Alexei Petrenko is a People’s Artist of Russia, recipient of the State Prize of Russia, Knight of the order For Services to the Fatherland, the Order of Honour, the Imperial Order of St Anna, the Golden Eagle award, the International Stanislavsky Prize in the category “For Contributions to the Development of Russian Theatre Art” and several-times recipient of prizes for the best male role at various film festivals in Riga, Tiraspol, Vyborg and Vladikavkaz.
Born in 1938 in Chemer, Chernigov Region (Ukraine). In 1961 he graduated from the Kharkov Theatre Institute. In 1964 he became an actor the Leningrad Lensoviet Theatre. In 1977 he worked at the Moscow Malaya Bronnaya Drama Theatre, in 1978 he worked at the Moscow Academic Arts Theatre, from 1982–1986 he worked at the School of Dramatic Art, in 1990 he worked at the Moscow Taganka Theatre and from 1991–1992 he worked at the School of Modern Drama theatre.
Since 1967 he has appeared in film, performing over forty roles. In 1991 he became an in-house actor of the Maxim Gorki Film Studios.
Has appeared in the films King Lear (1970), Twenty Days without War (1976), The Key That Should Not Be Handed On (1976), The Tale of How Tsar Peter Married Off His Negro (1976), The Marriage (1977), A Portrait with Rain (1977), Yulia Vrevskaya (1977), Grachi (1982), Farewell (1982), A Cruel Romance (1984), Leo Tolstoy (1984), The Servant (1988), Balthazar’s Feasts, or The Night with Stalin (1989), Ruth (1989), The Politburo Co-operative, or It Will Be A Long Goodbye (1992), Vingt ans après (1992), Agape (1996), The Barber of Siberia (1999), Sherlock Holmes’ Memoirs (2000), Chorna Rada (2000), Listen, Isn’t It Raining... (2000), In August 1944 (2000), The Idiot (2003), The Lilac Branch (2007) and Twelve (2007). One of his greatest achievements has been the role of Grigory Rasputin in the film Agonia (1974 81).
Appears as a singer. Has taken part in a performance of the song cycle The War Letters by Vasily Gavrilin and Abram Stasevich’s oratorio Ivan the Terrible based on music by Prokofiev (as the Narrator and in a singing role).