Son and namesake of the internationally renowned operatic bass, Chaliapin moved to Hollywood from Paris to get out from under his father's shadow and began playing bit parts in silent films. He carved a niche for himself as a reliable character actor, one of his finest moments being his death in the arms of Gary Cooper at the start of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943).
After WWII Chaliapin moved to Italy, where he continued his film acting career. It was not until late in life, though, that he really made his mark, when an ill John Huston had to back out of playing the blind, murderous monk Jorge of Burgos in "The Name of the Rose" (1986). His career enjoyed a brief resurgence after that, and in "Stanley and Iris" he enjoyed a fine part as Robert De Niro's father. Chaliapin's best known role was his delightful turn as the dog-walking grandfather in "Moonstruck" (1987), forever greeting the moon with cries of "La luna! La luna!."
Cast (Feature Film)
Emigrated from Russia with his family, whose first move was to Paris
Enjoyed newfound critical acclaim and popular attention after his performance in "The Name of the Rose"
Co-starred in "Moonstruck"
Last film, "The Inner Circle"