Athens, Greece –
Irene Papas, the Greek actress and entertainer renowned for her dramatic performances and austere beauty that earned her starring roles in Hollywood films as well as French and Italian cinema for six decades, has died. She was 93 years old.
The Greek Ministry of Culture confirmed his death on Wednesday.
“Gorgeous, majestic, dynamic, Irene Papas was the personification of Greek beauty on the cinema screen and on the theatrical stage, an international grande dame who radiated Greekness,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement. communicated.
Papas rose to international prominence after performances in “The Guns of Navarone” in 1961 and “Zorba the Greek” in 1964, alongside Hollywood stars Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn. In all, she acted in more than 50 films.
Born Irene Lelekou in a mountainous village near the city of Corinth in southern Greece, Papas was the daughter of two schoolteachers. Her father was also a theater teacher.
Papas left home at 18 to marry Greek director Alkis Papas despite his family’s disapproval. They divorced four years later. After the death of American actor Marlon Brando in 2004, Papas revealed in an interview with an Italian newspaper that the two had been romantically involved.
A supporter of the Greek Communist Party, Papas was a vocal opponent of the military dictatorship who ruled the country between 1967 and 1974 and lived much of her life outside of Greece, notably in Rome and New York.
Papas was also known for her appearance in ancient Greek tragedies. Many of his iconic international film roles were won playing Greek characters. But she also starred with Kirk Douglas in the 1968 crime drama “Brotherhood” and with James Cagney in the 1956 Western “Tribute to a Bad Man.”
Greek art institutions thanked Papas for supporting young actors. The Athens-based Greek Film Center described her as “Greek’s biggest international film star”, adding: “Her image is a timeless imprint of Greek feminine beauty”.