On this day: Popular Greek actor, Alekos Alexandrakis, was born

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By Victoria Loutas and Billy Patramanis.

On this day, the notable Greek actor, Alekos Alexandrakis, was born.

With a theatrical career spanning over 50 years, Alexandrakis was one of the most influential and remarkable actors in the Greek film industry and has left an enduring legacy. 

Early life:

Alekos Alexandrakis was born into a wealthy family, being the son of a lawyer from Mani, Peloponnese. His childhood was filled with literature, elite sports and top tier education, shaping his intellectual worldviews. He excelled at fencing and by age 15 he became a member of the Greek national team.

Alexandrakis in the 1951 film ‘A Night in Paradise’. Source: IMDb

At age sixteen, he decided to enter the School of Trials, with hopes to become a Navy Officer. But instead, he was deeply inspired by a theatrical performance by Karolos Koun, encouraging him to enrol into the Royal Theater. He later studied at the Drama School of the Greek National Theatre. Here he began his noteworthy career in the performing arts.

Career:

On July 9, 1949, Alexandrakis made his stage debut, performing in an Athens production of Daphne Du Maurier’s “Autumn Tide.” His first performance captured the audience and drew rave reviews and grand impressions on the up and coming actor. 

Kathimerini critic, Emilios Chourmouzios, famously wrote of Alekos, “Show weapons. Finally, a lover in the Greek theater.” Alekos’ first performance was certainly an indication of his outstanding career to come. 

Alexandrakis starred in more than 75 movies.

Soon after, the actor was offered to star in movies by Finos Films, a leading Greek production company owned by Filopimin Finos. In the same year, Alekos made his onscreen debut with the film “Two Worlds.” And this was only just the beginning. Alekos continued to star in countless films, becoming famous for his irresistible charm and phenomenal acting skills. 

Whilst excelling in his acting career, he also kept himself busy in his love life, marrying four times, which all unfortunately ended in divorce. However, he remained with his final partner Nonika Galinea for 21 years, although they never married.

As well as acting on stage and on screen, the Greek actor also delved into the world of film production. He directed plays, as well as films such as “Triumph” (1960) with Karydis-Fuchs and “The Dream District” (1961), which was awarded at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

Legacy:

Alexandrakis left behind a huge legacy.

In total, Alekos Alexandrakis starred in more than 75 movies and was a popular figure across Greece in his time. He played significant roles in the theatre and left a memorable mark on each and every member of the audience. 

In the last few years of his life, he passed on his wisdom and expertise, teaching at the Diamantopoulos Workshop in Greece. 

In 2001, Kostantinos Stefanopoulos, the then President of the Hellenic Republic, awarded him with the Golden Cross of the Order of Honour for his contribution to the performing arts in Greece.

Alekos Alexandrakis passed away in 2005 after a long battle with cancer. 

His contributions to the theatrical industry in Greece will forever be cherished and remembered.

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