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Leonid Kanevsky - 82: How Major Tomin Had To Play "Nikulin's Lower Half"
Leonid Kanevsky - 82: How Major Tomin Had To Play "Nikulin's Lower Half"

May 2 marks 82 years of the famous actor and TV presenter, Honored Artist of the RSFSR Leonid Kanevsky. In the 1970s – 1980s. he was called no other than Major Tomin - after one of the main characters of the detective series "Connoisseurs lead the investigation", and most modern viewers know him as the host of the "Investigation were conducted …" program. But the artist appeared on screens in other characters, in legendary films, where the attention of the audience was riveted on completely different artists. In one of the hits, he even had to become an understudy for Yuri Nikulin, however, the general public did not notice this substitution …

Head of the general store in the Belarusian village

Leonid Kanevsky in his youth with his brother Alexander

Leonid Kanevsky was born and raised in Kiev in a Jewish family. He decided on the choice of his future profession in the 4th grade of the school, when one of his friends brought him to the drama club at the MVD club. On the same evening, he told his parents that he was going to become an artist. It was a disappointment for them - their mother studied at the Kiev Conservatory, but later was engaged in housekeeping, their father was a technologist. His older brother Alexander chose literary activity and became a satirist writer, and his parents hoped that at least the youngest son would get a "serious" profession. At first, they did not believe in the awareness of his intentions, but later they had to come to terms with his choice: after school, he left his native Kiev for Moscow, entered the Shchukin School and began performing on the stage of the Moscow Lenin Komsomol Theater.

Still from the movie City of Masters, 1965

Kanevsky played his first film role at the age of 24 - it was a store manager in a village general store in the film "Forty Minutes Until Dawn". The script for this film was written by his older brother, and it was thanks to him that the film debut of Leonid Kanevsky took place. Alexander said: "".

Actor in his youth

After reading the script, the actor was confused and asked the director: "" He thought, and then answered: "". In addition, this store manager was a dishonest drinker and a boor, and since then, directors have offered Kanevsky roles of the same type. Now it's hard to believe, but the valiant Major Tomin began his career in cinema with the images of swindlers, hooligans and speculators - all completely negative comedic roles.

The smuggler and the "lower half of Nikulin"

Shot from the movie The Diamond Arm, 1968

For 5 years, Leonid Kanevsky played subtle episodic roles and, perhaps, his creative fate would not have been so successful if at the age of 29 he had not received an offer from Leonid Gaidai. The role of an assistant pharmacist, a smuggler from Istanbul in "The Diamond Hand" was also episodic, but this image turned out to be so vivid that both the audience and the directors remembered Kanevsky. After the release of the film, the actor was recognized even on the beach. When he was once resting by the sea, girls approached him with a question: "" Kanevsky was not at a loss: ""

Leonid Kanevsky in the film The Diamond Arm, 1968

To prolong the presence of his character on the screen, the actor himself came up with a monologue for him in "gibberish" language. Gaidai liked this idea, and he left this episode in the film. On the set, there were many more funny situations. Kanevsky told: "".

Major Tomin

Leonid Kanevsky as Major Tomina in the TV series Connoisseurs lead the investigation

All-Union glory to Leonid Kanevsky was brought by the role of Major Alexander Tomin in the television series "The Investigation are Conducted by Experts", filmed based on the really committed atrocities in the USSR.The audience believed not only in these stories, but also in the heroes themselves, and began to identify the actors with their characters. In some situations, the actor played into his hands. Since 1975, he drove a car, and although Kanevsky was an accurate and attentive driver, the traffic police officers sometimes stopped him. And Tomin more than once rescued the actor on the roads - they recognized him, took him under his visor and let him go.

Leonid Kanevsky as Major Tomina in the TV series Connoisseurs lead the investigation

After the image of the valiant police major, Kanevsky was no longer offered negative roles, and this was impossible. The actor explained: "".

The haberdasher and the cardinal are strength

Leonid Kanevsky as haberdasher Bonacieux

Georgy Yungvald-Khilkevich was also not recommended at the artistic council to approve Kanevsky for the role of the cunning slick haberdasher Bonacie, but the director replied: “”. And so the actor got another vivid episodic role that will be remembered by all viewers.

Leonid Kanevsky as haberdasher Bonacieux

The actor considered this work a gift of fate and said about it: "B".

Life in two countries

Still from the movie Pippi Longstocking, 1984

In 1990, the artist received an offer to organize a theater in Tel Aviv. At home, during this period, theaters were empty, there was no work, and Kanevsky decided to go with his family to Israel. In the "Gesher" theater, performances were given both in Russian and in Hebrew, together with Kanevsky, many famous actors took part in them (Mikhail Kozakov, Leonid Yarmolnik, Oleg Yankovsky, etc.). They toured all over Israel, visited festivals in England, Germany, France, USA and Russia. Many condemned the actor for the decision to emigrate, and he himself said that he did not leave anywhere, because all this time he lived in two countries and continued to work in Russia. Since 2006, he has been the host of the TV program "The investigation was conducted …", which enjoys constant success with viewers.

Honored Artist of the RSFSR Leonid Kanevsky

Leonid Kanevsky played more than 50 movie roles, most of them were episodic. But when asked whether the title of “king of episodes” offends him, the actor replies: “”. And he really knows how to turn any movie episode into a real masterpiece! But Kanevsky always called his work in the theater real happiness, where he managed to realize his creative potential in full. At 82, he is still in demand, energetic and active. It remains only to wish the wonderful actor health, long years and, of course, new roles!

Leonid Kanevsky in the program The investigation was conducted …

For some of his colleagues, participation in this television series negatively affected his further acting career: Unexpected consequences of filming in the film "Connoisseurs lead the investigation".

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