Thymios Karakatsanis – a Great Aristophanian Actor & Theatre Director

Thymios Karakatsanis

A Greek actor and one of the greatest theatre directors, Thymios Karakatsanis is an artist whose name became synonymous with the Aristophanian comedies he so loved and worked on, with passion and respect, throughout his entire acting career. He was a man with an intense personality, poignant and brilliant, above all else. Fierce opponent of the television and the false values it promotes, he gave criticism as often as he received it and his witty comments about life in modern Greece never failed to provoke strong reactions.

Efthymios (Thymios) Karakatsanis was born on December 8, 1940 in Piraeus. He studied at the “Art Theatre Carolos Kuhn”, the Greek ‘Mecca’ of a drama school, aiming at the promotion of Greek and foreign plays, both classic and modern and the staging of ancient drama, founded by the internationally acclaimed Greek theatre director, Carolos Kuhn. Since 1960, Karakatsanis was working as a theatre actor, at the “Art Theatre”, at first and later on, at the “Free Theatre”, a somewhat special Greek theater which contributed to the revival and perfection of revue.

Karakatsanis spent the greatest part of his career on the theatre stage focusing predominantly on Aristophanian plays, associating himself with the poet’s comedies, with regular performances at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. Apart from the ancient drama, and always parallel to it, Karakatsanis interpreted a wide variety of roles in plays of writers ranging from Harold Pinter, Jaroslav Hasek, Neil Simon and Pedro Calderon to Moliere. His name always attracted huge crowds to the theatres he appeared at.

Primarily a stage actor, Karakatsanis has a relatively small filmography to display, having participated in only eleven movies, from 1967 to 1986. In this short list are included Peter Fleischmann’s Weak Spot, a 1975 French-Italian-German thriller film and the Greek-Italian crime/comedy film Pythia’s Smile (or, The Trick of the Tunnel), directed by Sergio Bergonzelli and Soulis Georgiadis.

In one of his last interviews, in November 2011, he announced he was retiring from theatre acting due to the serious health issues he had been struggling with, for the last years. Always an actor at heart, he closed the interview, along with his career, with the theatrical expression: “For me, the curtain has fallen…“.

Thymios Karakatsanis passed away on June 30, 2012, at the age of 71.

I fought because I believed something might change. Now, [I fight] mostly out of habit… just in case it does [change]!
Thymios Karakatsanis ... on what he fought for, in life

Posthumous fame is an utterly stupid thing! Ephemeral is the stage actor’s art. The lights are on, you live; off… you die! Stage actors leave nothing behind them. That’s why I love this profession so much!
Thymios Karakatsanis ... on an actor's posthumous fame

Thymios Karakatsanis – a Great Aristophanian Actor & Theatre Director
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