Aspasia Papatanasiou

Papatanasiou, Aspasia


(married name, Mavromati). Born Oct. 20, 1918, in Amfissa. Greek actress.

Papatanasiou graduated from the theatrical school of the National Theater of Athens in 1940. In 1941 she made her debut in the M. Kotopouli Theater in Athens. During World War II she served in the resistance. After the war she joined the United Artists’ Theater. Papatanasiou’s stage career had lengthy interruptions because of the postwar political reaction. In 1953 and 1954 she acted in M. Katrakes’ company, and in 1957 in the Piraeus Theater.

Papatanasiou’s best roles are those of ancient Greek tragedy, especially the title roles in Sophocles’ Electra and Euripides’ Medea. Her inspired tragic performances are imbued with exalted passion and with civic protest. She has toured in almost all the countries of Europe and in the United States. In the USSR, which she visited in 1963 and 1964 and in 1967, she played the roles of Medea and Antigone in theaters in Moscow, Kiev, Tbilisi, and Leningrad. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Papatanasiou established the Single Actor Theater, in which she has acted in scenes from the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides. She has toured with this theater in the USSR, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, and other countries.