Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (Russian) (see comments)

Occupation: Espionage agent, industrial spy, saboteur

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Former agent of the Red Barbarian; agents of Communist Government of USSR

Enemies: Iron Man (Tony Stark)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Nikita Khrushchev," "Red Barbarian," "Sir Reginald," "Tony Stark," unidentified U.S. senator (and numerous unidentified others whom he has impersonated)

Base of Operations: Washington, D.C., USA; originally from Russia

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#42/1 (June, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: The Actor was a master of impersonation. He could adjust his own "rubbery" facial structure so that with a little make-up, and perhaps a wig and body padding, he could appear virtually identical to almost anyone. He could perform rapid changes, duplicating the appearance of others within a few minutes of seeing only a photograph of them.

The Actor was also skilled in espionage, and had some degree of training in armed and unarmed combat. He sometimes worked with other communist spies or soldiers.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eye: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

(Tales of Suspense I#42/1) - Next to nothing is known of the past of the man known only as the Actor. He was first seen when he appeared before the Russian Communist general known as the Red Barbarian. The Barbarian had been unsuccessful in obtaining the plans for a disintegrator ray under construction at Stark Industries. The Actor went into the Red Barbarian's office, posing as Nikita Khrushchev, throwing the Barbarian off guard, but then revealed himself and offered his aid. The Actor further demonstrated his skill by making himself look like the Red Barbarian.

   Seeing that the Actor was a genius at impersonation, the Barbarian showed him a photograph of Tony Stark; moments later, the Actor became the exact likeness of the millionaire inventor, and the Actor claimed he could even impersonate Iron Man. Realizing that he had found the perfect agent to steal the plans for Stark's new invention, the Barbarian promised the Actor anything he wished if he succeeded... however, if he failed, the Red Barbarian swore he would nail his hide to the wall! But the Actor assured him that he wouldn't fail, because he would be giving the performance of his life, and the two drank a toast to the double defeat of Anthony Stark and Iron Man.

   The Actor flew by commercial jet to the USA by posing as film star Sir Reginald (see comments). The next day, he disguised himself as a U.S. senator and sent a telegram to Tony Stark, requesting Stark to attend an emergency meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; then the Actor contacted three local Communist spies to assist him.

   With the real Stark lured away to attend the false meeting, the Actor once again disguised himself as the millionaire inventor, while the three spies wore U.S. military uniforms; the group easily passed by security and entered the labs of Stark Industries. They succeeded in not only obtaining the plans for the disintegrator ray, but the Actor himself found spare parts from Iron Man's armor--he came to the conclusion that Stark was Iron Man! But the Actor decided to keep Stark's dual-identity a secret, in case he ever needed an ace-in-the-hole to redeem himself for some blunder. The Actor put the plans in a briefcase, then got on a private airliner and returned to the USSR, leaving his three agents at Stark Industries to terminate the real Tony Stark. But fortunately when Stark returned, his armor's chestplate protected him from the spies' gunshots; he quickly put on the rest of his armor, captured the spies, and forced a full confession from them.

   Iron Man caught up with the Actor by using a rocket to arrive in the USSR minutes before him. After intercepting the Actor's car, Iron Man suspended it in a tree; retaking the briefcase with the plans, Iron Man left the Actor trapped within the twisted wreckage of his vehicle.

   Now posing as the Actor impersonating Iron Man, the real Iron Man traveled to the Red Barbarian's headquarters, where he fooled the Barbarian by telling him that the briefcase with the plans was an explosive booby-trap, and because of the time-lock, it couldn't be opened for another four hours. Promising the Red Barbarian that he would return after the time-lock had expired, Iron Man went back to the Actor and freed the entrapped spy from his metal prison before returning to the USA.

   When the real Actor went to the Red Barbarian, he hoped his information about Iron Man's real identity would allow him to be forgiven for failing to get the plans for the weapon. However, the Red Barbarian saw that the Actor didn't have the plans, and when the Actor said nothing about the time-locked briefcase, the infuriated Barbarian slammed him against a wall, because he thought the Actor was lying so he could claim credit for stealing the plans all for himself. Before the Actor could reveal the secret of Iron Man's true identity, the Red Barbarian had him shot as a traitor.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein, and Don Heck.

The Actor's impersonation of film star Sir Reginald was never clearly depicted in the story; the real Sir Reginald was supposedly making a movie in Italy.

The Actor was probably skilled at mimicking voices as well, to add credence to his impersonations. Maybe the Actor picked up some tips on impersonation from fellow Russian Dmitri Anatoly Smerdyakov Kraviinoff, aka the Chameleon.

I wonder if the Actor could have been a minor metamorphic mutant--not quite at the level of the Changeling or Mystique, but just enough that he could alter the appearance of his face only.

The Actor's ability to reshape his "rubbery" face reminds me of the old pulp-magazine character Richard Henry Benson, aka The Avenger, who could reshape his paralyzed face like modelling clay into the likeness of any person--Ron Fredricks

The Actor in Russian is Aktor.

Thanks to Dennis Giansante for providing a color scan for the original profile.

Profile by Snood. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

The Actor has no known connections to:

Tony Stark's disintegrator ray has no known connections to:

Tony Stark's disintegrator ray

A pocket-sized device small enough to be installed within a common hand-held flashlight case, it projected a beam that could dematerialize any earthly substance upon which it was aimed.

Stark demonstrated it to Pentagon officials at the proving grounds of his lab; he used it to disintegrate a military tank, and also vaporized a section of a wall.

Although the officials were impressed by the power of the ray, Stark admitted there were still a few "bugs" in it--including consistency of performance, enlargement problems, and so forth--before it was perfected.

Stark kept the plans for this device in a file cabinet drawer at Stark Industries. The plans were temporarily stolen by the Actor, until Stark recovered them as Iron Man.

--Tales of Suspense I#42/1

images: (without ads)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p7, pan7 (main image - Actor)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p6, pan6 (Actor takes off Khrushchev disguise and introduces himself to Red Barbarian)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p6, pan7 (Actor [right]  makes himself resemble Red Barbarian)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p6, pan4 (Actor disguised as Nikita Krushchev)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p7, pan3 (Actor disguised as Tony Stark)

Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p8, pan2 (Actor disguised as unidentified U.S. senator)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p13, pan7 (Actor [right] about to be executed by Red Barbarian's soldier)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p4, pan6 (Tony Stark uses disintegrator ray to dematerialize a tank)
Tales of Suspense I#42/1, p4, pan7 (disintegrator ray vaporizes section of wall)

Tales of Suspense I#42/1 (June, 1963) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Robert Bernstein (writer), Don Heck (artist), E. Thomas (letters)

First posted: 10/07/2001
Last updated: 02/10/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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