Popular Greek actor George Vasileiou, aged 66, died on Wednesday morning, after losing a tough battle with cancer that he had been dealing with for a long period of time. News of his illness was first publicized in September this year when he came out with his illness, urging people to stop smoking. “I used to smoke two packs a day,” he said in an interview. “What happened to me was because of smoking.”
The actor became a household name in Greece after he appeared in a successful long-running TV soap opera known as “Kalimera Zoe” (Goodmorning). There, he played the role of police officer Stathis Theoharis, a man of morals that people could relate to. Though this was his most iconic role that he interpreted from 1993-2006, he had also starred in numerous works with some of Greece’s best actors such as comedians Thanassis Vengos and Rena Vlahopoulou. In 2004, he was elected as an MP, running with the main opposition conservative New Democracy Party of Greece. Apart from his roles in the theater, he has also taught drama at the Tranga School and has lent his voice to many popular children’s cartoons.
Vasileiou was born on June 21, 1950, in Lamia, central Greece. He married law graduate Lia Thermogianni, who he has been with since 1973; together they have two children, Vasilis and Ioulietta.
People were moved by his passing and no sooner did news of his death come to light that his Facebook page was inundated by messages from friends, colleagues and fans.