Michael Cacoyannis

Actor, Director
He was born in Limassol, Cyprus on 11/06/1921. He studied law, dramatic arts and directing in London. He worked with the BBC’s Greek Service. In addition, after 1947 he worked as a stage actor in England (1941-1951) [μάλλον είναι λάθος οι χρονολογίες]. He returned to Greece in 1953 and started directing. He began his international directorial career with the movie Windfall in Athens (Kyriakatiko xypnima, 1954). During the period 1950-2005 he directed 15 films, 36 plays and seven operas in Greece, USA and Europe. His movies competed and were screened at international festivals, winning awards and honors (Stella, The Girl in Black, A Matter of Dignity (To teleftaio psema), Zorba the Greek, the ancient Greek trilogy Elektra, Trojan Women and Iphigenia). In his films he worked with distinguished Greek and foreign actors. He wrote scripts and translations of films and theater plays and wrote lyrics for Greek songs. He received many important awards in Greece, Cyprus, France and Canada. He was declared an honorary citizen in Limassol, Montpellier (France) and Dallas, (USA). He was proclaimed Doctor of Arts at Columbia College, USA, Honorary Doctor of the University of Athens, University of Cyprus and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He founded the association Friends of Athens for the illumination of the monuments of the Acropolis, ensuring the cooperation of famous French lighting engineer Pierre Bideau. In 2004, he established a charitable foundation Michael Cacoyannis for the design, support, dissemination, recording and storage of theater and cinema creations. The operation the Foundation’s Cultural Center began in 2009. He died in Athens on 25/07/2011. He worked with GNO once, directing the production of the opera La Traviata, also designing the set and costumes (1981/82).