Celebrated Greek actress Irene Papas dead at 96
Born near Corinth, iconic beauty Papas was internationally acclaimed for her roles in Zorba the Greek and The Guns of Navarone, among other films
Internationally acclaimed actress Irene Papas passed away at the age of 96, the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Wednesday.
A rare, iconic beauty, Papas was considered a symbol of Mediterranean culture.
“Majestic, stately, dynamic, Irene Papas was the personification of Greek beauty on the cinema screen and on the stage, an international star who radiated Greekness. With the power of her talent and the charm of her personality, she conquered the world of cinema and theater,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement.
Papas was born Irene Lelekou on Sept. 3, 1926 in a village outside Corinth.
He acting career started with theater plays, while in 1951 she moved to the big screen.
She personified strong female roles from ancient tragedy like Antigone, which earned her an award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1961 for best actress and in 1962 at the Thessaloniki International Festival for her role in Electra.
She became internationally acclaimed in the 1961 film The Guns of Navarone along with Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, while in 1964 she again co-starred with Quinn in the legendary Zorba the Greek.
Papas acted in over 70 films worldwide in a career spanning more than 50 years.
In 1972, Vangelis – the Greek composer who later won an Oscar for his Chariots of Fire soundtrack – convinced her to try her singing talent, and she was featured on the concept album 666, the last studio offering from Vangelis’ music group Aphrodite's Child.
In 2004 she revealed to Italian daily Corriere della Sera that in 1954, she started a long secret love affair with actor Marlon Brando when they met in Rome.
In 2018 it was revealed that Papas had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the last five years.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.