Irene Papas, legendary Greek actress, dies at 93

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Irene Papas, the Greek actress and entertainer renowned for her dramatic performances and austere beauty that earned her prominent roles in Hollywood films as well as French and Italian cinema for six decades, is dead. 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. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described her as a source of “admiration and inspiration” for generations of Greeks.

Papas rose to worldwide 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 the mountainous village of Chiliomodi, Papas was the daughter of two schoolteachers. Her father also taught drama.

She left home at 18 to marry Greek director Alkis Papas despite her 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 Communist Party of Greece, Papas was a vocal opponent of the military dictatorship who ruled the country between 1967 and 1974 and lived much of his life outside 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”.

Papas publicly joked that she was often quoted as being three years older than her actual age. She began an interview in 2004 with Greek state television saying, “I was born on September 3, 1929. All the newspapers are there in Chiliomodi”, which is located near the city of Corinth in southern Greece. Greece.



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