack Sholder.

in 1999, Divoff and a friend penned a script for a third film[3] called Wishmaster: The Third Millennium, which had a Y2K theme involving "American warship in Asia and it is hit by a missile, and all hell breaks loose. Incidentally, there is a meeting going on at the UN and monsters come to life right there and go through the crowd and start ripping it up."[12] Divoff's script also required lavish special effects, and featured "gargoyles on buildings coming to life and coming down into the street."[12]

Divoff's script wasn't optioned, and he ultimately did not return for Wishmaster 3 or Wishmaster 4, stating that he believed those projects did not have the capacity for impressive special effects due to a significantly lower budget,[10] and because he felt that these sequels didn't have the love for the franchise of the earlier entries.[13]

Divoff later reunited with Robert Kurtzman for the "grindhouse"- inspired horror film The Rage,[14] and has since appeared in several other horror films, including in the Midnight Syndicate's Indie horror flick The Dead Matter as the lead villain.[15] in The Hatred as a former Nazi, and in the Miles Doleac film Demons as a religious zealot.

Divoff had a recurring role on Lost (Seasons 3 and 6, 2006-2007 and 2010 respectively) as Mikhail Bakunin, a Russian member of the Others who lived in the Flame station of the DHARMA Initiative. He appeared in "The Cost of Living", and later in "Enter 77" and "Par Avion". He later appeared, in flashbacks, in "One of Us," and reappeared in the episodes "D.O.C.", "The Man Behind the Curtain", "Through the Looking Glass" and "The Package".

Other recurring television roles included his turn as Ivan Sarnoff on CSI: Miami Season 7 (2008–2009).[16] Ivan Sarnoff was a Russian Mobster leader who owned an MMA fighting studio in S07E04 Raging Cannibal. Ivan also ran a horse race betting scam in S07E13 And They're Offed. Then Ivan targets the CSI team in S07E19 Target Specific. In the last episode of the season, Ivan escapes an assassination attempt by the Russian mob in S07E25 Seeing Red.

In 2015 and 2016, Divoff had a recurring role as Karakurt in Season 3 of The Blacklist in episodes "The Djinn," "Sir Crispin Crandall," "Zal Bin Hasaan," "Kings of the Highway," "The Director," and "The Director: Conclusion."

Other business ventures and philanthropy

Divoff has pursued a number of other business ventures in addition to professional acting, and uses many of these businesses as a springboard for philanthropic and environmentalist efforts. In the early 1990s, he was a co-owner of the blues bar and restaurant Sunset Social Club.[6]

Divoff states that he is passionate about environmental issues and water rights,[3] and believes that the best form of activism is simply to help people in need.[6] Several years after his move from actor William Boyd's former home in Hollywood to the Lake Arrowhead region of the San Bernardino Mountains in 1992,[2] Divoff formed a logging crew during a time when he described acting opportunities as scarce. Divoff and his crew focused on removing trees that were dead or dying due to a pine beetle infestation.[6]

Divoff later became a partner in Verdant Resource and in Alpine Village Water Company that serves a nearby mountain community. Verdant Resource holds a patent for a wind-powered water pump. With the help of a government grant, Divoff and the other partners at the water company provided running water to a small community using Verdant's pump technology.[6]

in 2014, Divoff developed his own craft beer, the Djinn's Hellabrew, which he has sold to benefit charities including Smile Train,[17] Operation Provider,[2] and the Hollywood Police Activities League.[18] In 2017, Divoff formed his own brewing company, Three Marm Brewing, a "marm" being the part of a tree trunk that forks into two or more trunks.[19] The partners of Three Marm Brewing are predominately members of Divoff's former logging crew.[13] Divoff and his partners are planning to open a taproom in Crestline, California,[19] and have other new beer flavors in development, including the Logger Lager and Mystic Mast Stout.[13]

Personal life

Divoff was married to Russian actress Raissa Danilova.

