Greece’s legendary singer, Tolis Voskopoulos, has passed away, aged 81, after a cardiac arrest in Athens.
The news created ripples of sadness in Australia, where Mr Voskopoulos has many fans.
In fact, during a recent interview with Neos Kosmos, his fourth wife and the last love of his life, Angela Gerekou, had conveyed her husband’s love for Greek Australians.
Many remembered the success of Mr Voskopoulos’ visit to the Antipodes. Brought over by Cosmopolitan Motion Pictures in 1964, the great troubadour was joined by many legendary performers, including comedian Kostas Hatzihristos, Sperantza Vrana, Aleka Stratigou, Kostas Mentis. Singer Poly Panou had also been in the line-up but, for personal reasons, pulled out and was replaced by young singer Nafsika.
Together, these legends arrived to Australia on 10 March, 1964, appearing in Perth, followed by performances in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane as well as some regional areas.
The took over Australia by storm.
In an article for Neos Kosmos, Panagiotis Giannoudis from Cosmopolitan Motion Pictures remembered his collaboration and friendship with Mr Voskopoulos and Gelly Mavropoulou who also passed away this week, on Monday.
Mr Voskopoulos’ fan base in Australia will always remember him for his romantic songs of the laika genre. He shot to fame in the 1960s and first appeared in the theatre in 1958 at the age of 18 before he made his film debut in 1963.
And while riding on the crest of this success, he visited Australia, four years before producing one of his most iconic songs – Agonia (Agony), composed by George Zambetas in 1968.
He was adored for hits, such as Anamniseis (Memories), Perasmenes mou agapes (Lost Loves), Na kanoume enan erota olo trela (Let’s make love full of madness), Mia agapi (One love), Stihimatizo (I bet) and many more. These are songs which have been loved for generations and will continue to be sung for generations to come.
He had impressive collaborations with Zambetas, Mimis Plessas, Akis Panou, Thanasis Polykandriotis, Marios Tokas, Giannis Parios, George Katsaros and many more.
On celluloid, he performed with major actors such as Vassilis Avlonitis, Rena Vlachopoulou, Kostas Chatizihristos and others.
Mr Voskopoulos was also known as “the Prince”.
He had been married four times, with Stella Stratigou (1960-1965), singer Marinella (1973-1981), Julia Papadimitriou (1990-1996) and at the time of his death had been married to Ms Gerekou, actress/former minister and current head of the Greek National Tourism Organisation since 1996.
He leaves behind two daughters, Hara from his marriage with Ms Papadimitriou, and Maria, from his marriage with Ms Gerekou.