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For Greeks, leap years are considered to be years of bad luck. And indeed, 2016 was not a good year for Greece and the whole world. Terrorist attacks, over one million refugees, an ongoing bloody war in Syria, dangerous tensions between nations, and dozens of famous and beloved people passed away.
Greece was no exception to the long list of deaths of beloved and famous people. There were more famous actors, artists, singers and politicians who passed away in 2016 than in the past three years combined.
Costis Stephanopoulos was probably the most beloved President of the Hellenic Republic (1995-2005). A prominent politician, he was respected by both sides of the political spectrum. He passed away on October 20 at the age of 90.
Andreas Barkoulis was a sex symbol of Greek cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. After that, he squandered his fame and fortune. He passed away at the age of 80 on August 23.
Yiannis Voglis was an emblematic actor of the golden age of Greek cinema (1960-1980). He was also a sought-after stage actor who adorned the stage to the end. He also played many roles on television series. He passed away at 79 on April 20.
Pantelis Pantelidis skyrocketed to fame within a year from posting his self-written songs on YouTube. He literally reached the top of popularity in the Greek music scene. He was only 33 when he was killed in a car crash on February 18.
Gerasimos Arsenis was an influential politician with the almighty PASOK of the 1980s and 1990s. He became famous for his controversial education reforms. He died at 85 on April 19.
Anna Synodinou was an exceptional stage and film actress who turned politician after democracy was restored in 1974. She passed away on January 7 at the age of 88.
Petros Fyssoun was an actor’s actor. He worked in the National Theater of Greece and later became a director as well. He also had leading roles in quality films. He died on December 5, at 83.
Panagiotis Tetsis was one of the great Greek painters of the 20th century. Parallel to his art, he was teaching in the Athens School of Fine Arts. He died at the age of 91 on March 4.
Constantinos Despotopoulos was a philosopher, philosophy professor and politician. His work combines philosophical principles applied to civil law. He passed away at 103 on February 7.
Nikos Panagiotopoulos was one of the greatest directors of contemporary Greek cinema. His 1978 film The Idlers of the Fertile Valley won an international award. He passed away at 74 on January 12.
Shipping tycoon Yiannis Goulandris, or “Big John Goulandris” because of the size of his fleet and his powerful personality, created an empire that put Greece on top of the world of shipping. He passed away at 86 on May 19.
At 104, Stylianos Pattakos was the last survivor of the “colonels junta”, as the 1967-1974 dictatorship was called. The right hand of dictator Georgios Papadopoulos, Pattakos never repented for the April 21st coup. He passed away on October 8.
Awarded writer Antonis Sourounis lived in Germany between 1960 and 1970 and wrote books about the experience of economic immigrants. He passed away on October 5 at the age of 74.