Michael Giannatos

Michalis Giannatos (Greek: Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος; 11 July 1941[1] – 17 September 2013), alternatively spelled as Michael Yannatos, was a Greek actοr.

Michael Giannatos
Born(1941-07-11)11 July 1941[1]
Istanbul, Turkey
Died17 September 2013(2013-09-17) (aged 72)
Athens, Greece
Years active1966-2013
Known forMidnight Express
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
ChildrenMaria, Gerasimos & Ioannis[3]

Ηe was born in (Istanbul), Turkey. He left the city for Greece in 1964 during the long eviction period of Greeks.[4]


He studied in Konstantinos Demopoulos' school of drama and first appeared as a professional actor in Georgios Zervoulakos' film Oi stigmatismenoi (Greek: Οι στιγματισμένοι) in 1966. When still a student, he participated in the theatrical play Capetan Michalis (Greek: Καπετάν Μιχάλης) next to Manos Katrakis.[5]

During his long cinematic career, he appeared in close to 100 films, television series and plays. He was a regular in Theodoros Angelopoulos films since he was one of the director's favorite actors. After Megalexandros (Greek: Μεγαλέξανδρος) in 1981, Angelopoulos was always calling him to play in his movies.[4]

He was fluent in five languages; Greek, Turkish, French, Italian and Spanish.[4] Due to that, he appeared in many international productions, including Midnight Express, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Munich and more. He worked next to great actors such as Anthony Quinn, John Hurt, Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Christian Bale, Eric Bana and Daniel Craig.[6]

He also played in the film A Touch of Spice [Greek title: Politiki kouzina (Greek: Πολίτικη Κουζίνα)] by Tassos Boulmetis and in the European co-production Le Dernier Seigneur des Balkans.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Giannatos was married to Chaido whom he was with until the day he died. They have three children together; Gerasimos (born in 1979), Ioannis (born in 1980) and Maria (born in 1982).[1]

Since 1979, when his first son was born, Giannatos was working night shifts as a receptionist at the Hotel Caravel. He needed the job so he could take care of his family, while at the same time he was working as an actor every time he had the chance. His son Gerasimos said: "His main job was receptionist. With that job we made it through. He was working from 1979 when I was born till 1996 as a receptionist".[1]

In an interview to Giannis Kasapis in 2012, Giannatos said that he loved classical music: "Classical music is the crown of music. Let me tell you how I first loved it. At my school in Constantinople I had an Italian classmate who asked me if I had ever heard classical music. I said no and she invited me to her house. She played one of Chopin's Polonaises...I froze! I heard them all! Since then I became a devotee". Giannatos also stated that he was hearing Greek songs as well, Stelios Kazantzidis and rebetiko, and sometimes even flamenco, tango or csárdás.[7] In the same interview he said that he loved the three ancient Greek tragedians — Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides — and of course Aristophanes. Also Hemingway and Agatha Christie.[7]


Giannatos died on 17 September 2013 at the age of 72 due to a heart attack, while watching a football match with friends. As his son said, no one of his friends realized that he was gone, till the moment someone called him and he didn't respond.[8]

