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Melina Mercouri

Melina Mercouri (October 18, 1920 - March 6, 1994) was a Greek actress and political activist. Born Anna Amalia Mercouri in Athens, she became well-known to international audiences when she starred in the 1960 film Never on Sunday, directed by her husband Jules Dassin. In fact, she had been making movies since 1955, first appearing in the Greek language film Stella.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Never on Sunday, she went on to star in such films as Topkapi, Phaedra, and Gaily, Gaily.

During the period of dictatorship in Greece from 1967 to 1974, Mercouri lived in France. When the dictatorship revoked her Greek citizenship, she said, "I was born Greek and I would die Greek. Mr. Pattakos was born a dictator and he will die as a dictator."

When democracy returned to her home country, she returned, and became first a member of the Parliament, and then Minister of Culture.

In 1971 she wrote her autobiography, I Was a Greek.