Aliki Vougiouklaki (20/07/1933 - 23/07/1933)
She was born on 20 July 1933 in Marousi, Athens. Her father was murdered during the German Occupation, and her mother was left alone to raise Aliki and her two brothers. In 1952, without her family aware, she took the entry exams at the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece; before even completing her studies, she had already participated in her first theatrical role at the play The Imaginary Invalid (Moliere), and her movie debut occurred one year later.
In 1960, she won a performance award for her movie Mantalena at the 1st Thessaloniki Film Festival. In 1961, she met with producer Philopoemin Finos; together, they created some of the biggest box-office hits in Greece, most of which are still shown today on TV with considerable success. After 1970, the Greek film scene plunged, which made Vougiouklaki turn to theatre. In 1975, she introduced grandiose musicals to the Greek audience, staging Neil Simon’s Cabiria. More musicals followed, such as Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Julia, Evita and The Sound of Music, all of which were huge successes.
Throughout her career, Vougiouklaki sang hundreds of songs, collaborating with some of the most important Greek songwriters and composers, including Xarchakos, Plessas, Loizos, Gatsos, Zampetas, Theodorakis and Manos Chatzidakis, with whom she gained the first Gold Record in the history of Greek discography.
In her personal life, she had a number of partners, including the then successor to the Greek throne Constantine. In 1965, she married Dimitris Papamichail, who was her fellow student at the Drama School, and they had a son, Yannis. She and her husband participated together in numerous movies and theatrical plays. Ten years after their marriage, though, they divorced, claiming incompatibility issues. She had a second marriage a few years later, which was only publicized many years after it had already ended.
In April 1996, while staging The Sound of Music at Thessaloniki, Vougiouklaki felt a strong pain, which was later diagnosed as an aggressive type of liver and pancreatic cancer. She finally died on 23 July 1996 at a hospital in Athens.
Aliki Vougiouklaki has been characterized as a unique phenomenon, as no other actress has ever been so popular and beloved by a whole country for such a long period. Her films captivated four generations; soon, she ceased being a simple actress and became the symbol of post-WWII Greece, bringing joy, hope and happiness to a place ravaged by war.