Oscar Actors: Baryshnikov, Mikhail

Born on January 27, 1948 in Riga, Latvia.

The son of an engineer and a dressmaker, Baryshnikov was a star dancer with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad. He defected to the U.S. in 1974 and joined the American Ballet Theater, of which he eventually became the director. In 197879 he danced with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet.

Baryshnikov was nominated for an Oscar as best supporting player for his very first film, “The Turning Point,” and gave another strong performance in “White Nights,” portraying a defecting Soviet ballet star whose plane forcelands in Russia. He made his Broadway debut as a dramatic actor in “Metamorphosis” in 1989.

Baryshnikov's name has been linked romantically to several Hollywood stars, including at one time Jessica Lange, with whom he has a daughter.

Oscar Alert:

In 1977, Mikhail Baryshnikov competed for the Supporting Actor Oscar with Jason Robards (who won) in “Julia,” Peter Firth in “Equus,” Alec Guinness in “Star Wars,” and Maximilian Schell, also for “Julia.”