Melina Mercouri

Actor, Singer, Politician
Fiery, smoky-voiced Greek stage and screen actress with green eyes and natural blonde hair, adept at both drama and comedy. Melina Mercouri was in many ways a parallel figure to stars ranging from Hollywoodites Susan ... Read more »
Born: 10/18/1923 in Athens, Georgia, USA


Actor (19)

The Struggle For Democracy 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)


Keine Zufallige Geschichte 1982 (Movie)


A Dream of Passion 1978 (Movie)

Maya (Actor)

Nasty Habits 1977 (Movie)

Sister Gertrude (Actor)

Once Is Not Enough 1975 (Movie)

Karta (Actor)

Gaily, Gaily 1969 (Movie)

Queen Lil (Actor)

La Promesse de l'aube 1969 (Movie)


10:30 P.M. Summer 1966 (Movie)

Maria (Actor)

A Man Could Get Killed 1965 (Movie)

Aurora Celeste da Costa (Actor)

Topkapi 1964 (Movie)

Elizabeth Lipp (Actor)

Phaedra 1962 (Movie)

Phaedra (Actor)

The Victors 1962 (Movie)

Magda (Actor)

Never On Sunday 1960 (Movie)

Ilya (Actor)

The Last Judgement 1960 (Movie)


Where the Hot Winds Blows! 1960 (Movie)


The Gypsy and the Gentleman 1958 (Movie)

Belle (Actor)

He Who Must Die 1957 (Movie)

Katerina (Actor)

Stella 1957 (Movie)

Stella (Actor)
Music (1)

Munich 2005 (Movie)

("Never On Sunday") (Song Performer)


Fiery, smoky-voiced Greek stage and screen actress with green eyes and natural blonde hair, adept at both drama and comedy. Melina Mercouri was in many ways a parallel figure to stars ranging from Hollywoodites Susan Hayward and Joan Crawford to Italy's Sophia Loren and Anna Magnani, with a star persona manifesting an outsize personality, a penchant for melodrama and a riveting lust for life. An established stage performer by the early 1950s, she made her film debut as a free-living bouzouki cafe singer in 1955 in Michael Cacoyannis' Greek-language film, "Stella," which was expressly written for her. Mercouri achieved international stardom with a number of features directed by the expatriate American director Jules Dassin, whom she married in 1966 and with whom she collaborated on nine films. Among these, audiences probably best remember Mercouri's delightful, performance as a sentimental, happy-go-lucky prostitute in her signature film, "Never on Sunday" (1960). She also brought her volatile screen persona to "Phaedra" (1961), an old-fashioned star vehicle disguised as updated Greek mythology, and was suitably tongue-in-cheek in the enjoyable caper escapade, "Topkapi" (1964) and middling spy adventure, "A Man Could Get Killed" (1966).


Irene Eliopoulos


Jules Dassin

married 1966 born December 18, 1911 met in 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival where Mercouri's film "Stella" was shown American left the US after being blacklisted during the HUAC hearings Swiss resident had previously been married to Beatrice Launer (1933-62)

Panayiotis Harokopos

married c. 1942 eloped was in his thirties at the time divorced his wife, a Romanian dancer, to marry Mercouri Cambridge-educated divorced

Stamatis Mercouri

legislator Minister of (Greek) Interior deputy mayor of Athens ran off with an actor before divorce

Spiro Mercouri

campaign manager for sister's mayoral bid


National Theater Academy



Underwent surgery in February to remove a small tumor from her right lung; complications set in


Returned to her post as Minister of Culture in October


Lost her bid to become Mayor of Athens with a 46% of the local vote


Diagnosed with lung cancer


Elected member of Greek Parliament for the Port of Piraeus


Lost bid for seat in Greek Parliament by a narrow margin


Regained Greek citizenship


Starred on Broadway in "Lysistrata"


Broadway musical debut, "Ilya, Darling"; received a Tony nomination as Best Actress in a musical; after Colonels' Junta, made a spech onstage about what was happening in Greece


Greek citizenship revoked; restored in 1974


Left Greece during the reign of the Colonels' Junta; her films and songs were banned and a warrant was issued for her arrest; eventually lost her Greek citizenship


Breakthrough film, "Never on Sunday"


First film with director Dassin, "He Who Must Die"


Film debut in Michael Cacoyannis's "Stella", Mercouri's only film in Greek


First met Jules Dassin at the Cannes Film Festival where "Stella" was screened


Appeared on Greek stage in "Stella"


Made stage debut

Helped found the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in the 1970s after the overthrow of the Greek Colonels

Appointed Minister of Culture and Sciences for the Greek government during which time she lobbied for the return of the Elgin Marbles, abolished museum fees for all Greeks and initiated the building of a new Acropolis Museum; new little provincial theater

Named Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports

Moved to Paris with Dassin


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