Valéry Inkijinoff was an oriental-looking Russian actor, frequently credited with just his surname. He was active in Russian silent films and in European films, including a number of Italian productions, from 1930 until 1972.
He was born Walerian Iwanowitsch Inkischinow on March 25th 1895 in Irkutsk, Russia.
After having been retired from the Russian army during World War I due to injuries, he started out as a theatre actor, studying acting under theatre pioneer Vsevolod Meyerhold at the Polytechnical institute of St. Petersburg. Valéry has said in an interview that he began his film career in 1917, initially working as a stuntman, and we have found mentions of him as director and actor in a few other unconfirmed early Russian titles, although this part of his history seems to have been largely erased from the records following his defection. He was reportedly the director of several Soviet state-run film studios in Ukraine in the late 1920’s.
In 1928 he appeared in the internationally acclaimed film Potomok Chingis-Khana, which would have brought him to the attention of European audiences. In 1930, while on a European tour, he defected to France, where it would appear he made his home for the rest of his life. He has said that he had a wife in "the west" and a daughter who died.
Between 1930-38 he appeared in a string of French and European productions in leading or featured roles, usually cast as oriental villains who corrupted innocent white women. In 1935 he appeared in the controversial German production Friesennot, which was used as propaganda by the nazis. His career came to a halt after 1938, presumably due to the war.
He resumed film appearances a decade later, after which he worked steadily, but not prolifically, until 1972, usually in smaller supporting roles playing oriental characters. He reportedly also did a lot of work as a theatre actor in France.
Valéry died, aged 78, on September 26th 1973 in Brunoy, France.
His biography has been compiled from various sources, including a 1971 interview with Valery (thanks to Rudy for helping with translations).
For many years he was confused with somewhat-similar-looking Stefano Ceccarelli who at the time was unidentified, a confusion which continues to linger with several mis-identifications on IMDb and Wikipedia.
- Potomok Chingis-Khana .... Bair, the Mongol (credited)
- La bataille .... Hirata (poster credit as "V. Inkijinoff" / "Inkijinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- La tête d'un homme .... Radek (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Polizeiakte 909 .... Dr. Nitobe Tokeramo (poster credit as "Inkischinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- Amok .... Amok et Maté (credited as "V. Inkijinoff")
- Volga en flammes .... Silatschoff (credited as "V. Inkijinoff")
- Friesennot .... Kommissar Tschernoff (credited as "V. Infijinoff")
- Die letzten Vier von Santa Cruz .... Reeder Alexis Aika (poster credit - role unconfirmed)
- Les bateliers de la Volga .... Kiro (poster credit as "Inkijinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- Wife of General Ling .... General Ling / Mr. Wong (poster credit as "Inkijinoff" - roles unconfirmed)
- La rue sans joie .... Louis Stinner (poster credit as "Inkijinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- Le drame de Shanghaï .... Lee Pang (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Les pirates du rail .... Wang (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- La renégate .... Moktar (poster credit as "Inkijinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- Maya .... Cachemire (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- The Black Rose .... Chinese minister (uncredited)
- La figlia di Mata Hari .... Naos (credited)
- Verrat an Deutschland .... Osaki (poster credit as "Inkijinoff" - role unconfirmed)
- Geliebte Corinna .... Chin (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Michel Strogoff .... Féofor Khan (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Der Arzt von Stalingrad .... Lieutenant colonel Worotilow (credited)
- Il sepolcro indiano .... Yama (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- La tigre di Eschnapur .... Yama (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Il mistero dei tre continenti .... Priest (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Il trionfo di Michele Strogoff .... Amektal (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan .... Taoist High Priest (credited)
- Mon oncle du Texas .... Big Nose (credited)
- I raggi mortali del Dr. Mabuse .... Dr. Krishna (credited)
- Nick Carter va tout casser .... Li-Hang (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- L'uomo di Hong Kong .... Mr. Goh (credited)
- Atout coeur à Tokyo pour OSS 117 .... Yekota (credited)
- Il faut que je tue Monsieur Rumann (TV movie) .... M. Ruhmann (credited)
- La bionda di Pechino .... Fang Ho Kung (credited as "Inkijinoff")
- Les aventuriers .... (credited as "Valery Inkiginoff", but not found)
- Les chevaliers du ciel (TV series) S. 1, Eps. 1-4 .... Mr. X (credited in all episodes)
- Les chevaliers du ciel (TV series) S. 2, Eps. 1-3 .... Le Képala (credited)
- Le pistolere .... Spitring Bull (credited)
- Tang (TV series) unknown episodes .... Tang (credited)
- Le fils du ciel (TV series) unknown episodes .... Minh (credited? - role unconfirmed)
- Sortilèges d'Ondine (1917) This title is mentioned in a 1971 interview as being his film debut. As best as I can work out from the details provided this must be the French title for Russian production Silnyi chelovek, but I've been unable to confirm this.
- Rasplata (1926) Kinotv.com as director (reportedly lost)
- Vor (1927) Kinotv.com as director (reportedly lost)
- Kometa (1929) Notrecinema.com as actor and director (reportedly lost)
- Le capitaine jaune (1930) IMDb as Maitre'd in the Mongol hotel. (note that the images on the Unifrance website entry for this film actually come from Potomok Chingis-Khana)
- Journey to the Lost City (1960) IMDb as Yama. This was a combination of Il sepolcro indiano and La tigre di Eschnapur, cut down and edited together for the American market. Beware that the title purporting to be this film on rarefilm is actually an English-dubbed print of Il sepolcro indiano.
- Les hommes veulent vivre (1961) IMDb
Titles where Valéry is listed as appearing somewhere online, but cannot be found. There always has to be one.
- Ursus gladiatore ribelle (1962) IMDb as Torturer. He is mis-identified in the role played by Stefano Ceccarelli.
- Matchless (1967) IMDb as Hypnotist. It is not Valery in this role.
- The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968) IMDb as Mafia guy in sauna. Once again mis-identified in the role played by Stefano Ceccarelli.