Famous Greek actress Martha Karagianni passed away on 18 September at the age of 82.
She passed only days after fellow actors Kostas Kazakos, 87, and the legendary Irene Papas, 92, drew their last breath.
Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said that Martha Karagianni’s death marks the end of Greek cinema’s golden age.
“She was a woman characterised by spontaneity and directness. Her presence gave us and will continue to give us joy, beauty, laughter,” Mendoni said.
Karagianni was part of the Greek cinema pantheon alongside Georgia Vasileiadou and Vasilis Avlonitis, Nikos Stavridis, Nikos Rizos, Giannis Gionakis, Sperantza Vrana, Giannis Fertis, Sotiris Moustakas, Marika Nezer, to name a few.
Born on November 6, 1939, Martha Karagianni was raised in Keratsini. She trained herself in dance and started performing at the Lyric Stage. She participated in Loukia Sakellaropoulou’s children’s ballet when she was eight years old.
A STAR IS BORN
Karagianni started her film career in 1956 and was only 17 years old at the time. Her first film was The Unknown directed by Orestis Laskos.
She made her stage debut with the revue Elephants and Fleas in 1957, where she met Giannis Dalianidis.
Napoleon Eleftheriou invited her to perform in the popular venue Review as he had previously seen her perform at Se la pen.
Karagianni made her television debut with the series O Dromos, written by Kostas Pretenderis. She has appeared in several musicals and comedies throughout her career.
AN UNSTOPABLE CAREER
She mostly collaborated with Dalianidis and their first film together was Ziteitai Pseftis, released in 1961 which was a huge success.
She then performed in a Greek musical, Merikoi to Protimoun Krio (Some Like it Cold) which became one of the classics of her time.
Karagianni then continued to appear in musicals including Kati kai na kaiei, Koritsia gia filima, Mia Kyria sta Bouzoukia, Oi thalassies oi handres, and more.
The very first time she sang was for the movie Kapetanios Gia Klamata and the song was titled San Fisa to Maistrali.
She then went on to sing a number of tracks for films including Gorgones Kai Magkes, Mia Treli, and Treli Zontohira.
Karagianni went on to sign a contract with a film company and appeared in the film 5,000 Lies by Giorgos Konstantinou in 1965.
She then appeared in another film, titled Pethaino Kathe Ximeroma in 1969 followed by I Oraia tou Kourea, where she played a comedic role.
Her collaboration with Dalianidis was continuous, leading to her partnering on screen with fellow actor Kostas Voutsas in the film To Anthropaki in 1969 followed by O Magkas me to Trikiklo.
She starred in many films, 19 of which were produced by Finos Film, a production company that dominated the Greek film industry from 1943 to 1977. It was founded by Filopimin Finos in 1942 during World War II.
Karagiannis’ last huge success was, Giorgos Lazaridis’ O Podogyros.
Proving that her talent could stand the test of time Karagianni starred in two contemporary Greek films, Pethaino gia Sena and Apo Erota, which were released in 2009 and 2014 respectively.
Karagianni’s cause of death remains unknown and detailed information about her funeral will be revealed soon.
Martha Karagianni is survived by her family members whose identities remain unknown. She was married to Greek footballer Dimitrios Stefanakos, who passed away in December last year.