Nikos Xanthopoulos

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Nikos Xanthopoulos (Nίκος Ξανθόπουλος) (August 31, 1934 - January 22, 2023) was a Greek actor, known for his roles in the sixties era Greek Drama Cinema. He was also a famous singer of Greek folk bouzouki, having released many albums and singles. He was known as the "kid of the nation" (παιδί του λαού) mainly for his appeal in the lower working classes. He usually portrayed a poor suffering man, hit hard by fate, seeking for justice or struggling against wealthy and evil men. In other cases, he was an immigrant in Germany working hard to feed his wife and kid or an unknown poor bouzouki player and singer working his way up to stardom. All those stereotyped roles helped him acquire a rockstar-like status in Greece, held to the late sixties - early seventies, in a difficult era for Greece (the dictatorship of the Junta).


Xanthopoulos was born in Athens, Greece in 1934. He was a stage actor from 1957 to 1963, but soon devoted himself exclusively to cinema. His film debut was in 1958 with a small role in Η Ζωή Μου Αρχίζει Με Σένα (My Life Starts With You). At 1964, he started collaborating with director-producer Apostolos Tegopoulos and the film company KLAK Film. That's when he became most famous for his roles - a golden period that lasted until 1971. It was his roles portraying him as a singer and bouzouki player that dictated that he also needed to learn how to sing. Apostolos Kaldaras (a famous Greek musician and composer) came to the rescue, teaching Xanthopoulos how to sing. Xanthopoulos' singing talent was not confined in movies though, where he ssng over 300 songs in 30 movies. He recorded 9 Albums and 55 singles, an impressive figure for someone who was first and foremost an actor!

Sowing the seeds of success

His most successful films were produced by KLAK Film, a film production company who specialized in Greek Drama of a special flavour, called μελό or σπαραξικάρδια, which used exaggerated and pompous scripts to generate tears in spectators' eyes. Film titles like: Mάνα Γιατί Με Γέννησες (Mother, why did you birth me?) and Είμαι μια δυστυχισμένη (I am a miserable girl) were a strong indicator of the kind of movies you were going to see. Those kind of movies were always a huge success and the most successful artist-actor was, you guessed it, Nikos Xanthopoulos.

Love Interests

As it is with those kind of movies, a man suffering is never enough, so Xanthopoulos films needed a female lead actress as well. Xanthopoulos had the chance to collaborate with many young actresses of his time, all specialized more or less on tearful performances. The one that stands out of the crowd and had her own cult following (and her own film production company as well), was Martha Vourtsi. Giving equally heartbroken performances as Xanthopoulos, they quickly became a powerful duo, spawning 7 films (their most notable being "Περιφρόνα με γλυκιά μου (Treat me with contempt, my dear)"). Other actresses that had the fortune of playing the love interest of Nikos Xanthopoulos are: Angela Zilia, Afroditi Grigoriadou, Kakia Analyti, Katerina Vasilakou, Mairoula Evangelou, Dora Sitzani & Kaiti Papanika.


Xanthopoulos starred in 48 movies from 1958 to 1971:

  • Oi Antres xeroun na agapoun (1971)
  • Zousa monahos horis agapi (1971)
  • O Aetos ton sklavomenon (1970)
  • Esena mono agapo (1970)
  • Giakoumis, mia romeiki kardia (1970)
  • Enas antras me syneidisi (1969)
  • Ftohogeitonia agapi mou (1969)
  • Gia tin timi kai ton erota (1969)
  • I Odysseia enos xerizomenou (1969)
  • I Sfragida toy Theou (1969)
  • I Kardia enos aliti (1968)
  • Ta Psihoula tou kosmou (1968)
  • Tapeinos kai katafronemenos (1968)
  • Xerizomeni geneia (1968)
  • Adiki katara (1967)
  • Kapote klaine kai oi dynatoi (1967)
  • O Anthropos pou gyrise apo ton pono (1966)
  • Eho dikaioma na s'agapo (1966)
  • O Katatregmenos (1966)
  • Sklavoi tis moiras (1966)
  • Apokliroi tis koinonias (1965)
  • Kardia mou papse na ponas (1965)
  • Me pono, me dakry (1965)
  • Perifrona me, glykia mou (1965)
  • Eimai mia dystyhismeni (1964)
  • Einai megalos o kaimos (1964)
  • Oi Epikindinoi (1964)
  • Zitianos mias agapis (1964)
  • Zoi gemati pono (1964)
  • Agapisa kai ponesa (1963)
  • Amartola heria (1963)
  • Dipsa gia zoi (1963)
  • Gia tin agapi tou paidiou mou (1963)
  • Lenio i voskopoula (1963)
  • Misos (1963)
  • Pligomenes kardies (1963)
  • Den gnorisa mitera (1962)
  • I Ekdikisi tou kavalari (1962)
  • Katrakilisma sto vourko (1962)
  • O Pallikaras (1961)
  • To Spiti tis idonis (1961)
  • Ta Dervisopaida (1960)
  • Idoni kai pathos (1960)
  • To Koritsi tou dromou (1960)
  • O Mitros kai o Mitrousis stin Athina (1960)
  • I Stahtobouta (1960)
  • Pos pernoun oi padremenoi (1959)
  • I Zoi mou archizei me sena (1958)

His most notable films are: Adiki Katara, Kapote Klaine Kai Oi Dynatoi, I Kardia Enos Aliti, O Katatregmenos, I Odysseia Enos Xerizomenou, Sklavoi Tis Moiras, Tapeinos Kai Katafronemenos, Ftohogeitonia Agapi Mou and Perifrona me Glykeia Mou.

External links

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