The Greek Minister of Culture and Sports expressed his condolence to Giannatos family while stating: "Michalis Giannatos was an exquisite actor who played in many important Greek, but also foreign, movies. But he was also one of those artists and, deep down, one of those people who are proving every day that it's not necessary to have the main part of a movie to be a protagonist".[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1966 Oi stigmatismenoi First appearance as a professional actor
1968 I Arhontissa kai o Alitis Bus Conductor Translated: The Lady and the Tramp
1969 Ta Dio Podia Se Ena...Papoutsi! Translated: Two Legs in One...Shoe!
1969 To...Thima Stellas Translated: The...Victim
1971 Ti Ekanes ston Polemo Thanasi? Italian officer Translated: What Were You Doing at the War Thanasis?
1971 I Kori tou Iliou Turkish Soldier Translated: The Daughter of the Sun
1971 Enas Xenoiastos Palaviaris Man at the funeral Translated: A Carefree Fool
1973 O Tsarlatanos Patroklos Translated: The Charlatan
1973 Oi Polemistai tis Eirinis Soldier Kotsoglou Translated: The Warriors of Peace
1973 O Anthropos pou Etreche Poli Lefteris Zevedaios Translated: The Man Who Ran a Lot
1973 Diktator kalei...Thanasi Translated: The Dictator is Calling...Thanasis
1975 Bounzaka ala...Ellinika! Panagos Translated: Bounzaka in...Greek!
1976 O Thanasis sti Chora tis Sfaliaras Panagos Translated: Thanasis in the Land of Slap
1976 Elliniki Ipothesi Translated: The Greek Affair
1978 The Greek Tycoon Man on Tomasis's Boat Uncredited
1978 Midnight Express Court Translator USA
1978 O Ilios tou Thanatou Confiscator Uncredited
Translated: The Sun of Death
1978 1922
1978 A Walk in the Sun Waitor Sweden & Greece
Original title: En Vandring I Solen
Language: English & Swedish
1979 Ta Paidia tis Piatsas Baker Translated: The Kids of the Piazza
1979 O Palavos Kosmos tou Thanasi Translated: The Crazy World of Thanasis
1980 Megalexandros Dragoumanos Translated: Alexander the Great
1980 Vengos, O Trelos Kamikazi Markos Tamtikos Translated: Vengos, the Crazy Kamikaze
1980 Geusi Apo Ellada Vangelis Translated: Taste From Greece
1982 Aggelos Gas man Translated: Angel
1982 To fragma Chemist Translated: The Dam
1982 To Aima ton Agalmaton Translated: The Blood of the Statues
1982 Sti Zougkla tis Athinas/Taxidi stin Protevousa Spiros Translated: In Athens' Jungle/Journey to the City
1982 I Strophi Turkish officer Translated: Turning point
1983 H Pareksigisi Translated: The Misunderstanding
1983 Psosoxi, Kindinos! Michalis Translated: Caution, Danger!
1983 Ipogeia Diadromi Translated: Underground Route
1983 Kamikazi Agapi mou Fotiou Translated: Kamikaze my Love
1984 Taxidi sta Kithira Harbor Master Translated: Voyage to Cythera
1984 The Next One Captain USA
1985 Bordelo Giavasoglou
1986 The Two Faces of January Nikos
1986 O Melissokomos Translated: The Beekeeper
1987 Pretty Smart The Turk USA
1987 O Efialtis Translated: The Nightmare
1987 The Wind Policeman USA
1987 Chamos sto Aigaleo City Prison guard Translated: Chaos at Aigaleo City
1988 Gemini - The Twin Stars 1st policeman Switzerland
Language: English
1988 Topio stin Omixli Train station guardian Translated: Landscape in the Mist
1988 O Fakelos Polk Ston Aera Translated: The Polk File on Air
1989 The Serpent of Death Greek policeman USA
1989 Athos I Enoxos Translated: Innocent Or Guilty
1989 Ipastinomos Thanasis Translated: Police Lieutenant Thanasis
1990 I Ekdikisi tou Patera Moustafa Ali, Turkish drug dealer Translated: Father's Revenge
1990 Ante Geia Buffet waitor Translated: Take care
1991 To Meteoro Vima tou Pelargou Shopkeeper Translated: The Meteor Step of the Stork
1991 O Drapetis Shadow theater performer Translated: Master of the Shadows
1992 To daxtilidi Short
The Ring
1994 I Zoi Einai sto Dromo Short
Life is in the Street
1995 Tranzito
1995 Someone Else's America Greek agent USA
1995 Ulysses' Gaze Albanian Film Library Manager Uncredited
1995 O Hamenos Thisauros tou Hoursit Pasa Translated: The Lost Treasure of Hoursit Pasha
1995 Isa Mori Hamoura Short
1996 Me ton Orfea ton Augousto Pantelis Translated: With Orpheus in August
1998 Eternity and a Day Ticket Inspector USA
1999 America Short
1999 O Anthos tis Limnis Hasan Translated: The Flower of the Lake
2001 Captain Corelli's Mandolin Kokolios USA
2001 To Kalokairi tis Annas Sales man Translated: Anna's Summer
2002 Katalathos Astinomikos TV movie
Translated: Policeman by Accident
2002 I Fouska Uncle Translated: The Bubble
2002 Alexandros kai Aishe Translated: Alexander and Aishe
2003 Skipper Straad Short
2003 Politiki kouzina Grandpa's friend English title: A Touch of Spice
2003 Sto Hani Kara Alis Translated: To the Inn
2004 Trilogia 1: To Livadi Pou Dakrizei Zisis Translated: Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
2005 Hotel Asteria Giorgos TV movie
2005 To Oneiro tou Ikarou Old Gypsy Translated: Icarus' Dream
2005 Opa! Hector
2005 One in a Million Old man USA
2005 Munich Hotel Aristides Porter USA
2005 My Family and Other Animals Porter / Waitor UK
TV movie
2006 o etsi
2007 Koroido en'taxei' Aimilios Roukounas Translated: All Right Sucker
2008 Oi Prasines, Oi Kokkines, Oi Thalassies Oi Tsouhtres TV movie
Translated: The Green, The Red, The Blue Jellyfish
2008 O Ilias tou 16ou Manos Translated: Ilias of 16th
2011 Nisos 2: To kynigi tou hamenou thisavrou Sifnios
2011 Einai trelloi autoi oi Ellines
2012 A Green Story Grandfather
2012 Dead Europe Hotel manager UK
2012 Lost Monument Short
2012 O Anthropos pou Taize ton Iskio tou Roland Short Translated: The Man Who Was Feeding His Shadow
(final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Proti grammi Translated: Forefront
1974 Alithines Istories Translated: True Stories
1983 I Kiria Doremi Ship's bartender Translated: Mrs Doremi
1984 The First Olympics: Athens 1896 Eleni's father TV mini-series
1991 I Agapi tis Gatas Moustafas Translated: The Cat's love
1992 Oi Frouroi tis Achaias Kir Michalis Translated: Achaias' Gurdians
1992 Epikindines Sxeseis Markos Translated: Dangerous Relationships
1993 Casa Di Macaroni Vasilis
1994 To Asimenio Dinario Translated: The Silver Dinar
1995 Stras
1996 Sofia...Orthi Mr. Tolis Episode 13
Translated: Sofia...upright
1998 I Aithousa tou Thronou Policeman Episode 1.2
Translated: The Throne Room
1998 I Zoi Pou Den Ezisa Thomas Translated: The Life I Didn't Live
1999 Egklimata Butcher Episode 1.2
Translated: Crimes
1999 Thimata Eirinis Episodes 1.1 & 1.15
Translated: Victims of Peace
2000-2001 Kokkinos Kiklos Mitsos/Bambis/Kafetzis Episode: Episkeptis
Episode: To Telos Tou Paixnidiou (Mitsos)
Episode: Stin Tixi (Bambis)
Episode: Chronia Polla (Kafetzis)
Translated: Red Circle
2001 Eisai to Tairi Mou Giorgis Episode 1.8
Translated: You Are My Soulmate
2004 Voitheia Geitonoi Translated: Neighbors, help
2004 Efta Thanasimes Petheres Translated: Seven Deadly Mother-In-Laws
2004 Archipelagos Translated: Archipelago
2004 Ta Paidia tis Niovis Kadis Translated: Niovis' kids
2005 Peninta-Peninta Turkish officer Episode 2.1
Translated: Fifty-Fifty
2005 Le dernier seigneur des Balkans
(O Teleutaios Arxontas ton Valkanion)
TV mini-series (4 episodes)
Language: French
2007 Mia Stigmi, Dio Zoes Anestis Translated: One Moment, Two Lives
2007-2008 Maria, i Aschimi Niketas Translated: Ugly Maria


