Ravil Isyanov, 'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'Defiance' Actor, Dies at 59

Actor Ravil Isyanov passed away last month, fans just learned. Isyanov was most recently known for playing Anatoli Kirkin on NCIS: Los Angeles, but previously held roles in TV shows and movies of all genres with equal acclaim. He was 59 years old.

Isyanov passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, according to a report by Deadline. The actor was born in Voskresensk, Russia, in 1962 during the era of the Soviet Union. He discovered a passion for acting at a young age, and worked in the industry there until a part in the 1990 movie The Russia House afforded him the opportunity to leave the country. Isyanov moved to L.A. in 1998 and became an American citizen, with many notable roles on TV and in movies.

Isyanov may be most readily recognizable to action movie fans of the last three decades. He appeared in GoldenEye back in 1995, then played the character Suslov in K-19: The Widowmaker in 2002 and Voshkod in Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. He played Viktor Panchenko in Defiance in 2008, and over the years, he has also appeared in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, The Good German, Stalin and Back in the U.S.S.R., among others.

In the world of TV, Isyanov has been playing Kirkin since 2013. He also had prominent roles on The Americans, The Last Ship, Shooter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bones, 24, Prison Break, Burn Notice, The Mentalist, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jag and Alias. Across all these jobs he was highly regarded by his colleagues.

"I worked with Ravil Isyanov when he was on 24, he was one of Julian Sands thugs," tweeted 24 executive producer Jon Cassar as news of Isyanov's passing spread. "Great actor and even nicer guy."


Isyanov pursued an acting career after graduating high school in 1980 but needed to put that dream on hold for his mandatory military service in the USSR. He spent two years in the Soviet Air Force before returning to the theater, which led him to the Moscow Arts Theater school in 1986. It was reportedly during this time that he taught himself English, as well as some Spanish, German and French.

After appearing alongside Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer in The Russia House, Isyanov moved to the U.K., where he continued to work in the theater and take screen acting jobs where he could get them. He followed those jobs to L.A. in 1998. He is survived by his wife Erika, his daughter Gulya, her husband Marios, his granddaughter Cassandra and grandson Nikita. He is also survived by his sister Dina, nephew Sergey, ex-wife Marsha, step-daughter Aneta and step-granddaughters Mila and Tali.