The grandson of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Alexander Burdonsky, National Artist of the Russian Federation and stage director of the Central Academic Theater of the Russian Army, died on May 23

The grandson of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Alexander Burdonsky, National Artist of the Russian Federation and stage director of the Central Academic Theater of the Russian Army, died on Tuesday at the age of 75, the theater’s spokesperson told TASS on Wednesday.

“Alexander Vassilyevich died last night after a grave illness,” Marina Astafieva said.

Burdonsky, a talented Russian theatre director who won numerous national stage awards and honorary titles, was born into the family of Stalin’s son Vassily on October 14, 1941 in Kuibyshev (now Samara), a city along the Volga river.

In 1966, he entered the Russian University of Theater Arts’ department of general stage management. In 1971, he joined the Malaya Bronnaya Theater working there for a year, until finally moving on to the Theater of the Russian Army.

During his career there, he put on numerous plays, and also staged two productions at the Maly Theater. In addition, Burdonsky produced Anton Chekov’s Chaika, Maxim Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova and Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending in Japan.

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