Obituary: Melina Mercouri

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The Independent Online
I WAS glad to see Peter Cotes (10 March) taking Gilbert Adair to task for the unfairness of his obituary of Melina Mercouri (7 March), writes Chris Michaelides.

It is simply not true to say that Mercouri 'never worked for any other director (than Jules Dassin) of real stature' as, in 1958, Mercouri starred in Joseph Losey's film The Gypsy and the Gentleman (a fact that Mr Cotes fails to mention even though he, interestingly, describes a failed attempt by Losey and Dassin to raise money for a film version, with Mercouri, of a successful stage production of Strindberg's The Father).

Mr Adair also omits Mercouri's first great success as a film actress in Stella (1955), a reworking of the German story directed by Michael Cacoyannis (another director of real stature). The film, which was also distinguished by the music of Manos Hadjidakis, established Mercouri as a notable interpreter of popular Greek music. Hadjidakis later composed the music for Never on Sunday and Mikis Theodorakis that for Phaedra, unforgettably performed by Mercouri.

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