Lyubimov, who was also at times critical of President Vladimir
Putin, founded the Taganskaya Theatre in Moscow in 1964.
His theater became one of the best-known in the Soviet Union and
performers included the likes of musician and social commentator
"It's not just a death. It's the end of an era," said Soviet and
Russian writer Edvard Radzinsky, speaking on state television.
In 1984, Lyubimov angered the Soviet authorities when he
criticized them in an interview with The Times for prohibiting
his staging of Alexander Pushkin's play Boris Godunov.
The leadership responded by stripping him of his citizenship,
and he did not return to his country until 1988. During his time
in exile, Lyubimov put on a number of productions, including in
London and Chicago.
Lyubimov's wife, Katalin Lyubimova, told state news agency TASS
that her husband had died in his sleep. He had been in hospital
since Oct. 2 for heart failure.
He quit the Taganskaya in 2011, angered by the actors in his
troupe demanding to be paid upfront. The actors denied the
Putin, whom Lyubimov criticized for his role in the second
Chechen War, sent his condolences to Lyubimov's family and loved
(Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
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