Irene Papas, the Greek actress known for films such as “Zorba the Greek”, “Z” and “The Guns of Navarone”, has died. She was 93.
Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports confirmed the news Wednesday in a statement.
Papas has starred in more than 70 films and stage productions over her career spanning nearly six decades, from Hollywood movies to French and Italian cinema. She also appeared in dozens of Greek tragedies, including the title role in the 1961 film adaptation of Antigone.
Born on September 3, 1929 in the village of Chiliomodi near Corinth, Papas began her acting studies as a teenager and later worked on multiple film and TV projects in the 1940s and 1950s, including “The Man from Cairo,” Among others, The Unfaithfuls’, ‘Bouboulina’ and ‘Attila’.
In 1961, she played a supporting role in “The Guns of Navarone” with Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn. Papas went on to star opposite Quinn and Alan Bates in Michael Cacoyannis’ 1964 drama Zorba the Greek, which won three Oscars.
Other notable film credits include “Anne of a Thousand Days,” “Vortice,” “Tribute to a Bad Man,” “The Missing Scientists,” “Brotherhood,” “The Message,” “Electra,” and “Z,” the Met a Oscar-winning 1969 political thriller in which Papas plays the widow of a murdered politician (Yves Montand).
One of her last major roles came in 2001 in John Madden’s romantic drama Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, starring Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz and John Hurt.
A cause of death was not given. However, an announcement in 2018 stated that Papas had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for five years.