Obituary: Dmitri Horn

Dmitri Horn, actor: born Athens 23 March 1921; married 1967 Anna Goulandris; died Athens 16 January 1998.

The actor Dimitri Horn was one of the leading lights behind the New Wave movement in Greece. He led a charmed existence; wars and Greece's numerous political upheavals seemed to pass him by. Yet, as the years rolled on, his financial ease, Olympian talent, Romeo looks and endless admirers couldn't quite help him overcome a maudlin view of life.

He was born in Athens in 1921, to a theatrical family. Aged six months he took part - in his godmother's arms - in one of his father's plays. At 17 he entered the drama school of the Athens Royal Theatre; his classmates consisted only of women, including the future diva Melina Mercouri. His teachers, some of the greatest names of the day in Greek theatre, spoilt him because of his talent and his charm. Other friends included Manolis Hadjidakis, the composer of "Never on Sunday".

His professional career began during the Second World War, while Athens was under Nazi occupation. He concentrated on performing quality roles in classical plays, and took his first steps in films.

From 1945, he introduced to a broad public a string of English plays such as Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, and a Shakespearean repertoire including Richard II and The Taming of the Shrew. In the early 1950s he came to London on a British Council grant to study new drama techniques.

Back in Greece, he met the actress Elli Lambeti, whose sensuous beauty and premature death haunt Greece to this day. They fell in love, separated from their previous partners and started living and acting together. Together, they helped break many taboos of Greek society, both on film, especially in The Girl in Black (1955), and in real life. Their liveliness elevated the Greek notion of glendi (a high-spirited Greek way of painting the town red) to new heights.

It was no secret that, happy or unhappy, Horn could never resist the opposite sex. However, when Lambeti left him in 1960, he was devastated.

Even though he disliked the cinema, it is through such films (made until 1961) as Forged Sovereign and Pity the Young that he will be remembered. In the latter he plays an old man who sells his soul to the Devil in order to woo the woman he loved when young. The intensity of his acting was mellowed by a certain melancholy temperament.

Theatre was his great love. He opened the eyes of a string of Greek actors: "What they say about the actor having to get under the skin of the part is wrong; if that was the case we would all be performing the same way. It is the part which gets under the actor's skin," he said.

In the late 1960s, he abandoned acting and married the shipping heiress Anna Goulandris. Together they created the Goulandris-Horn Foundation in 1980 which promotes Greek art and publishing; it is this that is Dmitri Horn's legacy to young Greek creativity today.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Biomass Sales Consultant

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Java Developer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...

Senior Analyst - Financial Modelling

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...

MS Dynamics NAV/Navision Developer

£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game