Born in the picturesque Ternopil region of Ukraine, Gregory Hlady (Hryhorii Hladiy), moved from Lviv to Kyiv upon completing high school and graduated from the Karpenko-Karyi Theater Institute with a degree in acting and cinema. Compelled by an interest in directing, he enrolled in the directors’ program at the State Institute of Theatre Arts in Moscow, where he studied under the tutelage of the gifted Russian director, Anatoly Vassiliev. As one of Vassiliev’s outstanding graduates he quickly became one of the most sought-after stage and cinema actors and directors in Eastern Europe.
However, Hlady’s approach to theater was not well received by the Soviet authorities. So, in 1989 he left Kyiv for Tallinn, Estonia. In 1990, however, a contract to perform in “Six Characters in Search of an Author” took him to Montreal. His French-language production of Franz Kafka’s “Amerika” brought him critical acclaim in both Montreal and Brussels. But it was his production of Harold Pinter‘s “The Homecoming” that won him Quebec Theater Critics’ Award for best directing in the 1991-1992 season.
While directing plays as diverse as Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” (Lausanne, Switzerland), Ionesco’s “Exit the King” and Sophocles’ “Electra” (Montreal), Hlady has also conducted master classes in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Ukraine. In 2000 he rejoined Vassiliev’s company to play Salieri in “Salieri and Mozart” in Rome. In 2002, he appeared in the Paramount film, The Sum of All Fears and played the lead in Kim Nguyern’s feature film, Le marais (2002).
Mr. Hlady speaks English, French, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian, and makes his home in Montreal.