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Anatoly Efros, Head of Taganka Theater, Dies

January 13, 1987 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) _ Anatoly Efros, a Soviet stage producer who fell from favor in the 1960s but became head of Moscow’s famed Taganka Theater after Yuri Lyubimov failed to return from the West, died Tuesday, the Tass news agency said.

Efros was 61.

Tass said Efros died of a heart attack. It praised him as a ″prominent Soviet cultural figure″ who had mounted productions of plays by authors ranging from Nikolai Gogol and Moliere to Tennessee Williams.

In 1967, Efros was fired from his job as chief artistic director of the Lenin Komsomol Theater and criticized for ″chasing after fashion″ and producing a play with a hero consumed by ″inertia and fear.″

He was transferred from the Komsomol to a minor Moscow theater and later surfaced at the Malaya Bronnaya Theater, where he was praised for ″the knack of having a dialogue with audiences on the acutest problems of our time.″

In 1978, he went to Minneapolis to produce one of Gogol’s plays, ″The Marriage,″ at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater. He also worked with a Japanese theater company.

Efros became the Taganka’s chief director in 1984 after Lyubimov, a pioneering stage figure, refused to return to the Soviet Union from the West, where he had gone to produce his stage version of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s ″Crime and Punishment.″

In 1985 Efros was awarded the Red Banner of Labor, a high Soviet decoration, on his 60th birthday.

Efros wrote three books on the theater - ″Rehearsals: My Love,″ ″Profession: Theater Director″ and ″A Continuation of the Theatrical Story.″