  1. ^ a b c d "Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος: Έφυγε αθόρυβα και διακριτικά". Madata.gr. 19 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος: "O Σπίλμπεργκ μου έλεγε στα γυρίσματα: "Michael, you are my Greek sight now!"". Πηγή: www.lifo.gr". Lifo.gr. 18 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος: Έφυγε με ένα μεγάλο παράπονο". Ourlife.gr. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c Zoumpoulakis, Giannis (18 September 2013). "Πέθανε σε ηλικία 72 ετών ο ηθοποιός Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος". To Vima.
  5. ^ a b Papantoniou, Margarita (18 September 2013). "Greek Actor Michalis Giannatos Passes Away". Greek reporter.
  6. ^ ""Έφυγε" από τη ζωή ο ηθοποιός Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος". Proto thema. 18 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b Kasapis, Giannis (23 January 2012). "Ο Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος απαντά σε 40 φιλοσοφικο-πεζές ερωτήσεις!". Dramania. Retrieved 4 February 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Tsilochristou, Evita (18 September 2013). "Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος: Ο γιος του μιλά στο TLIFE, για τον ξαφνικό του θάνατο!". T! Life. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Πέθανε ο ηθοποιός Μιχάλης Γιαννάτος". in.gr. 18 September 2013.

External linksEdit