Mikhail Nikolaevitch Baryshnikov (Михаил Николаевич Баришников, also transliterated as Baryshinikov or Barishinikov) is a famous ballet dancer, born in January 28th, 1948, in Riga, then-capital of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic. Baryshnikov's father was an engineer and his mother a dressmaker.
He first entered an ballet academy at the age of fifteen. Due to his talents, he was allowed to enter Leningrad's Kirov Ballet in 1966. During Kirov's tour through Canada in 1974, Baryshnikov disappeared for several days, only reappering in American territory, where he applied for political asylum. Just after a short tour with Manitoba's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, he switched to the American Ballet, and later to George Balanchine's New York City Ballet. From them on, Mikhail Baryshnikov starred on several Broadway and Hollywood musicals. He received an Oscar nomination for his first film, 1977's The Turning Point.