Lev Sverdlin was born on November 3 (16), 1901 in a Jewish family in Astrakhan, where his father served as an assistant driver. Having been orphaned early, from the age of ten he worked as a boy in a ready-made dress shop, apprentice shoemaker, tailor, carpenter, projectionist, in a pretzel shop and a circus. In 1919-1922 he served in the Red Army. From 1922 he studied at GITIS in Moscow, then transferred to the State Experimental Theater Workshop (GEKTEMAS) under the guidance of Vs. E. Meyerhold, where he studied until 1926. Since 1926 - actor of the State Theater. Su Meyerhold (GosTIM). He worked here until the closure of the theater in 1938. He played in twenty performances Vs. E. Meyerhold. In the years 1938-1941 - actor of the Theater. E. B. Vakhtangov, in 1941–1943 - the Committee on the Affairs of Cinematography of the USSR SNK, in 1943–1969 - the Moscow Drama Theater (since 1954 - named after V. Mayakovsky). Since 1924, starred in the movie. In addition to works in the cinema and theater, he participated in dubbing films and sounding cartoons, worked on the radio. The final work was the play "The Soul of the Poet" Y. O'Neill (1967), where he performed as an actor and director. In 1924–1931, he taught at the Uzbek State Drama Studio at the Uzbek Institute named after IV Stalin in Moscow, from 1962 - artistic director of the acting course at VGIK, from 1963 - at GITIS. He died on August 29, 1969 (according to other sources - August 28 and August 30). He was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery (station number 7).