Michael Alexandrovich Chekhov.
Date of birth : August 29, 1891, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Date of death : September 30, 1955, Beverly Hills, California.
Place of living : 1310 Sanyfidro Drive, Beverly Hills.
Practise: drama teacher.
Nephew of playwright Anton Tchekhov.
His wife was Xenia Tchekhov.
Aged 19, he began to study theater with
Aged 19, he began to study theater withKonstantin Stanislavski, at the Art Theater of Moscow.
During 20 years, he played in Shakespeare, Gorky and Tchekhov's plays.
Regarded with much esteem as a teacher in Europe and particularly in
England, he had worked with theatrical leading experts as Max
Reinhardt, Louis Jouvet and John Gielgud.
He had fled the Bolshevist revolution and joined
He had fled the Bolshevist revolution and joinedMax Reinhardt, with who he made tours during 10 years.
In 1935, he arrived in the USA with the Art Theater of Moscow company and settled there.
In 1943, his fellow countryman
Gregory Ratoff led him in a test in which he played a skit of his uncle, " I Forgot".
The MGM signed him a contract after this audition.
He was nominated to the Academy Awards for his performance in the part of the ageing psychoanalyst
He was nominated to the Academy Awards for his performance in the part of the ageing psychoanalyst(Dr Brulov) who helped Ingrid Bergman in "Spellbound" of Alfred Hitchcock (RKO, 1945).
As a drama teacher, he had among his students Grégory Peck, Joan Caulfield, Yul Brynner, Hurd Hatfield, Cornel Wilde and Jack Palance.
End of 1951 he became one of Marilyn's drama teacher, on the recommendations of her main teacher Natasha Lytess.
Jack Palance, then very famous for his interpretations in Broadway, introduced Marilyn to him, and she worked with him twice a week.
When she began her lessons with him, he was aged 60 and had worked with many important actors.
Tchekhov prefered working on classical plays like "King Lear", "Twelfth Night" and "Hamlet".
At the beginning of their relationship,
At the beginning of their relationship,Tchekhov had told her :
"Our bodies can be our best friends or worse enemies. You should try to consider your body as an instrument to express creative ideas. You have to fight to reach a complete harmony between the body and the mind".
He soon understood, so that
He soon understood, so thatMarilyn put his advices into practice, she had to get out of her reference frame.
According to the basis of the Moscow Theater, he advised her to extend the circle of her interests to be able to keep herself in the characters psychology. His theory was that, to get into a character, being possessed by it, it needed to use her creative imagination, thus "wiill and feelings would become the one of another character".
She studied Tchekhov's reference book, "To the Actor : on the Technique of Acting" (published in 1953), and considered it for years, as her Bible.
Their work relationship unfortunately suffered from Marilyn's lack of punctuality.
In 1952 when he complained of the generated difficulties, she wrote him a letter to thank him for his patience and his friendship.
This year, she offered him a gravure of Abraham Lincoln, accompanied with a note : "Lincoln was the man I admired the most when I was a schoolgirl. Now it's you'.
When she learned his death, she asked Arthur Miller to read with her an extract of "The Brothers Karamazov".