ATHENS - Beloved comedy actor Kostas Voutsas died of a lung infection on Wednesday morning, after he had been hospitalized for several weeks at Atiikon Hospital, in Western Athens. He was 88.
"Kostas Voutsas embarked on the great journey, along with the laughter and joy he generously shared with so many generations of Greeks. His optimism and pure-hearted smile will always accompany us. Warm condolences to his family," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted on Twitter.
In a message on Twitter, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias expressed his grief over the death of the popular actor, describing him as an "eternal teenager who spread laughter and love until the end."
"He will always live in our hearts through his unforgettable performances that left a mark on Greek cinema," he said.
Εφυγε σήμερα ο μεγάλος & αγαπημένος Κώστας Βουτσάς. Ένας αειθαλής έφηβος που χάριζε γέλιο & αγάπη μέχρι τέλους. Θα ζει για πάντα μέσα από τις αξέχαστες ερμηνείες του που σφράγισαν τον ελληνικό κινηματογράφο. Και όπως έλεγε «Να δίνεις ζωή στα χρόνια σου & όχι χρόνια στη ζωή σου». pic.twitter.com/zuzeQxlM83— Vassilis Kikilias (@Vkikilias) February 26, 2020
Voutsas was born in Athens in 1931 and moved to Thessaloniki in 1932. He studied drama at the Drama School of the Macedonian Conservatory of Thessaloniki and made his stage and screen debut in 1953.
He was a major actor in Finos Films and went on to star in about 60 movies, mostly comedies and musicals of the 'golden era" of Greek commercial cinema. In 1961 his breakthrough came when the Greek film director Giannis Dalianidis gave him a leading role in his phenomenally successful youth melodrama O Katiforos.
He soon became one of the best and most popular comic actors of his generation and created personal theatrical troupes, starring in many Greek comedies by top playwrights and classics like Aristophanes' The Wasps (as Philokleon), Moliere's Le bourgeois gentilhomme (title role), etc. He was always more committed to being a theatrical actor.
In an interview with the Athens daily newspaper To Vima, he said: "Playing in movies has helped me a lot, but I was always committed to the theatre and that was my highlight." His acting technique is being studied at the University of Patras. He has received many lifetime achievement awards, Thessaloniki International Film Festival and more.
Ο Κώστας Βουτσάς ξεκίνησε για το μεγάλο ταξίδι, μαζί με το γέλιο και τη χαρά που μοίρασε απλόχερα σε τόσες γενιές Ελλήνων. Μαζί του δύει μία ολόκληρη εποχή αθωότητας. Η αισιοδοξία και το αγνό του χαμόγελο θα μας συνοδεύουν πάντα. Θερμά συλλυπητήρια στην οικογένειά του.— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) February 26, 2020