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Maria Alkaiou

Actress
She was born in 1915 in Athens to actor Nikos Papageorgiou and actress Sappho Alkaiou. She made her first theatrical steps at a very young age, in her godmother Kyveli’s company. Later she studied at the Drama School of the National Theater of Greece and, in 1934, she became a member of the Hellenic Actors Union. Her official debut with the National Theater was in 1935, when she participated in Matesis’s Vassilikos and George Bernard Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple. Since then and for many years thereafter, she appeared in many National Theater productions, interpreting numerous major roles of the Greek and international repertoire. She married Titos Vandis, Vyron Kolasis and Vasilis Diamantopoulos (in that order). In 1958, she left the National Theater to found, together with Vasilis Diamantopoulos, the New Theater, which operated until 1967 and staged a rich repertoire of Greek and foreign works. During the Greek junta, the whole family relocated to Paris and Maria Alkaiou returned to Greece in 1972. She collaborated with Petros Fyssoun and Dimitris Potamitis. She worked with the National Theater again in 1993, interpreting the role of the Grandmother in George Orwell’s The Animal Farm. Films in which she had appeared include: Miss Lawyer (1933, directed by Pelos Katselis), The Murderess (1975, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role award, Thessaloniki Festival) and Angelos (1983). In 1997 she was awarded the Marika Kotopouli prize for lifetime contribution to Theater. She passed away on 1/1/2005. She collaborated with the GNO on two occasions, interpreting the prose roles of Ida [The Bat/Die Fledermaus] (1939-40, 1940-41) and Isaac [The Sacrifice of Abraham/I thysia tou Avraam] (1942-43).