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Oscars Commemorate Iconic Greek Artists Irene Papas and Vangelis

Vangelis and Irene Papas
The Oscars commemorated Irene Papas and Vangelis, who both died last year, during this year’s award ceremony. Credit: (Left) NikolasforWiki / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0 (Right) MGM / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons. GreekReporter Illustration

On Sunday night, the Oscars commemorated the late Greek acting superstar Irene Papas and renowned Greek composer Vangelis, who both passed away last year.

Every year, the Oscars feature an “in Memoriam segment” commemorating prominent figures in the movie industry who passed away the year before.

Although the award ceremony took place without incident this year, in contrast to last year’s infamous “slapping incident” with Will Smith and Chris Rock, there were some complaints by fans that the Oscars had failed to mark the deaths of some figures in the movie industry.

Osars commemorations

Irene Papas and Vangelis were both commemorated this year by the Oscars. Every year, the Academy Awards take a moment to mark the passing of big names in the movie industry in the previous year.

However, fans of the cinema were left disappointed that some of their favorite stars had not been commemorated.

For example, the movie, Triangle of Sadness was nominated for three Oscar awards. However, one of the film’s leading actresses, Charlbi Dean Kriek, who died on August 29 last year was not included in the In Memorium section of the award ceremony.

Anne Heche, Tom Sizemore, Paul Sorvino, and Leslie Jordan were among some of the other names notably not included in the 2023 Oscars commemorative segment.

Irene Papas

Irene Papas, perhaps one of the most important Greek actors of her generation, died on September 14, 2022. The Greek actress and singer was born in Chiliomodi near Corinth and achieved a career spanning more than fifty years.

She gained international recognition through such popular award-winning films as The Guns of Navarone and Zorba the Greek.

After Papas established herself as an extremely talented actress with a huge emotional range, she starred in a long list of Hollywood movies which made her a household name internationally.

In 2018, it was announced that Papas had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for five years since 2013. Since then, she lived away from the public eye.


World-renowned Greek composer Vangelis Papathanasiou, known professionally simply as Vangelis, passed away at the age of 79 on May 17, 2022. The composer had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in France before his passing.

Vangelis was known for his groundbreaking compositions in a variety of genres, including electronic, progressive, ambient, and even orchestral pieces.

His theme for Chariots of Fire beat John Williams’ score for the first Indiana Jones film at the 1982 Oscars. It reached the top of the US billboard and was an enduring hit in Britain, where it was used during the London 2012 Olympics medal presentation ceremonies.

In 2001, Vangelis performed the choral symphony Mythodea, which was used by NASA as the theme for the Mars Odyssey mission.

The signature piece is one of the hardest-to-forget film tunes worldwide – and has also served as the musical background to endless slow-motion parodies.

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