Tikhonov is Russian, but I found this interesting quote about his early career at the Russia Info-Centre.
Lots of film directors wanted to film Vyacheslav Tikhonov, yet Mosfilm Studio turned to be inaccessible for the actor for many years (almost all his creative life is associated with M. Gorky Film Studio). It was all due to Ivan Pyryev, who was the director of Mosfilm and looked all the screen tests through: he believed that Tikhonov did not look like a Russian. To him the actor was either an Azerbaijani or an Armenian but no way a Russian.In short: Pyryev thought the man was too good-looking to be a "real" Russian! How insulting to the national image... Tikhonov was clearly a victim of anti-Chirayliqism.
Fortunately, more sensible people understood that Tikhonov's good looks were a boon to Soviet cinema, and he embarked on a long and successful career, creating such iconic characters as Stirlitz, the Soviet super spy. (For more Tikhonov on YouTube, check out this clip with him in uniform, at the piano, singing, whistling (!) and making ladies' eyes twinkle.)