The Greek actress Irene Papas has died this Wednesday at the age of 96, as announced by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.
During her career of more than 50 years, she dedicated herself to both cinema and theater, in which her important roles consecrated her internationally as the “great dame of Greek theater”, as well as becoming the Hellenic symbol of beauty and Mediterranean culture. .
Papas was born in 1926 in a village near Corinth, although her family moved to Athens when she was seven years old, and at fifteen she began her career as a radio actress, singer and dancer.
As early as the 1950s, she embodied Greek heroines such as Antigone in the National Theater of Greece and on the big screen, earning her critical acclaim.
However, her fame was not catapulted to the international scene until her performance in “The Guns of Navarone” (The Guns of Navarone, 1961), “Electra” (1962) and “Zorba, the Greek” (Alexis Zorbas, 1964), which were nominated for the Oscars.
But her fame did not save him from exile. In 1967 she started a military dictatorship in Greece that the actress rejected, which is why she went first to Italy and then to New York along with other artists.
During her exile both in Rome and in Hollywood she continued her work as an actress, and she collaborated with directors such as Franco Zeffirelli, Franco Rossi or Costas Gavras.
She even had a love affair with the famous actor Marlon Brando and, after his death, the actress confessed that he was the love of her life.
After the fall of the military junta in 1974, Irenes Papas was able to return to her country, and in 1995 she was decorated with the insignia of the Order of the Phoenix, which was awarded to her by the then President of the Hellenic Republic, Kostís Stefanópulos.
In 2018 she announced that she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for five years.
The Greek actress has participated in more than 70 films, giving her great prestige in the world of cinema and theater.
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