Zorba the Greek Composer Mikis Theodorakis Passes Away at 96

The celebrated composer, who also wrote music for Al Pacino’s 1973 movie ‘Serpico’, has died at the age of 96 in Athens following his struggle with heart problems.

AceShowbizMikis Theodorakis, the celebrated composer best known for the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek“, has died in Athens aged 96.

Theodorakis, who also wrote the film music for Al Pacino starrer “Serpico” (1973) was renowned for being politically active, died at his home on the foot of the Acropolis after suffering years of heart problems, reported The Times.

“Zorba the Greek” told the story of an English writer in Crete whose life is transformed when he meets Alexis Zorba, a gregarious peasant.

The iconic film, which starred Anthony Quinn, won three Oscars and remains one of the most famous pieces of Greek music.

“Today we lost a part of Greece’s soul. Mikis Theodorakis, Mikis the teacher, the intellectual, the radical, our Mikis has gone,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, calling him “the one who made all Greeks sing poetry.”

As news of his passing swept through the nation, the Greek parliament held a moment of silence and the country has declared three days of mourning.

Theodorakis’ song “Antonis” from the “Mauthausen Trilogy” became popular with Afghans and was sung by the residents of Kabul in 2001 who greeted troops of the Northern Alliance as they entered the city and expelled the Taliban.

It was also the theme of 1969 film “Z“, whose soundtrack won a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music in 1970. The film, directed by Costa-Gavras, is a thinly fictionalised account of the assassination of a left-wing Greek politician.

Theodorakis himself was for much of his life a leftist and at times a communist and remained politically active throughout his life.

However, he once told Reuters in an interview, “I’m not a communist or social democrat or anything else. I’m a free man.”

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