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Death of Famed Russian Actor Oleg Vidov Announced by Communication Art Forms

Oleg Borisovich Vidov, 11 June 1943 - 15 May 2017 (May 17, 2017)

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Oleg Vidov, beloved husband, father and friend, passed away in Westlake Village, CA, on May 15, 2017 from cancer-related complications. He was 73. 

Born on June 11, 1943, in Filimonki (in the outskirts of Moscow), the son of a school teacher and a Finance Ministry deputy, Oleg graduated from both the acting and directing departments of VGIK, the USSR's acclaimed film school. He rose to fame in the Soviet Union as an actor, and became a top box office draw with more than 50 films to his credit.

Oleg's talent attracted the attention of international film directors and, although Soviet actors were generally not permitted to work abroad, he was allowed to travel to Denmark to star in "The Red Mantle," directed by Gabriel Axel ("Babette's Feast"), which was nominated for a Palme d'Or (1967), and to Yugoslavia to co-star in the "Battle of Neretva" (1971). Dino De Laurentis hired Oleg to work in "Waterloo" (1970), a Soviet-Italian co-production that starred Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer and Orson Welles.

In 1985, Oleg defected to the United States, taking up residence in Los Angeles. The state-owned Soviet TV channels immediately stopped playing his movies, but then bowed to popular demand and broadcast them without using his name. Only after perestroika, in 1987, was Oleg's named restored to the credits. After the fall of the USSR, he returned to Russia numerous times. In honor of his 70th birthday, Channel One Russia gave Oleg a prime time birthday party on its very popular "Let Them Talk" program hosted by Andrey Malahkov, which was reportedly viewed by more than 250 million fans across the former USSR, Europe, Israel, and North America.

Oleg continued his film career in Hollywood, working in "Red Heat" (1988) with Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Wild Orchid" (1990) with Mickey Rourke, and "Love Affair (1994) with Warren Beatty. Oleg was also featured in the TV movie "The Immortals" (HBO, 1995-96), and in the TV movie "Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies" (HBO, 1998-99). His work in television included roles in "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06). At age 70, Oleg served as the voice of the revered Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in a documentary called "Time Within Time," based on Tarkovsky's diary, and directed by PJ Letofsky.

In 1988, Oleg and his wife, Joan Borsten Vidov, formed Films by Jove, Inc., a film production and distribution company, and in 1992 obtained international distribution rights to the Soyuzmultfilm Studio animation library (approximately 1,200 films produced from 1936-1991). They financed digital restoration of the library's films, serving as executive producers of The Animated Classic Showcase, Mikhail Baryshnikov's "Stories from My Childhood," "Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book'," "Masters of Russian Animation," "The Adventures of Cheburashka and Friends," and "Animated Soviet Propaganda". Oleg and Joan served as co-authors with Mikhail Baryshnikov of "Mikhail Baryshnikov's Stories from My Childhood" (published in 2002 by Harry N. Abrams, New York). In 2007, the Vidovs sold the rights to the animation library to a Russian oligarch.

In the early 1990s, Oleg's interest in assisting others led him to help ATLANT-SV, a Ukrainian cargo airline company, win long-term contracts with the United Nations, the Red Cross and the World Food Program, and which provided humanitarian relief to people in need in Sarajevo, Mogadishu and Angola.  In 2007, Oleg co-founded Malibu Beach Recovery Center, a cutting-edge drug and alcohol treatment facility in Malibu, CA, of which he served as Chairman of the Board until it was sold in 2014. The Malibu Beach Recovery Center was featured on television shows such as A&E's "Intervention."

Oleg is survived by his wife, health care advocate and film producer Joan Borsten Vidov, his sons, Viacheslav and Sergei, and a grandson.

The Vidov family will hold a memorial service on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, CA. 90038. They request that any remembrances of Oleg to be sent to his Facebook page at:

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SOURCE Communication Art Forms

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