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Thanasis Veggos, alternatively spelt Thanassis and/or Vengos, (Greek: Θανάσης Βέγγος; pronounced: Thanássis Véngos; 29 May 1927 – 3 May 2011) was a Greek actor and director born in Neo Faliro, Piraeus.[1][3][4] He performed in more than 120 films, predominantly comedies in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.[1] His famous comedic catchphrase was "Καλέ µου άνθρωπε" ("My good man").[4]

Background

Veggos was the only son of a power station employee who had fought with the Greek Resistance in World War II.[2] He served his compulsory military service on Makronisos from 1948 to 1950.[5] On Makronisos he met film director Nikos Koundouros who was exiled there.[6][7]
Life and career

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.[8][9] Nikos Koundouros gave him a role in Magiki polis in 1955.[2][6] His first major role was in Psila ta heria Hitler ("Hands Up, Hitler"), 1962.[6] He often played everyman characters struggling to get by, but he has played anti-heroes, he has acted in pure dramas, and on stage in the comedies of Aristophanes.[2] His characters were often self-named "Thanasis". He often worked with director Giorgos Lazaridis. In 1995, Theo Angelopoulos cast Veggos and American actor Harvey Keitel in "Ulysses Gaze".[10] In 1997, in the role of Dikaiopoli he appeared in a live performance at the ancient Epidaurus theatre.[11] When he used his catchphrase "Καλέ μου άνθρωπε" he brought the house down.

In 2000, he survived a car accident involving a collision with a train.[6] He later participated in advertisements promoting road safety.[6]

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 films such as the sequel of Secret Agent 000, Papatrehas, Enas trellos Vengos and many others, most of them by his own company Θ-Β Comedies (Θ-Β Tainies Geliou).[2]

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

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.[2]
Legacy

He is survived by his wife Asimina and two sons.[2] He will always be remembered in the more than 120 films and more recent documentaries that he starred in.[2] The phrase "τρέχει σάν τόν Βέγγο" (English translation: "runs like Veggo") has been adopted in to common usage in the Greek language since nobody has run more or faster than Veggo in his many slapstick comedies.[12]
Filmography
Early movies

Kiriakatiko Xsipnima (premiered 1954), Windfall in Athens (1956)[9]
Magiki Polis (1955), Magic City[2]
Katadikasmeni ki apo to paidi tis (1955), Condemned even by her child!!!!
O Drakos (1956), The dragon
To koritsi me ta mavra (1956), A Girl in Black
Echei theio to koritsi (1956), The girl has an uncle
To koritsi me ta paramythia (1957), Fairytale girl
Maria i Pentagiotissa (1957), Maria the Pentagiotissa
I ftocheia thelei kaloperasi (1958), Having a good time in poverty
To eispraktoraki (1958), The little money collector
Diakopes stin Aigina (1958), Holidays in Aegina
Oi kavgatzides (1958), The brawlers
Mono gia mia nychta (1958), Only for one night
Haroumenoi alites (1958), Happy streetboys
Kathe empodio se kalo (1958), Each obstacle is for good
O Mimikos kai Mairi (1958), Mimikos and Mairy
To koritsi tis amartias (1958), The girl of sin
O Karagiozis (1959), O Karagiozis
Gamilies Peripeteies (1959), Nuptial Adventures
I mousitsa (1959), The cunning jade
Anthismeni amigdalia (1959), Blooming almond tree
Ena nero Kyra Vaggelio (1959), Gimme some water Kyra Vaggelio
O Ilias tou 16ou (1959), Ilias of 16th precinct
Gia to psomi kai ton erota (1959), For the bread and love
Oi dosatzides (1959), The tallymen
Enas Ellinas sto Parisi (1959), A Greek in Paris
To agorokoritso (1959 ), The tomboy
O theios apo ton Kanada (1959), The uncle from Canada
To rantevou tis Kyriakis (1960), The Sunday appointment
Ta dervisopaida (1960), The dervish boys
To klotsoskoufi (1960), The plaything
Mandalena (1960), Mandalena
Pothoi sta stachya (1960), Desires in the hay
Erotika paichnidia (1960), Erotic games
Pote tin Kyriaki (1960), Never on a Sunday
Oikogeneia Papadopoulou (1960), The Papadopoulos family
O Mitros ki o Mitrousis stin Athina (1960), Mitros and Mitrousis in Athens
Tyflos Aggelos (1960), Blind Angel
I avgi tou thriamvou (1961), The dawn of triumph
Oi enniakosioi tis Marinas (1961), The nine hundred of Marina
Gia sena tin agapi mou (1961), For you my love
Mia tou klefti (1961), Once a thief
Horis mitera (1961), Without a mother
Poios tha krinei tin koinonia ; (1961), Who will judge society ?
Diavolou kaltsa (1961), Cunning woman
I katara tis manas (1961), The mothers curse
Hamena oneira (1961), Lost dreams
Ziteitai pseftis (1961), Lier wanted
Lathos ston erota (1961), Fault in love
I myrtia (1961), The myrtle
Diamado (1961), Diamado
Eftychos trelathika (1961), Fortunately I went nuts
Poia einai i Margarita; (1961), Who is Margarita?
Liza ki i alli (1961), Liza and the other girl
Doulepste gia na fate (1961), Work to eat
O atsidas (1962), The smart one
Douleies tou podariou (1962), Odd jobs
To pithari (1962), The earthenware jar
Yperochi optasia (1962), Beautiful illusion

