Thanasis Veggos

Last updated
Thanasis Veggos

Thanasis Veggos.jpg
Thanasis Veggos as "000"
(secret agent "007" spoof)
in "Faneros Praktor 000" (1967)
Born(1926-05-29)29 May 1926
Died3 May 2011(2011-05-03) (aged 84)
Athens, Greece
Spouse(s)Asimina Veggos (1956-2011, his death)

Thanasis Veggos (alternatively spelt Thanassis and/or Vengos; Greek: Θανάσης Βέγγος; pronounced: Thanássis Véngos; 29 May 1926 3 May 2011) was a Greek actor and director born in Neo Faliro, Piraeus. [1] [2] [3] He performed in around 130 films, predominantly comedies in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, [1] starring in more than 50 among them. He is considered one of the best Greek comedy actors of all time. His famous comedic catchphrase was "Καλέ µου άνθρωπε" ("My good man"). [3]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a sovereign state located in Southern and Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Piraeus Place in Greece

Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.



Veggos was the only son of a power station employee who had fought with the Greek Resistance in World War II. [4] Vassilis Veggos played an important part in the defense of the Piraeus power station when the Germans attempted to destroy it before departing in 1944, but precisely because of this was dismissed from his job in the post-war purge of leftists. [5] Veggos himself was a member of EPON, the youth branch of the left-wing resistance movement EAM/ELAS, and so served his compulsory military service as an inmate on the notorious prison island Makronisos from 1948 to 1950. [6] On Makronisos he met film director Nikos Koundouros who was also exiled there. [7] [8]

Greek Resistance World War II resistance movement

The Greek Resistance is the blanket term for a number of armed and unarmed groups from across the political spectrum that resisted the Axis occupation of Greece in the period 1941–1944, during World War II. It is considered as one of the strongest resistance movements in Nazi-occupied Europe.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Makronisos island in the Aegean Sea

Makronisos, or Makronisi, is an island in the Aegean sea, in Greece, notorious as the site of a political prison from the 1940s to the 1970s. It is located close to the coast of Attica, facing the port of Lavrio. The island has an elongated shape, 13 km (8 mi) north to south, around 500 m (1,640 ft) east to west, and its terrain is arid and rocky. It is the largest uninhabited Greek island.

Career and his accident

Veggos' first appearance in a film was in Windfall in Athens , produced by Mihalis Kakogiannis, which premiered in Athens as Kiriakatiko Xsipnima on 11 January 1954. [9] [10] Nikos Koundouros gave him a role in Magiki polis in 1955. [4] [7] His first major role was in Psila ta heria Hitler ("Hands Up, Hitler"), 1962. [7] and continued many more films. For his acting in What did you do in the war, Thanasi? (1971), the public of Thessaloniki °apotheosized° him and the movie won three awards at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. He often played everyman characters struggling to get by, but he has also played anti-heroes, he has acted in pure dramas, and on stage in the comedies of Aristophanes. [4] His characters were often self-named "Thanasis". He often worked with directors Panos Glykofridis and Giorgos Lazaridis. In 1995, Theo Angelopoulos cast Veggos and American actor Harvey Keitel in "Ulysses Gaze". [11] In 1997, in the role of Dikaiopoli he appeared in a live performance at the ancient Epidaurus theatre. [12]

Windfall in Athens is a 1954 Greek comedy film directed by Michael Cacoyannis. It was entered into the 1954 Cannes Film Festival.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become one of the Southeast Europe's primary showcases for the work of new and emerging filmmakers. The event features the International Section, a panorama of Greek films, the New Horizons program, the Balkan Survey, and numerous retrospectives and tributes to leading figures in the world of film. The Festival is competitive with the International Section jury awarding several prizes each year, most notably the "Golden Alexander" for Best Feature-Length Film.

Aristophanes ancient Athenian comic playwright

Aristophanes, son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These provide the most valuable examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy and are used to define it, along with fragments from dozens of lost plays by Aristophanes and his contemporaries.

In 2000, he survived a car accident involving a collision with a train. [7] He later participated in advertisements promoting road safety. [7]

A documentary of his life, whose title translates as A Man for All Seasons, was made in 2004. He always did his own stunts including the most dangerous ones, like hanging from a rope tied to a balcony fifty feet above a pavement without anything to break his fall, walking through a glass door, or falling down a stone staircase head first. During the "Golden Sixties" of the Greek film industry he made his most popular comedy films such as the sequel of Secret Agent 000, Papatrehas, Enas trellos Vengos and many others, also with surrealist humor, most of them by his own company Θ-Β Comedies (Θ-Β Tainies Geliou) which founded in 1964. [4]

Surrealist cinema is a modernist approach to film theory, criticism, and production with origins in Paris in the 1920s. The movement used shocking, irrational, or absurd imagery and Freudian dream symbolism to challenge the traditional function of art to represent reality. Related to Dada cinema, Surrealist cinema is characterized by juxtapositions, the rejection of dramatic psychology, and a frequent use of shocking imagery. Philippe Soupault and André Breton’s 1920 book collaboration Les Champs Magnétiques is often considered to be the first Surrealist work, but it was only once Breton had completed his Surrealist Manifesto in 1924 that ‘Surrealism drafted itself an official birth certificate.’

In 2008, Veggos was appointed Commander of the Order of the Phoenix by the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias. [1]

Order of the Phoenix (Greece) Greek order of merit

The Order of the Phoenix is an order of Greece, established on May 13, 1926, by the republican government of the Second Hellenic Republic to replace the defunct Royal Order of George I.

Karolos Papoulias Greek jurist and politician

Karolos Papoulias is a Greek politician who served as President of Greece from 2005 to 2015. A member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), he previously was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1989 and again from 1993 until 1996.

