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Oleg Vidov, Soviet actor who defected to US, dies at 73

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/16/2017 CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oleg Vidov, a matinee idol in the Soviet Union who defected to the United States at the height of the Cold War and then enjoyed a long acting career in Hollywood, has died.

His wife, Joan Borsten Vidov, says he died Monday at their home near Los Angeles of complications from cancer. He was 73.

The blond, blue-eyed film star's movie-hero roles made him a top Russian box office draw through the 1970s.

In 1985 Vidov orchestrated an escape to the West through Yugoslavia and landed in California, where he was dubbed the "Soviet Robert Redford."

Vidov appeared in films including "Red Heat" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Wild Orchid" with Mickey Rourke.

Later he became a producer and restored Russian animated films dating back to the 1930s.

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