Divoff's hobbies include sculpting and oil-painting.[10] He also enjoys swimming, skiing, and hiking.[6]


Film Performances
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Neon Maniacs Doc
1988 Mac and Me Policeman #2
1990 The Hunt for Red October Foxtrot Weapons Officer
1990 An American Summer Dode
1990 Another 48 Hrs. Cherry Ganz
1990 Graveyard Shift Danson
1991 Toy Soldiers Luis Cali
1992 Back in the U.S.S.R. Dimitro
1992 Interceptor Capt. Winfield
1993 Running Cool Bone
1993 Extreme Justice Angel
1994 A Low Down Dirty Shame Mendoza
1994 Dangerous Touch Johnnie
1994 Oblivion Red Eye / Einstein
1994 Hong Kong 97 Malcolm Goodchild
1995 The Random Factor Jake Anders
1995 The Stranger Angel
1995 Xtro 3: Watch the Skies Captain Fetterman
1995 Magic Island Blackbeard
1996 Oblivion 2: Backlash Jaggar / Einstein
1996 For Which He Stands Paulo
1996 Adrenalin: Fear the Rush Sterns
1996 Nemesis 4: Death Angel Bernardo
1997 Blast Omodo
1997 Air Force One Boris Bazylev
1997 Touch Me Dr. Vachenko Credited as Andy Divoff
1997 Wishmaster The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest
1998 Crossfire Dekova
1998 Captured Robert Breed
1999 Stealth Fighter Roberto Menendez
1999 Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies The Djinn/Nathaniel Demerest
2000 Down 'n Dirty Jimmy
2000 Lockdown Perez Uncredited
2000 Faust: Love of the Damned M
2001 The Rage Within Shane
2001 Knight Club Krukov
2001 Blue Hill Avenue Detective Tyler
2003 Knight Club Krukov
2003 The Librarians Marcos a.k.a. Strike Force
2004 Forbidden Warrior Ujis-Aka
2004 Moscow Heat Secretary Weston
2005 Dr. Rage Timothy Straun
2005 Sharkskin 6 Eddie
2006 American Dreamz Chinese Translator
2007 Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck Jack Whitaker
2007 Treasure Raiders Cronin
2007 The Rage Dr. Viktor Vasilienko
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Russian Soldier
2008 Boston Strangler: The Untold Story John Marsden
2009 Ballistica Dragomir
2009 Magic Man Rudolph Treadwell
2010 Shadows in Paradise Lt. Stronach
2010 The Dead Matter Vellich
2011 Slip and Fall Dean Dickman
2012 Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-animation Gerald Tovar, Jr
2013 Immigrant Tolik
2014 Bad Asses Leandro Herrera
2014 Pretty Fine Things Dr. Murray
2017 The Hatred Samuel Sears
2017 Demons Jasper Grant
2018 Vault Buddy Woonsocket In production

Video games

Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 General Nikolai Krukov
2008 Lost: Via Domus Mikhail Bakunin
2010 Call of Duty: Black Ops Lev Kravchenko
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Lev Kravchenko


Television Performances
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Misfits of Science Guard Episode: "Grand Elusion"
1986 The Twilight Zone Vladimir Episode: "Need to Know/Red Snow"
1986 The A-Team Episodes: "Firing Line" and "Dishpan Man"
1987 MacGyver Russian Guard Episode: "Soft Touch"
1987 Matlock Federal Agent Episode: "The Reporter"


Scarecrow and Mrs. King Edgar

Russian Guard

Russian Soldier

Episodes: "Wrong Number"

"Bad Timing"

"The Krushchev List"

1987 Hooperman Episode:"John Doe, We Hardly Knew Ye"
1989 Thirtysomething Limo Driver Episode: "Success"
1989 Heartbeat Yuri Episode: "From Russia with Love"
1989 Out on the Edge Luke Television film
1989 Breaking Point Aide Television film
1989 Fear Stalk Man Television film
1990 By Dawn's Early Light Russian Premier's Assistant (voice only) Television film
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Blackbeard LaCutte) Episode: "Pirates!"
1996 Deadly Voyage Romachenko Television film
1996 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures Nicholai Rockoff Episodes: "Tarzan's Return: Part 1" and "Tarzan's Return: Part 2"


Highlander: The Series Bryan Slade

Gavriel Larca

Episodes: "A Bad Day in Building A"

"Little Tin God"



