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Director Jules Dassin Dies

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Apr 01, 2008 | 6:06am EDT

Filmmaker Jules Dassin has died following a short illness. He was 96.

The director passed away in an Athens, Greece, hospital on Monday.

Dassin, who is best known for his Oscar-winning 1960 movie Never On Sunday, was married to the late Greek actress and culture minister Melina Mercouri.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis says, "Greece grieves the loss of a rare human being, an important creator and a true friend. His passion, energy, fighting spirit and nobility will never be forgotten."

Dassin started his career as an actor and theater producer; his breakthrough came as an assistant to legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in 1940.

He moved to France in the early 1950s after he was named as part of Hollywood's "communist faction" during a House of Representatives un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearing.

Dassin went on to marry Mercouri, who starred in Never On Sunday, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song and for which Dassin received two Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.

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