A great theatre man who has left a huge interpretive legacy
Famous Greeks

A great theatre man who has left a huge interpretive legacy

Last Saturday, the Greek theatre became poorer after the death of a great actor, director and teacher, George Michalakopoulos, who was among the leading actors of his generation and beyond.

A man with a huge intellectual load, a teacher of the National Theatre with a very rich repertoire, from the well-known and beloved by all, the poet Fanfaras in “Wake up Santa Claus”, to his huge interpretive success in Henry IV of Pierluigi Pirandello, he leaves an unfulfilled gap in the entire artistic scene.

He was born on 28 February 1938 in Athens and studied at the Drama School of the Art Theatre.

During his long career he appeared in numerous theatrical productions, while on television he starred in Kostas Koutsomytis’ series ‘There and There’ in the 1970s, together with Vassilis Diamantopoulos.

In the cinema he participated in many films, including “A Knight for Vassoula”, “Wake up, Vassilis!”, “The Barber’s Beauty” and “Odysseus’ Gaze”.

In difficult times for Greece, he was introduced to the television audience with Kostas Mourselas’ iconic series “There and There” (1972), where George Michalakopoulos played the role of “Solon” with unparalleled humour alongside Vassilis Diamantopoulos’ “Loukas”.

Loukas (Vassilis Diamantopoulos) and Solon (Giorgos Michalakopoulos) are two ordinary people, who satirize the ills of society and try to understand the absurdity and reflection of today’s society through comments, opinions and discussions. They are like two classic “Romanians”, trying to understand the society of the last years of the Junta.

Who was George Michalakopoulos

George Michalakopoulos first appeared in the theatre in 1959, as a first year student, in Karolos Koun’s “The Vultures” at the Herodesion.

He began his professional career in the early 1960s with Dimitris Papamichael’s company and later collaborated with Kostas Mousouris’ company, performing important roles of great writers.

He founded the Satire Theatre in 1973 and performed in plays such as. Düremant, “Harmful Effects of Tobacco” by Chekhov. In 1981, he organized a theatrical workshop with prisoners in Korydallos prison.

He had appeared in shows such as: “Crime and Punishment”, “Death of a Salesman”, “Every Thursday Mr. Green” and “The Price”. He also directed several plays, including: “The Children in Robin’s Wood” by J. Crocker, “Ecclesiastes” and “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, “The Janitor” by Harold Pinter.

He made his film debut in 1964, playing supporting roles in the films “The Poor Devils”, “The Polytechnic” and “I’m Leaving with Bitterness to Foreign Lands”.
One of his best known roles was the poet Fanfaras in the film “Wake up Vasilis” by Yannis Dalianidis (1969). He also participated, among others, in the films “The Beauty of the Barber” by Dinos Dimopoulos (1969), “A Knight for Vassoula” by Yannis Dalianidis (1968), “A Laughing Afternoon” by Andreas Thomopoulos (1979), “The Gaze of Odysseus” by Theo Angelopoulos (1995), “The Dam” by Dimitris Makris (1982). His performance in the award-winning film “The Gentleman in Grey” by Pericles Hoursoglou in 1997 was also unforgettable.

He was married to Athena Michalakopoulou, also an actress, and they had two daughters, Ioanna – who is a director and collaborated with her in performances – and Eleni, who is a painter.
She had been awarded the Karolos Koun First Prize for Male Role and the Emilios Veakis Award. Among other things, he had served as a professor at the Drama School of the National

Theatre, as a municipal councillor of Athens in 1974-1986 and as vice-president of the KΕΤΗΕΑ.