Legendary Georgian puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze passes away

Legendary Georgian puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze passes away

One of the Soviet art world's most famous figures, Georgian theatre director Rezo Gabriadze, has passed away at 84 in Tbilisi.

News of his death was announced by officials and confirmed by relatives.

Gabriadze was known internationally for exquisite puppet theatre productions such as his poignant depiction of the Battle of Stalingrad.

He also wrote the scripts of some of the USSR's most popular films. His comedies included Mimino (1977), about the life of a pilot, and the cult sci-fi film Kin-dza-dza (1986).

Another of his more than 35 screenplays, Don't Grieve (1969), transposed the tragicomic French novel My Uncle Benjamin to Georgia. He won awards in Georgia, the USSR and Russia, BBC reported.

A profile on the website of his puppet theatre in Tbilisi records that he was also a film and stage director, a painter and a sculptor. But he channelled much of his creativity into his puppet work.

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