Leading roles

Psila ta heria, Hitler (1962), Stick them up, Hitler
Oi yperifanoi (1962), The proud ones
Zito i trela (1962 ), Hurrah for madness
Vasilias tis gafas (1962), King of gaff
Astronaftes gia desimo (1962), Silly astronauts
Min ton eidate ton Panai; (1962), Anyone saw Panai ?
Gabros gia klamata (1962), Pathetic son-in-law
Anysicha niata (1963), Anxious youth
O Yppolitos kai to violi tou (1963), Yppolitos and his violin
Tyfla na'chei o Marlon Brando (1963), Marlon Brando doesn't compare
Polytehnitis kai erimospitis (1963), Jack of all trades and master of one
O trelaras (1963), The nutcase
To tyhero panteloni (1963), Lucky pants
Scholi gia soferines (1964), School for women drivers
Oi ftochodiavoloi (1964), The poor demons
O polyteknos (1964), Father of many children
Exo i ftocheia kai i kali kardia (1964), Poverty and gentle heart
Tha se kano vasilissa (1964), I will make you a queen
Ta Didyma (1964), The Twins
O Katafertzis (1964), The hustler
Einai enas trelos ... trelos Veggos (1965), He is one crazy ... crazy Veggos
O Papatrehas (1966), The babbler
Faneros Praktor 000 (1967), Out-in-the-open Agent 000[5]
Pare kosme (1967), For all to take
Trelos, palavos kai Vengos (1967), Crazy , daft and Veggos
Doktor Zi - Veggos (1968), Doctor Zi - Veggos
Poios Thanasis ; (1969), Who Thanasis
Ena asyllipto koroido (1969), An amazing dupe
Thou-Vou falakros praktor, epicheirisis gis madiam (1969), Thou-Vou bald agent, operation havoc
Enas Veggos gia oles tis douleies (1970), One Veggos for all the trades
O Thanasis, i Ioulieta kai ta loukanika (1970), Thanasis, Juliette and the sausages
Diakopes sto Vietnam (1971), Holidays in Vietnam
Ti ekanes sto polemo Thanasi; (1971), What did you do during the war Thanasis?
Enas xegnoiastos palaviaris (1971), One carefree wacko
Thanasi pare to oplo sou (1972), Thanasis take your gun
O anthropos pou etreche poly (1973), The man who ran too much
Diktator kalei Thanasi (1973), Dictator calls Thanasis
O tsarlatanos (1973), The charlatan
O Thanasis sti hora tis sfaliaras (1976), Thanasis in the land of slap
Apo pou pane gia havouza ; (1978), Whats the way to the refuse dump ?
O palavos kosmos tou Thanasi (1979), The batty world of Thanasis
O falakros mathitis (1979), The bald - headed student
Thanasi sfixe ki allo to zonari (1980), Thanasis tighten up your belt
O trelos kamikazi (1980), The mad kamikaze
To megalo kanoni (1981), The big cannon
O Thanasis kai to katarameno fidi (1982), Thanasis and the accursed serpent
Trelos kai pasis Ellados (1983), Daffy of all Greece
O Thanasis sti hora tou "tha" (1988), Thanasis in the country of "shall"'
Trelokomeion i Ellas (1988), Mad house Greece
To didymo tis symforas (1989), The duo of misfortune
O protathlitis (1989), The champion
Prosohi ... mas valane boba (1990), Attention ... they set us a bomb
Isyhes meres tou Avgustou (1991), The calm days of August
Zoi harisameni (1993), Pleasant life
To vlemma tou Odyssea (1995), Ulysses' Gaze[10]
Vimata (1996), Steps
Ola einai dromos (1998), Everything is a journey
To ainigma (1998), The riddle
Psychi vathia (2009), Deep Soul[2]
The Flight of the Swan (2010)

