Thanasis Veggos (29/05/1926 - 03/05/2011)
He was born in Piraeus in 1926. When his father was fired from his work because of his political beliefs, Veggos was forced to work from a very young age, mainly in tanneries. During the period 1948 – 1950, he served his military duties as an “undesirable” soldier in Makronisos, where he met Nikos Koundouros, who would later become a renowned director. This led to Veggos’ first appearance in a movie in 1954. In the following five years, he had small parts in movies and he was also a jack – of – all – trades in the movie set. He got his first major role in 1960, after having acquired a permit to be an actor, not because he finished courses, but because of his exceptional talent.
Slowly, his fame grew and became one of the most beloved actors of the Greek audience. He founded his own production company in 1964, hoping to have more freedom in his movies. From 1965 to 1969, he produced some of his best movies, characterized by surreal humor and improvisation. Despite being box office hits in Greece, his production company was forced to shut down and he was led to financial ruin. Nevertheless, his reputation kept growing, and he was glorified by the audience during the Thessaloniki Film Festival of 1971; his movie was nominated and won the awards of the critics and of the audience.
Later, his movies started turning towards social criticism. During the 1980s, he stopped appearing in movies and was focused on creating six video films and two TV series. His return to cinema occurs in 1998, when he appeared at the movie Quiet Days in August by Pantelis Voulgaris; his role was dramatically different from what the audience had seen him in. It was low – key and demanded great expressiveness, which the actor definitely possessed. Meanwhile, he also appeared in Epidavros twice, at Aristophanes’ Acharnae and Peace. He won a total of 7 awards throughout his career, including two awards at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 1971 and 1993.
On 19 December 2010, Veggos was admitted to the intensive care of the Red Cross Hospital due to heavy stroke. He died on 3 May 2011 and was buried in Amorgos, the place of origin of his mother and grandmother.