On this day, September 3, 1983, Elli Lampeti breathed her last, stricken with cancer, at the age of 57. The charismatic actress with the beautiful face, enormous talent and charming fakeness wrote her own unique story in theater and cinema.
Who was Elli Lampeti?
He was born on April 13, 1926 in Vilia, Attica. Her real name was Elli Loukou. Her father was Kostas Loukos, a tavern owner, and her mother was Anastasia Stamati. Her grandfather, known as Captain Stamatis, had fought on the side of Kolokotronis, during the revolution of 1821.
In 1928 her family moved to Athens. Thirteen years later, Elli took exams at the Drama School of the National Theater, but was rejected. However, her talent was recognized by Marika Kotopoulis, who took her in and soon became her favorite student. In fact, he trusted her so much that he even allowed her to read the love letters she had received from Iona Dragoumis, at the beginning of the 20th century. That year she also acquired her new surname, which she chose from the book “Astrapogianos” by Aristotle Valaoritis.
Very soon, in 1942, she made her first official theatrical appearance, in Hauptmann’s play Hannele Goes to Paradise. Four years later, he established himself as an actor of exceptional interiority, with “The Glass World” at the Karolos Koon Art Theatre. In the same year, she made her film debut, in the film “Enslaved Slaves”. From 1948 he collaborated with the director Kostas Mousouris, Koun’s great rival. That year she also met Alekos Alexandrakis, her first great love.
In 1950 she married Marios Ploritis. However, their marriage did not last long… They divorced three years later, when Elli met Dimitris Horn. Together they wrote one of the most brilliant pages in acting. They formed their own troupe, together with Giorgos Pappa, staging works such as: “The Rainmaker”, “Bridal Bed”, “The Game of Loneliness”, etc. On the big screen, they were co-stars in Giorgos Tzavelas’ “Kalpiki Lira” (1956), “Sunday Awakening” (1954), “The Girl in Black” (1956).
Another cinematic success of Elli Lambeti, from this period, is “The Last Lie” (1957) by Michalis Kakogiannis.
Although Elli Lampeti and Dimitris Horn were a beloved couple in life and on the board, their relationship came to an end in 1959. They stated that they would work together again soon, but that never happened. By then Elli had lost her mother, three brothers and a baby she would have with Horn. The only light in these tragic years was her acquaintance with the American writer Wakeman, who was her next husband until 1976.
Cancer makes its appearance in the life of the actress in 1969. After the operation (total mastectomy) to which she underwent in the USA, she returns and tries to overcome it.
An attempt to adopt together with Wakeman, (of little Eliza), created many problems for her, when a court decision obliged her to return the child, after 4 years, to his natural parents. This adventure created a general depression and melancholy in her, which kept her away from the theater.
The cancer recurred after 11 years, in 1980. The metastases were constant. The chemotherapy she underwent damaged her vocal cords, causing her to gradually lose her voice. The last show in which she starred in Athens was “Children of an inferior God” in the role of the deaf Sarah.
On September 3, 1983 at 7:30 in the morning she breathed her last at the Mount Sinai Hospital in the USA, where she had gone a few weeks before. On September 5, 1983 her body was transferred to Athens and on September 6, 1983 she was buried at public expense in the First Cemetery of Athens.
Her life was written in a book by her good friend Freddy Germanos and became a bestseller, 13 years after her death.