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Akim Tamiroff (Tiflis, October 29, 1899 – Palm Springs, September 17, 1972) was the first actor to win a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, he was of Armenian origin. He learned acting at the Moscow Art Theater. He arrived in the United States in 1923 during a tour with that theater, and decided to stay in the country, opting to develop a career as an actor in Hollywood, despite his strong Russian accent.
Tamiroff’s film debut came in 1932 with a role without appearing in the credits in the film Okay, America !. In 1933 I work in the movie Queen Cristina of Sweden. He worked on several more titles, always uncredited, until 1935, when he acted as co-star in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (Three Bengali Lancers). The following year was chosen to act in The General Died at Dawn (The general died at dawn), film for which he was nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actor. He also starred in the 1937 musical High, Wide, and Handsome (The Fury of Black Gold) and in the 1938 film Dangerous to Know, alongside Anna May Wong.
In the following decade he participated in films such as The Buccaneer (1938), The Great McGinty (1940), The Corsican Brothers (1941), Tortilla Flat (1942), Five Graves to Cairo (Five Tombs in Cairo) (1943), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), for which he received another Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944) . In later years Tamiroff intervened in Ocean’s Eleven (1960) and Topkapi (1964).
He worked under the direction of Orson Welles in Mr. Arkadin (1955), Touch of Evil (1958), The Process (1962) and played Sancho Panza in his unfinished version of Don Quixote, released in 1992.
Tamiroff was married to Tamara Shayne, a marriage that lasted until his death in Palm Springs (California) in 1972 because of cancer.
Akim Tamiroff has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1634 Vine Street.
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