Entered the film industry, 1911. Soon became king of the Russian silent cinema. Played lovers only. Combined his film work with stage work.
Played in the Malyi Theatre, Moscow, 1906-1918, and at the Gorkii Bolshoi Drama Theatre, 1919-1924 (one of its founders). His best roles were Fedor Protasov in Zhivoi Trup, 1918, and Tsar Alexander I in Dekabristy, 1927.