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Actress Irene Papas has passed away at age 96

The Greek actress starred in many blockbuster films including 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' and 'Zorba the Greek'

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Actress Irini Papas passed away this morning (14/9) at the age of 96, leaving us a great legacy of her performances in film and theater.

A simple, archaic, Doric figure, and a symbol of Greek beauty, she represented Mediterranean culture abroad.  And as a charismatic and dynamic woman, Irene Papas became internationally known for her acting skills and her wit.

During her years in the film industry, she has played major female roles in theater and cinema, fully embodying the power of ancient tragedy.

She was born on 3 September 1929 in Chiliomodi, Corinthia as Irini Lelekou.  Throughout her life as a Greek actress and singer, she starred in over 70 films in a career spanning more than 50 years.  She gained international recognition through such popular award-winning films as The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Zorba the Greek (1964). She was a powerful protagonist in films including The Trojan Women (1971) and Iphigenia (1977). She played the title roles in Antigone (1961) and Electra (1962).  She also played the memorable Drosoula in Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001).

Papas won Best Actress awards at the Berlin International Film Festival for Antigone and from the National Board of Review for The Trojan Women. Her career awards include the Golden Arrow Award in 1993 at Hamptons International Film Festival and the Golden Lion Award in 2009 at the Venice Biennale.

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