Barkoulis was born in Piraeus and at an early age took part in several Greek tragedies put on by the troupe of Spiros Mousouris and Krinio Pappa. He debuted professionally in the theatre in 1956 and in the cinema in 1957 in the film "Maria Pentayiotissa", which co-starred Aliki Vougiouklaki.
Very quickly Barkoulis developed into a leading ladies man in many a Greek film. He starred in nearly 110 movies including:
- Mimikos and Mary (1958)
- An Italian woman in Greece (1958)
- A holiday in Aegina (1958)
- Mousitsa (1959)
- Have you seen Panayis? (1962)
- The Bait (1964) - with Aliki Vougiouklaki
- Jenny, Jenny (1965) - with Jenny Karezi
- A concert for machine guns (1967)
- Isaiah, don't dance (1969)
- A crazy, crazy 40-year old woman (1970)
- The victim's logic (1990)
Barkoulis had married three times and had three children.