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Sotiris Moustakas: Fifteen years without the great actor – The talent, the proposal from Hollywood and his passion for the casino

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He had all the characteristics of a great comedian, who could combine them harmoniously with the drama. The range of characters he could play was huge, as well as his innate talent for improvisation, while even in small rolls he managed to steal the viewer's gaze, the protagonist's glamor, to be the magnet for the success of a film. p>

Sotiris Moustakas was another huge talent, who was wronged by the Greek cinema, as he was not used properly.

He started impressively touching even the Oscar, for the crazy village in “Zorba” by Kakogiannis, he entered the old commercial cinema with some characteristic supporting roles, he was established as a protagonist in the decline of the old Greek cinema, he became the king of videotape, together with Stathis Psaltis and closed his circle prematurely, with the decent biographical drama “El Greco” impersonating Titian very well.

Exactly 15 years ago, on June 4, 2007, Sotiris Moustakas, at the age of 66, died of a respiratory infection while suffering from cancer.

On the occasion of the loss of the beloved actor, we will remember his youth in Cyprus, his first steps in theater and cinema, but also his passion for gambling, which cost him his artistic career.

< h2> Fighter

Sotiris Moustakas was born in the village of Kato Platres, outside Limassol, on September 17, 1940 and was the youngest of seven brothers. While still a high school student, he took an active part in the EOKA Liberation Struggle from 1955 to 1959, while he was arrested by the British and imprisoned for seven months. As soon as he was released from prison, he finished school and in 1958 he left for Athens to study acting, despite his father's objections.

The meeting with Nikos Stavridis

The idea to become an actor came to him in 1954 when he went to see a play by Nikos Stavridis in Limassol. After the end of the show, Moustakas approached Stavridis, imitated him and distracted him, while the popular actor advised him to go to Athens and that he would help him if needed. When he arrived in Athens, he got a job as a waiter and at the urging of Stavridis he took an exam at the Drama School of the National Theater. Then he met his beloved Maria Bonello, whom he married in 1973 and with whom he had a daughter, the actress and soprano Alexia Moustaka.

Crawling on the board

As a student, he “crawled” for the first time on the stage in 1961 in a small role in the play “Dawn” by Dimitris Bogris and a year later he made his first professional appearance with the troupe of Kostas Rigopoulos and Kakia Analytis in the play “A door, five hundred drachmas”.

Next year he will collaborate with the troupes of Maro Kontou-Giorgos Pantzas and Lambros Konstantaras-Maros Kontou, while in the mid-60s he played “Ornithes” by Aristophanes, directed by Karolos Koun, while his performance in Moliere's “Irrational”.

For two minutes outside the Oscars

However, he had already started his first appearances in the cinema and in an impressive way. His brief appearance in the famous “Zorba” in the role of the crazy village, will bring him a candidate for the Oscar for a supporting role, but he will be cut off from the nomination due to his limited time of appearance, as according to the criteria of the Academy he had to play two more minutes.

Moustakas, who adored Charlie Chaplin like all great comedians, could continue in Hollywood after his success in Kakogiannis' film, as he will be invited by Fox to play next to Michael Kane, but he refused to play in the play “An Italian in the Hive”.

Από τα ρολάκια θιασάρχης

His career in Greek cinema for the next five years will be limited mainly to supporting roles, some of which, although the films were mediocre, were lovable. Spartanizing the good Armenian in “Light, Water, Telephone σεις Plots with Installments”, the rogue in “Buffet”, the hungry violin student in “Beethoven and Bouzouki”, the diplomat in “Kolonaki Conduct Zero” and many more character roles , will offer plenty of laughter.

Until in 1974 will come the remarkable leading role in the dramatic comedy “The Law-abiding Citizen” written by Costas Mourselas and directed by Errikos Thalassinos. At the same time, he continued to do important work in the theater, while in 1976 he formed his own troupe, uploading the plays “The Cage with the Mad”, “Violinist on the Roof”, “The Good Soldier Sveik”.

King of Videotape

In the '80s and' 90s he will star in dozens of videos and in some cheap film productions such as “Father Gomenios”, “The Pink Cat” and “The Chicory”. Productions on the verge of the uncharacteristic, which did not suit Moustakas's talent, but secured a lot of income in record time, as the shooting lasted a maximum of ten days. Moustakas also needed the money as he had to service his large debts out of his passion for gambling.

Incurable gambler

Gambling and especially his passion for the casino is a whole chapter in the life of Sotiris Moustakas. Like other well-known colleagues, he became involved with gambling, from which he lost almost all the money he made from the cinema and theater. his life when he was borrowed from moneylenders, who frequented outside the casino of Parnitha and when he could not return them, they kidnapped him threatening to “disappear” him.

Eventually, the theatrical producer Alexandros Parisis, a friend and collaborator of Moustakas, as he revealed, gave the money, to be returned to him in a car trunk.

In 2007 he was happy to play the role of Titian in the interesting film of Giannis Smaragdis “El Greco”, while a little earlier he was honored with the Karolos Koun Award for his overall contribution to the Greek inspection.

And at the top… casino

Sotiris Moustakas, as those who knew him said, was a adorable man, sweet and gentle. His death will cost everyone, but it will also be decisive for his beloved wife and actress Maria Bonelou, who will die a few months after the man of her life.

Sotiris Moustakas was wronged by the Greek cinema, but he also wronged his talent, mainly by his participation in a variety of films and videocassettes that he played after 1980.

However, his love for acting and the theater was a given. As he aptly put it, “acting is like a deceptive and unexplored mountain. You climb with difficulty, you reach the top and you see that there is another peak, and then another. “When you say I arrived, you lost the game.” Especially when the mountain also has a casino…

Source: ΑΠΕ ΜΠΕ

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