One of Greece's most loved and low-key comedians, Thanasis Veggos, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 84, after more than four months in intensive care at the Hellenic Red Cross Hospital.
Veggos was born in Neo Faliro in May 1927, the only child of Vassilis and Evdokia Veggos. His father, a civil servant, was a resistance hero and after the war was fired from his job at the state electricity company due to his political beliefs and caused severe financial problems for the family, forcing young Thanasis to do various odd jobs to help out.
Thanasis Veggos was also exiled himself from 1948-1950 for political reasons to Makronisos island, where he met director Nikos Koundouros, who was also exiled there and later gave Veggos his debut movie role in Magiki Polis (1955) after playing bit parts since 1952.
He also worked with renowned Greek directors Theodore Angelopoulos and Pantelis Voulgaris.
Veggos usually played the roles of everyday people struggling to make end meet, which endeared him to the Greek public, but also acted on stage in Aristophanes comedies.
In 2000, Veggos survived an accident in which his car crashed into a train, and later did a series of relevant safety advertisements.
In 2008, Veggos was made a Commander of the Order of the Phoenix by Greece's President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.
He is survived by his wife Asimina and their two children.
President Papoulias, political parties express sadness over death of actor Thanasis Veggos
President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister George Papan-dreou and party leaders expressed their sadness over the death of actor Thanasis Veggos, who died at an Athens hospital on Tuesday morning aged 84.
"The news of the death of Thanasis Veggos provokes nationwide sadness and emotion. He was great, charismatic, full of rare kindness for people," President Papoulias said.
Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed his sadness over the actor's passing, saying that "Thanasis Veggos gave all of us moments of great joy, as well as of philosophical scepticism."
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras spoke of Veggos's character, simpleness and inexhaustible talent, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) termed him a "genuine popular artist", the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party referred to "the classic figure of the Greek of the postwar era" and Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) president Alexis Tsipras said he was the most characteristic figure of popular civilisation and culture.
Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos also extended his condolences to the family of the deceased.
Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, in a written statement issued in Nicosia, termed Veggos a "leading artist and a popular militant, who established art as a means of struggle for better life and more justice."