Victor Tourjansky

Victor Tourjansky (born Viatcheslav Tourjansky; 4 March 1891, Kiev – 13 August 1976, (Munich) (Russian: Вячеслав Туржанский; Ukrainian: В'ячеслав Туржанський)) was a Russian actor, screenwriter and film director who emigrated after the Russian Revolution of 1917. He worked in France, Germany, Italy and the USA.

Victor Tourjansky
(Вячеслав Туржанский)
Viatcheslav Tourjansky

(1891-03-04)4 March 1891
Died13 August 1976(1976-08-13) (aged 85)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor
Years active1913–1964


Born into a family of artists in Kiev, Tourjansky moved to Moscow in 1911, where he spent a year studying under Konstantin Stanislavski. He became involved with silent film and, two years later, made his first productions as a screenwriter and director on the eve of World War I. When the October Revolution broke out, he left and stayed in Yalta, which had not yet been taken by the Bolsheviks.

When the laws for the nationalisation of the cinema industry were applied to Crimea, he left with the Ermoliev film company and its actors for France, via Constantinople, in February 1920. He was accompanied by his wife, the actress Nathalie Kovanko. On arriving in Paris, he changed his birth name Viatcheslav, to Victor, which was more easily pronounceable for the French. He was the assistant to Abel Gance for the filming of his Napoléon (1927). He later worked for Universum Film AG in Germany, where he arrived during the 1930s.

Selected filmography

  • Victor Tourjansky on IMDb
  • Christian Gilles, Le cinéma des années [trente, quarante, cinquante] par ceux qui l'ont fait, Paris : L'Harmattan, 2000. ISBN 978-2-7384-8951-7

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