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Members of Union


Rza Tahmasib

Rza Tahmasib

(1894 - 1980)

Azerbaijani film director, actor and tutor.

Rza Tahmasib was one of the leaders of Azerbaijani theatre and cinema. The merits of this great master in the development and formation of our national theatre are invaluable. His large-scale directorial, acting activity constitutes unforgettable pages of the history of arts of the whole century.

In 1952-56, he was a chairman of the Azerbaijan Theatre Society.

Rza Abbasgulu oglu was born on April 20, 1894 in Nakhchivan, in a family that highly valued culture and science. He received his first education in Nakhchivan and, along with his native language, perfectly studied Russian. His first performance on the stage was in 1907 as Chichikov in a play staged at the school based on Nikolai Gogol’s play “Dead Souls”. The performance was played in Russian. His father, Abbasgulu bey, who was a famous merchant and had business contacts in Turkey, Iran, Yerevan and Tbilisi, in 1910 sent his son to Tiflis to study. Here young Rza entered the fourth grade of an eight-year trade school. Rza Tahmasib, in a short time having familiarized himself with the cultural life of Tiflis, becomes a member of the circle of Azerbaijani theatre lovers here. In 1915 he graduated from school and was sent to Baku to work. Here he worked in various institutions, and in the fall of 1920 he was hired by the National Drama Theatre.

Rza Tahmasib was one of the first actors who seriously approached the interpretation of the role, clearly showed that facial expression is an important factor in the disclosure of character. Rza Tahmasib, as a virtuoso performer of characteristic roles, has his own creative achievements in a number of performers of characters, such as Aydin and Dovlat bey (“Aydin”), Elkhan and Abu Ubeid (“Bride of Fire”), Balash (“Sevil”), Haji Ahmed (“Almaz”), Imamyar (“Yashar”), Governor-general (“In 1905”) in the gallery of types of Jafar Jabbarly, the immortal Iskender and Haji Hassan Aga (“Dead people”) of Mirza Jalil Mamedguluzade, Iblis and Arif (“Iblis”), Sheikh Sanan (“Sheikh Sanan”), Keykavus (“Siyavush”), Mad Prince (“Prince”) of Huseyn Javid, Farhad and Haji Samad Aga (“The miserable young man”), Parviz Khan (“Old Fog”) of Abdurrahim bey Hagverdiev, Fakhraddin and Rustam bey (“The Tragedy of Fakhraddin”) of Najaf bey Vezirov, Suleyman (“Life”) of Mirza Ibrahimov.

Rza Tahmasib, being one of the leading artists of the theatre, was also a director at the National Drama Theatre. And in the late 1930s, he began to work in cinema. The film “Arshin Mal Alan” is his most successful work. For this film, he was awarded the Stalin Prize.

Rza Tahmasib taught acting and directing first at the Baku Theatre School, and from 1946 until the end of his life at the Theatre Institute. He was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Azerbaijan Republic (June 17, 1943) and People’s Artist (June 29, 1964). Rza Tahmasib died on February 14, 1980 in Baku and was buried in the second Honorary Alley.