Irene Papas, the Greek actress and recording artist known for her dramatic performances and striking beauty, which earned her prominent roles in Hollywood, French, and Italian films over six decades, has died. She was 93 years old.
Her death was confirmed by the Greek Culture Ministry on Wednesday.
“Magnificent, majestic, dynamic, Irene Papas was the personification of Greek beauty on the cinema screen and on the theatre stage, an international leading lady who radiated Greekness,” says Culture Minister Lina Mendoni in a statement.
Performing in more than 50 films overall, Papas rose to prominence after appearing in “The Guns of Navarone” in 1961 and “Zorba the Greek” in 1964, alongside Hollywood stars Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.
Many of her iconic international film roles were as Greek characters. She did, however, appear alongside Kirk Douglas in the 1968 crime drama “Brotherhood,” and with James Cagney in the 1956 Western “Tribute to a Bad Man.”
Papas was also well-known for her roles in Greek tragedies.
Following 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.
Papas, a supporter of the Greek Communist Party, was a vocal opponent of the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. She spent much of her life outside of Greece, including in Rome and New York.