Nicholai Konovaloff (Nikolay Nikolaevich Konovalov)
BiographyCrimea, Russian Empire
Trained as a Russian cavalry officer (graduate of the Grand Duke's Miltary Academy in 1913), Konovaloff emigrated from Russia after the Communist seizure of power and victory in the Russian Civil War. The "White Army" lost and its officers, like Konovaloff, sought political asylum abroad. After considering England, he eventually decided to migrate to the USA. Although he claimed to have held the rank of colonel in the Russian Army, once in the USA. he somehow picked up the pseudonym of "Major Nichols. Read more... "Russian Army were much in demand for their equestrian skills. As Konovaloff eventually matured, he was cast in higher military ranks, even generals. (Compare Emil Jannings' character in the 1928 "Last Command.") Konovaloff seems to have worked mainly for MGM in the late 1920s, unfortunately without official screen credit, although his obituary states he acted in at least 2 Garbo vehicles for MGM, "Love" and "Mysterious Lady." For a time in the 1930s he was hired by Paramount, and also worked for other, lesser studios. Ironically, his official screen credits, numbering four, identify him by his true name, "Konovaloff," only in one film, and under his pseudonym, "Major Nichols," in three films. His grandson, also named Nicholai Konovaloff in honor of the old man, now works as a photographer in Sacramento, California. His help was indispensable in putting together this biographical sketch.