Two years without Kostas Voutsas: The man who made his traumatic childhood years a positive energy

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One of the latest losses of the beloved generation of the old Greek cinema, which never stopped working either in the cinema and the theater, or on the television. Costas Voutsas, with almost 70 years in the couvert, started from low, became a protagonist in the golden 60’s, played everything, but was characterized as a great comedian, while even as a veteran he tried new things.

Costas Voutsas, however, went through difficult times, especially in his childhood. He saw his communist father eating wood from security guards, he lived through the black Occupation, he participated in the National Resistance, he worked from a young age to survive until he stepped on the theatrical board, starting from the herds.

Two years have passed since his death (February 26, 2020), something that many of his fans could hardly believe, as Kostas Voutsas was synonymous with liveliness, positive energy, a man who loved women, married four times, had three daughters and a son from his last marriage at the age of 84.

Avantadoros Papatzis

Costas Savvopoulos, as his real name was, was born on December 31, 1931, in Vyronas, Attica, a child of a refugee family from the Passengers of Thrace. He grew up in Thessaloniki and was forced as a child to join the fight to help his family. His father, a road construction worker, had a hard time making ends meet and little Costas did chores to help. He sold cigarettes, made the avant-garde into papatzides and everything else imaginable.

The communist father and the wood in Security

Apostolos’s father was one of the first members of the Communist Party, known in the Security at that time. At one point he was sacked by the Security to sign a statement of repentance and be released. They went there to see his wife and young children, seeing their father eating wood in front of their eyes. He was beaten with metal rods, he was in the blood and although his wife begged him to sign, he refused. A childish, mental trauma that probably followed the popular protagonist for years. From the period of the Occupation he gained other unpleasant experiences, with the dead in the streets, with the minds of people on the walls.

From the herds to the cinema

Nevertheless, he will be able to study at the Drama School of the Macedonian Conservatory, from where he graduated in 1953 and without any hesitation entered the wandering theatrical troupes, the famous herds. In 1953 he will get the baptism of fire in the cinema, playing a role in the movie “Dad is Educated” starring Petros Kyriakos. Two or three more small roles will follow – among them in the classic comedy “Our Lady the Mom” ​​to come in 1961, where he will co-star next to the already acclaimed Costas Hadjichristos in the comedy “The Tough Man”, while a characteristic and particularly spicy His lifelong friend Martha Karagianni will also play a role.

The water was entering the groove for Voutsas and he will start to get good supporting roles in many films, clearly gaining impressions, many times from the protagonists as well. Some examples are the films “Theodore and the Deacon”, “Law 4000”. Thus will come his first huge success in a leading role in the 1962 comedy “Some Prefer Cold” as Cleopas, playing alongside Dino Iliopoulos, Zoe Laskaris, Rena Vlachopoulou and Vangelis Voulgaridis.

From Aleka to Aliki

Costas Voutsas, however, was particularly successful with women. One of his first loves was with the actress Aleka Stratigou, while in the late 50’s he met Speranza Vrana, with whom he got engaged. In fact, in her biography, Vrana had described him for that period of their love as jealous and a man who would do everything he could to rise to the artistic firmament. Apparently the childhood traumas that followed Voutsas, with the cursed poverty, the image of the beaten father and the Occupation, had affected him and made him a man who wanted to escape from his torturous memories, to stop being afraid that he might strike. the door and be the gendarme…

His first marriage will be with the dancer and actress Erika Broger in 1966. Two more marriages will follow, with Theano Papaspyrou and the actress Evi Karagianni. His last wife was the 39-year-younger actor, Aliki Katsavou, with whom he will marry in 2016 and have a son.

A smart face

Returning to his artistic career, in 1963, among the five films he played, he will star in the successful comedies “A Girl for Two”, next to Alekos Alexandrakis and “My Friend Lefterakis” next to Dino Iliopoulos. Next year he will star, next to a wide cast of popular actors, in the comedy “Something to Burn”. In 1965 his obligations will increase, with even more films, from which stand out the comedies “A Smart Smart Face”, next to Vassilis Avlonitis and Nikos Rizos and “Girls for Kissing”, giving a recital as Costas Kaliakoudas and the famous ” I also have a yacht, let’s go for a walk … “. Voutsas, expressive, transmits energy, serves admirably both slaps and other types of comedy, as well as the musical, and although obviously unrelated to dance, he is enjoyable with his fours.

Forever AEK

In the following years, until the devaluation of the old commercial cinema, he will make dozens of films, he will become an undisputed protagonist, as the films are now based exclusively on him, while now the manner will dominate his acting skills. Some of his best appearances will be in the movies “Wedding Night” making an indomitable Constantinople next to Martha Karagianni, “The Man”, again next to Karagianni, while this cycle will end with the “political” comedy “A Tanks at My bed “, in the role of a frightened confectioner during the years of the junta. It is also the only film with a political theme, although of limited importance and interest, although as he stated he was a KKE voter, while he was never organized in the party. On the contrary, he was known for his madness with AEK, which he strongly supported since his childhood.

From Kotsos to Odysseus

In the coming years, the road will be downhill with insignificant to bad movies – and videos – of the type “Sheriff the Machine-eater”, “Kotsos and the Aliens”, “Kotsos in the EEC”, “The Knight of Lakova”, until In 1984, one of the most sympathetic representatives of the new Greek cinema, Vassilis Vafeas, will come to give him the opportunity to play something completely different from the usual in the film “The Love of Odysseus”, with which he won the acting award at the Festival. Thessaloniki. They will collaborate with Vafeas in two or three more films, while he will continue to play in commercial, but insignificant, films.

Sweet memory

Two years ago, the beloved actor will die at Attikon Hospital from cardiorespiratory failure at the age of 88. He left almost standing, since until he entered the hospital he worked normally in the theater and had fun normally. Before his funeral, his body was placed in a popular pilgrimage to say goodbye to the large audience that loved him. Costas Voutsas, apart from his children, will leave behind a sweet memory of a man who conveyed the joy of life, shared laughter and with his black and white or color films, it does not matter, a magical, human, charming Greece forever .

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