Now only is Mikhail Baryshnikov one of the leading dancers of the 20th century, he is also a celebrated actor! Born in Riga, Latvia, on January 27, 1948, Mikhail began dazzling audiences with his ballet artistry throughout his teens. Despite his fame in Soviet Russia, Mikhail decided to defect to Canada in 1974 to explore other dance companies, eventually landing in the United States with the American Ballet Company, where he became the artistic director in 1980. In the decades following, he became a leader in organizing dance troupes and companies throughout the world. In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
After Mikhail began to direct dance more than perform it, he turned his eye toward Tinseltown and began his acting career. His first foray into Hollywood was quite the success! Playing a womanizing ballet dancer in 1977’s The Turning Point, Mikhail earned himself a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Then, in the last season of HBO’s Sex and the City, he found himself a new legion of fans as Russian artist Aleksandr Petrovsky, who romances Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw and flies her off to Paris.
In his personal life, Mikhail found amazing success as well. He dated Oscar winner Jessica Lange for four years before welcoming their daughter Aleksandra (Shura). He would go on to marry former ballerina Lisa Rinehart in 2006. Over their decades-long relationship, they would welcome son Peter and daughters Anna and Sofia. Find out all about his four wonderful offspring, below!
Born in March 1981, Shura would find huge success following in her father’s dancing footsteps. After studying theatre and contemporary dance at Marlboro College, she would go on to co-found a number of dance projects, including Doppelgänger Dance Collective, according to her website. Shura is also the Head of Physical Theatre for the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University where she has taught since 2011. She has instructed at MIT, Dean College, and Connecticut College.
Shura is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association, starring in a production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at Boston’s Bridge Repertory Theater and in Trinity Rep’s production of the musical Oklahoma! Which might be the reason she is also the apple of her mother’s eye. “Having children gives you a perspective you didn’t have before,” Jessica told AARP in 2016. “You are no longer the center of the universe. It opened my heart, made me a different person. Every move you make is with someone else in mind. I loved being a mother more than anything else in the world.”
The only son of Mikhail, Peter, 32, tried his hand at his father’s forte. “I took one or two dance classes just to try it, and a course in middle school, which I loved,” Peter told The New York Times in 2013. “But it was just for fun.” After discovering he wanted to say in the arts discipline, he went for his degree in photography from the Art Institute of Boston. Since then, he has shown his work in successful solo shows across the country.
He also has a strong bond with his father over their love of the arts and appreciates their differences. “He’s always been more interested in the abstract, and he draws a lot from painting,” Peter told the outlet. “My work is more content-based, it’s more about things.”
Born May 22, 1992, Anna decided to try her hand at Hollywood, much like her father. At the age of 24, she appeared in Manchester by the Sea alongside Michelle Williams in 2016. At the premiere, Mikhail told Page Six, “She’s had theater training. She went to Northwestern and at first we resisted but she always wanted to be onstage. Some say her work could win an award. What are awards? I don’t even care about my own award. She is my award.”
More recently, Anna has starred opposite Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson’s eccentric sister, Vinnie, on the hit AppleTV+ show, Dickinson. The show ran for three seasons and won a Peabody Award after its first year.
Sofia is the youngest of the Baryshnikov brood, born May 24, 1994. Sofia is very private and does not have much of a social media footprint. She has accompanied her father and mother on a few red carpet events over the past several years, including a Van Gogh exhibit in New York City in 2021.
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