Kostas Kazakos, a prominent Greek actor, director, and politician, died on Tuesday in Athens. He was eighty-seven years old.
Kazakos, born on May 29, 1935 in Pyrgos, Ilia, studied at the Drama School of “Theatro Technis” under the supervision of Carolos Koun. He made his stage debut in 1957 and then collaborated with many stage groups.
He also played supporting roles in numerous films.
However, his real breakthrough came in 1967, when he was offered the lead in the film Κοντσέρτο για πολυβόλα (1967), opposite famous actress Tzeni Karezi.
He married Karezi, and the couple stayed together for twenty-four years until her death in 1992 at the age of sixty. Together, they acted in a number of movies, had a son, and were well-loved and respected actors.
The couple married in 1968 just one year after the Greek junta imposed a military dictatorship.
Kazakos and Karezi took a stance against the junta at a time when actors, politicians, and artists who expressed leftist political beliefs or created artwork that went against the extremely socially conservative dogma of the dictatorship could be exiled, tortured, or worse.
Kazakos and Karezi were imprisoned by the military junta
The couple was imprisoned in 1973 just one year before the fall of the junta after putting on a play called Our Giant Circus, which satirized the dictatorship.
Five years after Karezi’s death, Kazakos married the actress Jenny Jolia in 1997 and had three children. The couple also had a daughter who died in June 1999, when she was eight months years old.
After Karezi’s death, he continued his stage activity; he won raves for his work in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.
In the 2007 Greek legislative election, he was elected to the Greek Parliament as a candidate of the Communist Party of Greece. He was reelected in 2009.