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Little is known about Vladimir's life prior to his encounter with Anya and Dimitri. However, Vladimir revealed to Anya that he used to be a member of the Imperial Court of Russia, allowing him to see much royalty throughout his lifetime.
10 years following the brutal execution of the Romanov family, rumours of the youngest Romanov Grand Duchess Anastasia's escape spread quickly throughout St. Petersburg, catching the attention of Vladimir and his young confidante, Dimitri. Although Vladimir was hoping to receive the Dowager Empress' reward money almost as much as Dimitri was, he was also glad to help Anya find her family, and guided her with a great amount of sensitivity and gentleness.
- Gary Sinise, Eric Idle, John Lithgow, John Cleese and the late Robin Williams were all considered for the role of Vladimir before Kelsey Grammer was cast.