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.

Ta veggalika (1985) ERT
Astynomos Thanasis Papathanasis ( 1990 ) ANT1 channel , Police commissioner Thanasis Papathanasis
Peri anemon kai ydaton ( 2002 ) Mega channel, About everything
Erotas, opos i erimos ( 2003 ) NET channel , Love , like the desert
Kathrefti, kathreftaki mou ( 2006 ) ANT1 channel, Mirror Mirror

Theatrical performances and troupes
Performances

O trelos tou louna park kai i atsida ( 1959–70 ), The madman of the entertainment park and the wizard
Okto andres katigoroundai ( 1963 ), Eight men accused
Kokkina triandafylla ( 1963 ), Red roses
Oi ftohodiavoloi ( 1963 ), The poor demons
Arhodorebetissa ( 1963–64 ), Lady rebetis
Kypros yiok ( 1963–64 ), Cyprus gone
Ti ekanes ston Troiko polemo Thanasi ; ( 1971 ), What did you do during the Trojan War Thanasis ?
To vlima ( 1972 ), The missile
Mam, kaka, koko kai nani ( 1975 ), Eat, poop, shag and sleep
Peace of Aristophanes ( 1995 )
Ellin exastheneis ( 1997 ), Greece you are losing your senses
Acharnians of Aristophanes ( 1998 )
Ellines eiste kai faineste ( 1998–99 ), Greek is a Greek does

Troupes

Mandoubala
Kainourgia Athina, New Athens
Anthropoi tou ' 60, People of ' 60

References

^ a b c d Popular actor Thanassis Veggos dies at 84 ekathimerini.com, Kathimerini newspaper, 3 May 2011.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Greek slapstick comedy hero Thanassis Vengos dies at 83, Associated Press, 3 May 2011.
^ Γιατί μπήκε στο νοσοκομείο ο Θανάσης Βέγγος, βιογραφικό Φήμες (Greek language)
^ a b Αντίο καλέ μας άνθρωπε Enet.gr, Eleutherotypia newspaper, 3 May 2011. (Greek language)
^ a b Thanassis Veggos dies at 84 Athens News, 3 May 2011.
^ a b c d e Great Greek Actor Thanasis Veggos Passes greekreporter.com, 3 May 2011.
^ Ο Ν. Κούνδουρος για τη φιλία του με το Θ. Βέγγο, English translation: "N. Koundouros on his friendship with T. Veggo", Star.gr, 3 May 2011. (Greek language)
^ Κυριακάτικο Ξύπνημα Cine.gr (Greek language)
^ a b Windfall in Athens (1956) IMDb
^ a b Greek Comic Hero Vengos Dies at 84 ABC News, 3 May 2011.
^ “Αντίο, καλέ μου άνθρωπε”: Έφυγε ο Θανάσης Βέγγος, ZoomNews.gr, 3 May 2011.
^ Τα νυχτερινά σχολεία της ζωής choicetv.gr, 13 April 2011. (Greek language)

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