EZ Streets Andre 'Frenchie' Desormeaux Episodes "Pilot," "Every Picture Tells a Story," and "A Terrible Beauty"
1998 Acapulco H.E.A.T. The Raven Episodes: "Code Name: The Raven Part 1" and "Code Name: The Raven Part 2"
1998 Killers in the House Delaney Breckett Television film


Nash Bridges Carl Dugan


Episodes: "Sniper"

"Land Pirates"




Walker, Texas Ranger Carlos Darius

Rudy Mendoza,

Alberto Cardoza

Episodes: "Deep Cover"

"Everyday Heroes"

"Winds of Change"

2001 UC: Undercover Martin Ritger Episode "Of Fathers and Sons"
2001 The Agency Colonel Grachev Episode "Deadline"
2002 Dracula Doctor Uncredited. TV miniseries.


JAG Russian Captain

Col. Fadil Najjar

Episodes: "Defending His Honor"

"Bridging the Gulf"

2005 Alias Lucien Nisard Episodes: "Search and Rescue" and "The Descent"
2006 The Unit The Major Episode: "True Believers"
2008 Burn Notice Ivan Episode: "Comrades"
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Andre Bushido Episode: "Wildlife"
2008 Leverage Sergei Episode: "The Marriage Job"
2009 Criminal Minds Dad Episode: "Bloodline"
2008-2009 CSI: Miami Ivan Sarnoff Episodes: "Seeing Red," "Target Specific," "Raging Cannibal" and

"And They're Offed"




Lost Mikhail Bakunin Episodes "The Cost of Living", "Enter 77", "Par Avion", "One of Us", "D.O.C.", "The Man Behind the Curtain", "Through the Looking Glass" and "The Package"
2010 The Good Guys Pedro Episode: "Pilot"
2013 Nikita Krieg Episode: "Reunion"
2014 The Strain Peter Bishop Episode: "Night Zero"
2015-2016 The Blacklist Karakurt Episodes: "The Djinn," "Sir Crispin Crandall," "Zal Bin Hasaan," "Kings of the Highway," "The Director," and "The Director: Conclusion"
2017 Colony Ambassador King Episode: "Lost Boy"


  1. Andrew Divoff IMDb biography
  2. Lanyon, Mary-Justine. (Winter 2015-2016). "A 'Bad Guy' With a Heart of Gold," Lake Arrowhead Magazine, pp, 41-43. <>. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  3. "Andrew Divoff Interview". Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  4. "Andrew Divoff". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  5. "Toxic Shock TV - Actor Andrew Divoff Interview". Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  6. "The Justin Beahm Radio Hour Episode 6: Andrew Divoff". Justin Beahm. 2016-11-27. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  7. Gregamortis (2014-04-15). "Land Of The Creeps: Land Of The Creeps Episode 070 : Andrew Divoff Says Make A Wish". Land Of The Creeps. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  8. "Andrew Divoff". mumien-monster-mutationen (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  9. ""Em sento català, fins i tot he cantat Havaneres a Calella!" - El món a RAC1". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. "The Ghostman and Demon Hunter Show "The WishMaster, Andrew Divoff "". BlogTalkRadio. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  11. "Andrew Divoff - Below the Belt Show". Below the Belt Show. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  12. "A Chat with Horror Icon Andrew Divoff Star of The Wishmaster Series [Interview]". Geekadelphia. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  13. StrangeLand Oddities (2018-03-06), Be Careful What You Wish For with Andrew Divoff 2018, retrieved 2018-04-14
  14. "INT: Andrew Divoff". Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  15. "Distribution News for Midnight Syndicate's The Dead Matter - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  16. "Ivan Sarnoff (Character)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  17. "Andrew Divoff Talks Djinn HellaBrew, Rock and Shock, and Raising Money for Smile Train - Dread Central". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  18. "2016 Celebrity Bowling Tournament Raises $10K for Hollywood PAL - Hollywood Police Activities League". Hollywood Police Activities League. 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  19. Wilson, Kelly (October 9, 2017). "Hollywood Villain, Local Good Guy to Open Crestline Brewery". Oh, So Cal!. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
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