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Richard Boleslawski

richard boleslawski, john boleslawski
Richard Boleslavsky or Richard Boleslawski February 4, 1889 – January 17, 1937 was a Polish theatre and film director, actor and teacher of acting


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Filmography
    • 21 in Russia
    • 22 in Poland
    • 23 in the United States
  • 3 Books
  • 4 References
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links


Richard Boleslavsky was born Bolesław Ryszard Srzednicki on February 4, 1889, in Dębowa Góra, in tsarist Russia-ruled Poland He graduated from the Tver Cavalry Officers School He trained as an actor at the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre under Konstantin Stanislavski and his assistant Leopold Sulerzhitsky, where he was introduced to the 'system'1

During World War I, Boleslavsky fought as a cavalry lieutenant on the tsarist Russian side until the fall of the Russian Empire He left Russia after the October Revolution of 1917 for his native Poland, where he directed his first movies As his birth name was difficult to pronounce, he took the name Ryszard Bolesławski His Miracle at the Vistula Cud nad Wisłą was a semi-documentary about the miraculous victory of the Poles at the Vistula River over the superior Soviet Russian forces during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921

Boleslavsky was married at least three times and had a son - Jan - with his last wife, Norma

In 1922, Boleslavsky acted in Die Gezeichneten, a German silent film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer In the 1920s, he made his way to New York City, where, now known as "Richard Boleslavsky" the English spelling of his name, he began to teach Stanislavski's 'system' which, in the US, developed into Method acting with fellow émigré Maria Ouspenskaya In 1923, he founded the American Laboratory Theatre in New York Among his students were Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and Harold Clurman, who were all founding members of the Group Theatre 1931–1940, the first American acting ensemble to utilize Stanislavski's techniques

Offered a contract to direct Hollywood films, Boleslavsky made several significant films with some of the major stars of the day, until his death a few weeks short of his 48th birthday, on January 17, 1937 He is interred in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Boleslavsky has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd


Films directed by Richard Boleslavsky also credited as Ryszard Bolesławski and Richard Boleslawski:

in Russiaedit

  • Tri Vstrechi
  • Khlieb 1918

in Polandedit

  • Bohaterstwo Polskiego Skauta 1920
  • Cud nad Wisłą The Miracle at the Vistula 1921

in the United Statesedit

  • The Grand Parade 1930, choreography only
  • Treasure Girl 1930 short
  • The Last of the Lone Wolf 1930
  • The Gay Diplomat 1930
  • Rasputin and the Empress 1932, teaming Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore
  • Storm at Daybreak 1933
  • Beauty for Sale 1933
  • Fugitive Lovers 1934
  • Men in White 1934 starring Clark Gable
  • Hollywood Party 1934
  • Operator 13 1934
  • The Painted Veil 1934, featuring Greta Garbo
  • Clive of India 1935
  • Les Misérables 1935, with Fredric March and Charles Laughton
  • Metropolitan 1935
  • O'Shaughnessy's Boy 1935
  • Three Godfathers 1936
  • The Garden of Allah 1936, starring Marlene Dietrich and Charles Boyer
  • Theodora Goes Wild 1936, featuring Irene Dunne
  • The Last of Mrs Cheyney 1937 starring Joan Crawford and William Powell Boleslavsky died before this film was completed


  • The Way of the Lancer 1932; about the battles of Polish Uhlans in Russia
  • Lances Down 1932
  • Boleslavsky, Richard 1933 Acting: the First Six Lessons New York: Theatre Arts, 1987 ISBN 0-87830-000-7 1933
  • New Features In Acting 1935


  1. ^ Benedetti 1999, 209-211


  • Benedetti, Jean 1999 Stanislavski: His Life and Art Revised edition Original edition published in 1988 London: Methuen ISBN 0-413-52520-1

External linksedit

  • Richard Boleslawski on Internet Movie Database
  • 50529 Richard Boleslawski at the Internet Broadway Database

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Richard Boleslawski

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