Name Karandash Karandash
|Died March 31, 1983, Moscow, Russia|
Mikhail Nikolayevich Rumyantsev (Russian: Михаи́л Никола́евич Румя́нцев) (10 December 1901 – 31 March 1983), better known under his stage name Karandash (Russian: Каранда́ш which means pencil), was a famous Soviet clown. He was a People's Artist of the USSR, and was the teacher of the famous Russian clowns Oleg Popov and Yuri Nikulin.
Rumyantsev was born in Saint Petersburg, and had two younger siblings, brother Kostya and sister Lena. His mother died when he was six.
Rumyantsev had at least two daughters.
Career as clown
Starting his career in the circus arena as the imitator of Charlie Chaplin, Mikhail Rumyantsev then abandoned it for, or rather, transformed that part into his would-be renowned image of Karandash always accompanied with his hallmark Scottish Terrier named Klyaksa (which means blot).
He enjoyed immense popularity with the Soviet audience and often gathered full houses all over the country.
Rumyantsev taught his profession to both Oleg Popov and Yuri Nikulin.
During the Second World War, Rumyantsev mimicked German soldiers.
In 1960, he toured South America with the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
Altogether Karandash had worked in the circus for 55 years, the last time he appeared in the arena was just two weeks prior to his death.
The Moscow Circus School was named after him.