18 april, 1917
Georgy Mikhailovich Vitsin was a Soviet and Russian actor. People's Artist of the USSR (1990)
Born in St. Petersburg, then Petrograd, in 1918 (official data, but, as a matter of fact, he was born in Terioki, former Finland, now Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg, Russia), Vitsin enjoyed a long acting career and continued performing until close to the end of his life. Apart from playing with Nikulin and Morgunov, he appeared in dozens of films that earned him the adoration of millions.
Modest and sympathetic characters played by Vitsin evoked kindly feelings of viewers. At the same time the actor played in detective, historical and lyrical feature films.
His first film roles date to the 1940s. He gained nationwide popularity in the former Soviet Union with the emergence of a series of 1960s comedies by director Leonid Gaidai. He played the role of the Coward among a trio of colorful, scheming characters in such Gaidai movies as Bootleggers (1962), Operation Y and Other Adventures of Shurik (1965), and Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (1967). The last two subsequently beat the Soviet all time record of ticket sales. The trio of actors, including the late Yuri Nikulin and Yevgeny Morgunov, was "the most popular ensemble in the history of the national cinema." In 1990, he was awarded the top artistic title of the Soviet era, that of People's Artist of the Soviet Union.
In spite of the plenty of his characters Vitsin’s talent deserved something greater and he never played the major role of his life. “Vitsin is awfully gifted and both of us together are not worth his finger”, his partners Nikulin and Morgunov said about him.
According to an Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, Vitsin was "was one of those rare people and actors whom upon meeting, you immediately feel as if they must know just as much about you as you know about them." According to Mikhalkov, Vitsin was also rare in that his popularity did not affect his personality. He was modest to the point that even in the years leading up to his death, when his financial circumstances were abysmal, he never asked for help.  Russian media reported that Vitsin had declined into alcoholism and vagrancy but these reports were false.
During the last seven years of his life Georgi Vitsin did not act in films and appeared only in comic concerts of the Theatre of Film Actor.
On October 22, 2001 at 4:30 p.m. the People’s Artist of the Soviet Union died. Georgy Vitsin was buried at Vagankovo Cemetery, Moscow.
A monument to Georgi Vitsin was set up in Zelenogorsk in 2008 marking the town’s 460th jubilee and the 90th anniversary since the actor’s birthday.