On 3 May 2011, he died at 7:10 a.m. He had been hospitalized at the Red Cross hospital, in Athens, since 18 December 2010. [4]

Personal life

Thanasis Veggos was married to Asimina and they had two sons. [4] He will always be remembered in more than 120 films and documentaries that he has starred in. [4] The phrase "τρέχει σαν το Βέγγο" (English translation: "runs like Veggos") has been adopted into common usage in the Greek language since nobody has run more or faster than Veggos in his many slapstick comedies. [13]


Early movies

Leading roles

Television series

Veggos also played roles in televisual series in the 1990s and 2000s; these were mainly roles of an elder wise person, who gives his advice to the younger ones.

Theatrical performances and troupes



Related Research Articles

Manos Katrakis

Emmanuel "Manos" Katrakis was a Greek actor of theater and film.

Grigoris Bithikotsis was a popular Greek folk singer/songwriter with a career spanning five decades.

Nikos Xanthopoulos is a Greek actor, known for his roles in the 1960s era Greek Drama Cinema. He was also a singer of Greek folk bouzouki, having released many albums and singles. He is known as "the child of the folk" mainly for playing roles depicting men from the lower working classes. He usually portrayed a poor man, hit hard by fate, seeking justice or one struggling against wealthy and evil men. In other cases, he played the role of an immigrant in Germany working hard to provide for his wife and child. Other times he played an unknown poor bouzouki player and singer working his way up to stardom. From the late 1960s until the early 1970s, these roles helped him become a star in Greece during the dictatorship of the Junta.

Nikos Koundouros was a Greek film director.

Rika Dialina is a Greek actress and beauty queen. She represented Greece at the Miss Universe 1954 pageant in Long Beach, California.

Nikos Kourkoulos was a highly respected Greek theatrical and film performer, one of the most talented and recognizable actors in Greece of modern times. Kourkoulos is best known to Greek audiences for playing "Angelos Kreouzis" in Oratotis miden, but he also appeared in other movies such as To Homa vaftike kokkino, Exodos kindynou, O Astrapogiannos, O Katiforos among others.

Vasilis Avlonitis was one of the most famous old-school Greek comedians. He performed in numerous films and stage productions in the mid to late 1900s.

Kostas Voutsas is a Greek actor, director, and writer.

Sotiris Moustakas Greek actor

Sotiris Moustakas was a Greek comedy actor born in Cyprus.

Sophia Aliberti (Greek: Σοφία Αλιμπέρτη is a Greek talk show and game show host since 2004, television actress and former fashion model.

Eleni Zafeiriou was a Greek film actress. She appeared in 108 films between 1951 and 1996.

Dionysis Papagiannopoulos was a Greek actor. He was born in Diakopto in the northeastern part of Achaea in 1912. He studied at the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece in Athens and made his stage debut in 1938, appearing as the Knight in William Shakespeare’s King Lear. He excelled in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the Grave Digger and in Dimitris Psathas’ Fonazei o Kleftis as General Solon Karaleon.

Stefanos Stratigos was a Greek actor in film and television.

Evdokia "Beata" Asimakopoulou was a Greek actress.

Dinos Iliopoulos was a Greek actor. He was one of the greatest film/theater actors in Greece.

Voitheia! O Vengos faneros praktor 000 is a 1967 Greek spy comedy film directed by Thanasis Vengos, written by Napoleon Eleftheriou, and Nikos Tsiforos, and starring Thanasis Vengos, Zannino, Dimitris Nikolaidis, and Antonis Papadopoulos. The film was shot in black-and-white.

Andreas Barkoulis was a Greek actor. He was among the most popular male actors of the 1950s and 1960s in Greece. He was considered such a heartthrob that a popular expression of the era was created for him: "Eh koritsia, o Barkoulis!". He died on 23 August 2016 at the age of 80.

Dinos Katsouridis was a Greek Cypriot film director, cinematographer and editor. He had worked in a lot of Greek film sometimes as director, sometimes as film editor and sometimes as cinematographer as well as writer. He has won film awards about all the categories of these works


  1. 1 2 3 Popular actor Thanassis Veggos dies at 84, Kathimerini newspaper, 3 May 2011.
  2. Γιατί μπήκε στο νοσοκομείο ο Θανάσης Βέγγος, βιογραφικό Φήμες (Greek language)
  3. 1 2 Αντίο καλέ μας άνθρωπε, Eleutherotypia newspaper, 3 May 2011. (Greek language)
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Greek slapstick comedy hero Thanassis Vengos dies at 83, Associated Press, 3 May 2011.
  5. Risospastis 4/5/2011,
  6. Rizospastis 4/5/2011,
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Great Greek Actor Thanasis Veggos Passes, 3 May 2011.
  8. Ο Ν. Κούνδουρος για τη φιλία του με το Θ. Βέγγο, English translation: "N. Koundouros on his friendship with T. Veggo" Archived 2011-05-06 at the Wayback Machine ,, 3 May 2011. (Greek language)
  9. Κυριακάτικο Ξύπνημα (Greek language)
  10. 1 2 Windfall in Athens (1956) IMDb
  11. 1 2 Greek Comic Hero Vengos Dies at 84 ABC News, 3 May 2011.
  12. “Αντίο, καλέ μου άνθρωπε”: Έφυγε ο Θανάσης Βέγγος Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine ,, 3 May 2011.
  13. Τα νυχτερινά σχολεία της ζωής Archived 2011-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, 13 April 2011. (Greek language)
  14. Thanassis Veggos dies at 84 Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine Athens News, 3 May 2011.