Every force has an equal and opposite reaction, and Tony Stark's fast-talking, uber-charming, morally flexible father is nothing if not a force of nature. Of course he's got an evil counterpart. Iron Man 2's depiction of Anton Vanko is a little different from the comics'—instead of the Crimson Dynamo or Whiplash, he's a scientist who leaves the villainy to his son—but that doesn't lessen his impact on Tony Stark's story.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Vanko was a longtime Stark Industries employee (he helped Peggy and Jarvis in an episode of Agent Carter) who helped Howard Stark develop the Arc Reactor, the ultra-potent power source that powers Iron Man's suit. However, shortly after Stark and Vanko created the new technology, Vanko was found guilty of espionage and was shipped back to Russia. After a lengthy stint in a Siberia, Vanko returned to civilization to raise his son, turning Ivan Vanko against the Starks and creating Iron Man 2's main villain, Whiplash.
Thankfully, the actor who played Vanko, Yevgeni Lazarev, wasn't quite so twisted in real life. A Russian native, Lazarev was a well-known and accomplished actor in his motherland, where he was honored with the People's Artist of Russia title, the most prestigious government award a Russian performer can attain. On his move to the United States, Lazarev kept right on acting, appearing in films and TV shows like Lord of War, 24, Alias, The West Wing, and many others. He didn't keep all of that experience to himself, either—between roles, Lazarev taught acting at the University of Southern California. He died of a heart attack in 2016, just a few months after returning home from the United States.