Nikolay Konstantinovich Cherkasov (27 July 1903 – 14 September 1966), was a Soviet actor and a People's Artist of the Soviet Union.
He was born in Saint Petersburg (later Petrograd and Leningrad; it reverted to Saint Petersburg some years after his death). From 1919 he was a mime artist in Petrograd's Maryinsky Theatre, the Bolshoi Theatre, and elsewhere. After graduating from the Institute of Stage Arts in 1926, he began acting in the Young Spectator's Theatre in Leningrad.
Cherkasov was one of Stalin's favorite actors and played title roles in Sergei Eisenstein's monumental sound films Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Parts I & II of Ivan the Terrible (1945 & 1946; though Part II was not officially released until 1958 for political reasons). He also played Jacques Paganel in the memorable 1936 adaptation of Jules Verne's The Children of Captain Grant. In the 1947 comedy Springtime Cherkasov appeared alongside other icons of Stalinist cinema, Lyubov Orlova and Faina Ranevskaya. For the role of Alexander Popov in the film Alexander Popov in 1951 he received a Stalin Prize of the second degree. In 1957 Cherkasov portrayed Don Quixote in director Grigori Kozintsev's screen adaptation of that novel.
In 1941, Cherkasov was awarded the Stalin Prize; in 1947, he was named a People's Artist of the Soviet Union. He wrote his memoirs, "Notes of a Soviet Actor" in 1951. He died in Leningrad in 1966 and was buried in the Cemetery of Masters at that city's Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
The image of Cherkasov in the role of Alexander Nevsky is on the Soviet Order of Alexander Nevsky, because there are no known lifetime portraits of Nevsky.
The State Museum of City Sculptures was founded in 1932 dedicated to the study, restoration and protection of city sculptures and gravestones and the museum is responsible for the upkeep of many of St Petersburg's most famous sculptures. The museum has several branches around St Petersburg, but the main ones are concentrated within the former territory of the Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra which was granted to the museum upon its founding.
The Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra's Tikhvinskoe Cemetery was established in 1823 and named after the Our Lady of Tikhvin Church which was built here between 1869 and 1873. In 1931 the church was closed and in 1932 the cemetery became a branch of the State Museum of City Sculptures, known as the Necropolis of Masters of Culture. The branch is so named as many leading figures of Russian culture have been laid to rest here including: writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Karamzin and Ivan Krylov; composers Aleksandr Borodin, Mikhail Glinka, Modest Musorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky; and artists Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Kramskoy and Ivan Shishkin, among many more famous names.