Men In Black Actor Boris Leskin Dies Aged 97

by : Lucy Connolly on : 22 Feb 2020 09:16
Men In Black Actor Boris Leskin Dies Aged 97Men In Black Actor Boris Leskin Dies Aged 97Columbia Pictures

Men In Black actor Boris Leskin has died at the age of 97, reports in Russia confirmed yesterday, February 21.


The Romanian-born actor, who made his name in Soviet-era films in Communist Russia, played the role of a cook in the 1997 box office smash starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

A cause of death is yet to be given.

boris leskinboris leskinColumbia Pictures

The actor was born in January 1923 in Chisinau, Moldova. He suffered tragedy at a young age as his father was arrested and executed when Boris was just a teenager.


He went on to fight in World War II as a sapper – someone who works on the very front line to build fortifications and dig trenches – until he was wounded. Boris was awarded the Order of the Red Star, a military decoration of the Soviet Union.

After the war, Boris dedicated himself to acting and graduated from the Ostrovsky Leningrad Theatre Institute in 1952. He worked as an actor in the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater until 1980, when he moved to the United States.

boris leskinboris leskinVulpes

Leskin started his career in the US as a theatre actor in New York City, and was included on the nomination committee for the Academy Awards.

In 1989, he starred in the Jene Hackman film The Package as a Soviet Foreign Minister. He also played parts in the TV series New York Undercover and Dellaventura.

Daria Jurrasic, a member of the Moscow Art Theater, led tributes to the late star, praising Leskin for his ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’ life. ‘Farewell. Thank you,’ Jurassic added, as per The Mirror.

boris leskin boris leskin Lenfilm

Boris’s life was made the subject of the 2011 documentary Bob Has Been Removed. Minesweeper Bolshoi Drama, directed by Eduard Staroselsky.


The actor appeared in many films throughout the course of his life, landing a starring role in the 2005 comedy-drama film Everything Is Illuminated.

Playing an anti-Semitic cab driver hired to drive a young American Jewish man (Elijah Wood) around Ukraine in search of a woman who saved his grandfather, Boris was awarded the Jury Award as Best Actor from the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asia Pacific Countries.

He also starred in Unfinished Story, Property Of The Republic, The Falcon And The Snowman, Cold Souls, Heavenly Swallows and A Couch In New York.

everything is illuminated boris leskineverything is illuminated boris leskinWarner Independent Pictures

Our thoughts are with Boris’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Rest in peace Boris.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Film and TV, Bereavement, Boris Leskin, Death


The Mirror
  1. The Mirror

    Boris Leskin dead - Men In Black star who played cook dies aged 97