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Greek Stars Vougiouklaki and Papamichael Immortalized in Wax

Wax figures of Dimitris Papamichael and Aliki Vougiouklaki at the Wax Museum of Theodoros Kokkinidis.
Wax figures of Dimitris Papamichael and Aliki Vougiouklaki at the Wax Museum of Theodoros Kokkinidis. Credit: Youtube Screenshot / Θεόδωρος Κοκκινίδης – Μουσείο κέρινων ομοιωμάτων

Aliki Vougiouklaki and Dimitris Papamichael, two giants of Greek cinema during its ‘golden age’, who were also married for a time, have been immortalized as wax figures in the popular Wax Museum of Theodoros Kokkinidis in Kavala.

Vougiouklaki and Papamichael’s Wax Figures

The waxwork figure of the late actress Aliki Vougiouklaki, who was known as the ‘national star’ of Greece, has been on display in the museum since spring last year, and now, right beside her, a wax-interpretation of her ex-husband and film partner Dimitris Papamichael has been placed.

The museum’s website states “The wax figure of the beloved actor Dimitris Papamichael has been completed and is taking its place in the Wax Museum of Theodoros Kokkinidis. The work captures him from the era of his color films between 1967-1969, when he himself was thirty-three to thirty-five years old. The effigy of him will be next to that of Aliki Vougiouklaki, being a favorite couple of the public, cinema, theater, life”.

The new wax figure was a subject of conversation during a prominent Greek TV show on Thursday morning, which veered in the direction of trying to determine whether the statue actually resembles Papamichael – with no comment on the Vougiouklaki figure. The show’s panel shared some of the public’s reactions to the artwork, and determined that there were very few positive comments, with some saying it looks like a character from The Crown.

Aliki Vougiouklaki was one of the most popular stars in Greek cinematic history. Born in Marousi, a northern suburb of Athens, in 1934, the family roots of the Greek star are mainly laid in the village of Lagia in the Mani peninsula of the Peloponnese.

In 1952, the starlet secretly auditioned for the drama school of National Theater of Greece, as she feared her family would not approve. Vougiouklaki passed the audition and soon began her classes. While there, she studied under the tutelage of Dimitris Horn, who was one of the best theatrical actors in Greece.

A stellar student, Vougiouklaki was able to develop her natural talents at the school. While studying, the budding star was called to replace an actress who abruptly dropped out of a performance of Romeo and Juliet in the National Theater.

Aliki Vougiouklaki
Aliki Vougiouklaki. Credit: Movie Screenshot

She jumped on the opportunity and performed in the role without official approval from the school. The actress received wonderful reviews for her performance and started to gain attention.

Upon her graduation in 1955, the name “Aliki Vougiouklaki” was already well known in the realm of Greek theater. The star began her career with theatrical productions, including Broadway musicals and works of ancient Greek drama.

Vougiouklaki married Papamichael in 1965, and the couple’s marriage lasted 10 years – but now they are together forever, in wax.

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