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Popular actor Thanassis Veggos dies at 84

Greek actor Thanassis Veggos, who became known for playing everyman roles mostly in comedies during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, has died at the age of 84.

Veggos passed away on Tuesday morning. He had spent the last five months in the hospital in Athens after suffering a stroke.

In a written statement released by his office on Tuesday, Prime Minister George Papandreou described the veteran actor in affectionate terms, as «one of us, a member of our large family.» The premier's statement added: «He expressed, in the roles he played and in his own outlook, the very essence of human life, the daily struggle we all face, the difficulties we must tackle, which is what makes us human and what unites us, in the end."

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis added to the tributes being paid to Veggos.

?Today, Greece is mourning the loss of a great comedian,? said Kaminis. ?A person who was humble, simple, who, despite the laurels of success and his widespread recognition, lived discreetly, on stage and off.?

During his lengthy career, Veggos had roles in more than 120 films and was one of the start of the so-called golden age of Greek cinema in the 1960s.

Veggos was born in the Neo Faliro suburb of Athens in 1927 and was later exiled on Makronissos as he came from a leftist family.

There, he met director Nikos Koundouros who gave him a role in his seminal 1954 movie Magiki Poli (Magic City).

In the 1960s, he made his name starring in mostly comedic roles, making him a much loved character in Greek households. But during his diverse career, Veggos also acted in the theater.

In 2008, he was awarded the Order of the Phoenix, one of Greece's highest awards.

Veggos underwent surgery twice last year after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

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