WASHINGTON: Greek actor Irene Papas, who shot to fame after films like ‘Zorba the Greek,’ ‘Z’ and ‘The Guns of Navarone,’ passed away at 93.
On Wednesday, Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sports confirmed the news in a statement.
According to Variety, over the course of a career spanning nearly six decades, Papas appeared in over 70 films and theatrical shows, including both Hollywood productions and French and Italian films. She additionally played numerous roles in Greek tragedies, including as the main character in the 1961 movie version of “Antigone.”
In the 1940s and 1950s, Papas worked on numerous film and television productions, including ‘The Man from Cairo,’ ‘The Unfaithfuls,’ ‘Bouboulina,’ and ‘Attila,’ among others. Papas was born on Sept. 3, 1929, in the town of Chiliomodi near Corinth.
She started her acting training as a teenager. She appeared as a supporting character in Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn’s 1961 film ‘The Guns of Navarone.’ In Michael Cacoyannis’ 1964 dramedy ‘Zorba the Greek,’ which won three Oscars, Papas subsequently featured opposite Quinn and Alan Bates.
Numerous other well-known movies that Papas appeared in include ‘Anne of a Thousand Days,’ ‘Vortice,’ ‘Tribute to a Bad Man,’ ‘The Missing Scientists,’ ‘Brotherhood,’ ‘The Message,’ ‘Electra,’ and ‘Z,’ a 1969 Oscar-winning political thriller in which Papas portrayed the widow of a politician who was assassinated (Yves Montand).
In the romantic drama “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” directed by John Madden and starring Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, and John Hurt, she played one of her last significant parts.
There was no mention of the cause of her death. But according to a 2018 report, Papas had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for five years.