The legendary Greek singer Tolis Voskopoulos, singer-songwriter and actor whose career spanned more than six decades, has died. He was 80 years old.
Voskopoulos, a star of modern Greek folk music, died on Monday 19th July in an Athens hospital after a cardiac arrest, a few days before his 81st birthday and several weeks after being hospitalised with respiratory problems.
Born in Greece’s main port city of Piraeus Kokkinia on 26th July 1940 to parents who were refugees from Asia Minor, Voskopoulos was the youngest of 12 children and the only boy. He began his career as an actor, first appearing on stage at the age of 18 in 1953, and made his film debut a few years later in 1963.
Voskopoulos had a signature trademark as a crooner and romancer with his melodic, passionately-sung songs.
His first major musical success was considered to be the 1968 song “Agonia,” composed by Giorgos Zambetas, which sold over 300,000 copies, a record-breaking figure for Greek music at the time.
He had an impressive range of collaborations performing songs by George Zambetas, Mimis Plessas, Akis Panou, Thanasis Polykandriotis, Marios Tokas, Giannis Parios, George Katsaros, Kostas Virvos, Phoebus and many others.
Apart from music, Tolis Voskopoulos also starred in cinema and in theatre. One of Voskopoulos’ greatest theatrical hits was “Oi Erastes tou Oneirou” (Dream Lovers), which he performed opposite Zoe Laskari.
He also starred in roles alongside Vassilis Avlonitis, Rena Vlachopoulou, Kostas Chatzichristos and others.
Among his greatest hits were the musicals Singing Theatre (1978 with Maria Aliferi) and You Came Like a Dream (1998 with Angela Gerekou), where the theatrical script was based on the way they had met.
He is survived by his fourth wife, former actress and minister Angela Gerekou and their daughter Maria Voskopoulou.
Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said, “Tolis Voskopoulos was fortunate to be appreciated by his colleagues and adored by the public. He was a true, popular idol, a talented, intelligent performer who created a different, particular kind of entertainment on the stage.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted, he “lived as he sang, sang as he lived and in the same way he left: ‘unrepeatable,’ as his melodic lyrics will say forever,” [a reference to a Voskopoulos song-title].
LGR extends their condolences to Tolis Voskopoulos’ family and friends and we will continue to pay tribute to him through his music this week.