Former actress and journalist Rika Vayani passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 56, after battling cancer in the past few months.
Marika Zoula, or Rika Vayani, as everyone in Greece knew her, was the daughter of journalist Odysseas Zoulas and Varvara Drakou. Her name came from the first two letters of her mother’s name and the last letters of the name of sportscaster Yiannis Diakoyannis, her mother’s second husband.
Vayani was born in Athens in 1962 and graduated from the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece in 1982.
Vayani made her stage debut in 1979 and soon she worked as an actress in theater, film and television. She became famous for acting in several films in the 1980s and the popular television series To Minore tis Avgis.
Parallel to her acting career, Vayani followed her stepfather’s footsteps and worked as a journalist. She worked on radio and television and wrote for newspapers and magazines. In the late 1990s she became editing director for Cosmopolitan magazine and was contributing editor to other magazines. For several years she was a columnist for Apogevmatini and Ethnos newspapers.
Since the late 1980s, Vayani hosted TV shows and also worked for national broadcaster ERT until 2012. She also wrote two children’s books.
The journalist was married to Nikos Stefanis and they had one son, Odysseas.