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Greek film, stage actor Nikos Kourkoulos dies January 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek, Stage & Theater.
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Greek film and stage actor Nikos Kourkoulos, who appeared with Melina Mercouri in a Broadway musical and ran the Greek National Theater for the past 13 years, died of cancer in Athens Tuesday aged 73, hospital officials said.

Kourkoulos was married to Marianna Latsis, daughter of Greek shipping billionaire John Latsis.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis expressed his condolences to Kourkoulos’ family, describing the actor as “one of the country’s most important contemporary actors.” “He was not only one of the best of the golden age of Greek cinema, but also one of the most dedicated reformers of modern Greek theater,” Karamanlis said.

Athens-born Kourkoulos made his stage debut in 1958, and became one of the country’s most popular leading men. He appeared in dozens of Greek films from the 1950s to the early 1980s, and a large number of stage productions.

In 1967, he appeared with Greek actress and Socialist politician Melina Mercouri in the Broadway musical “Ilya Darling,” for which he was nominated for a Tony award as a best supporting actor.

Kourkoulos’ last stage appearance was in a 1991 production of Sophocles’ “Philoctetes” play, at the restored ancient theater of Epidaurus in southern Greece. He was appointed artistic director of the National Theater in Athens in 1994.

“He was talented, good looking and passionate about his work,” fellow actor Costas Kazakos said. “He never stopped working … it’s true to say he was a star.”

Kourkoulos is survived by Marianna Latsis and the couple’s two children. He had another two children from a previous marriage. He will be buried in Athens’ Zographou cemetery on Wednesday.

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