Ravil Isyanov, a veteran film and television actor who appeared in shows such as The Americans and NCIS, died on September 29 at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 59.
Isyanov’s passing was confirmed to Variety by his agent Tanya Kleckner, who said, “He was a true gentleman and worked up until [his] passing. I’ve worked with him for 20 years and we became firm friends. He will be sorely missed. We are all heartbroken by this tragic loss, a beautiful soul gone way too soon.”
Born in Voskresensk, Russia (then part of the USSR) in 1962, Isyanov’s journey into film and TV began when he enrolled in the Perm Institute of Culture to study directing. However, his studies were put on hold in 1982 when he left for two-year mandatory military service in the Soviet Air Force. Once completed, Isyanov worked at the Khabarovsk Theatre before studying acting at the Moscow Art Theatre School.
After graduating, Isyanov relocated to the UK, where he appeared in various TV shows and films, including notable turns in the Nicolas Roeg-directed Two Deaths and the James Bond film GoldenEye, both in 1995. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1998, where he continued to work steadily in the industry until his death.
Isyanov’s recent credits include the recurring role of Russian mafia kingpin Anatoli Kirkin in CBS procedural drama NCIS: Los Angeles and Anton Petrov in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s also appeared in the likes of GLOW, The Mentalist, Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Prison Break. And his movie work includes Defiance, K-19: The Widowmaker, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
The last projects completed before his death include the upcoming feature films Blonde and 25 Cents Pet Minute, both of which are in post-production. Blonde is a biographical drama based on the life of Marilyn Monroe; Isyanov will portray classic Hollywood director Billy Wilder.