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Michael Cacoyannis Dead at 89: Oscar-Nominated for Zorba The Greek

Michael Cacoyannis, best known for the 1964 Oscar-nominated drama Zorba the Greek, died of complications from a heart attack and chronic respiratory problems early Monday at an Athens hospital. He was either 89 or 90, depending on the source. Born in Limassol, Cyprus, on June 11, 1921 or 1922, the young Cacoyannis (Mihalis Kakogiannis in Greek) was sent to London to study Law, but later turned to the theater, studying Drama at the Old Vic and playing various roles on the British stage, including the lead in Albert Camus' Caligula. Unable to find work in the British film industry, he eventually moved to Athens. Cacoyannis' directorial debut took place in the early '50s, with the breezy comedy Windfall in Athens (1955), whose production lasted two years. International acclaim followed the release of Stella (1955), which was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. This drama about a free-spirited young woman (Melina Mercouri) torn by her

See full article on Alt Film Guide