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‘Zorba’ director Michael Cacoyannis dies in Athens

Michael Cacoyannis, the Greek-Cypriot director of ?Zorba the Greek,? has died in Athens at the age of 89, according to reports.

Cacoyannis was reportedly being treated at the capital?s Evangelismos Hospital with heart and breathing problems.

He was nominated for an Academy Award 5 times. He received Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film nominations for Zorba the Greek, and two nominations in the Foreign Language Film category for Electra and Iphigenia.

Born in Limassol, Cacoyannis lived in London as a young man but he made his first film, Kyriakatiko xypnima (Windfall in Athens), in the Greek capital in 1954. He followed this up the following year with a seminal movie for Greek cinema, Stella. Cacoyannis wrote it with Iakovos Kambanellis, who died earlier this year, and it starred the then undiscovered Melina Mercouri.

However, Cacoyannis will forever be associated with his 1964 adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis?s book about Alexis Zorbas, played by the exuberant Anthony Quinn.

In recent years, Cacoyannis directed a number of theater productions.

His foundation inaugurated new premises on Pireos Street in Tavros, southern Athens, in 2010.

The foundation?s premises span four floors and include an amphitheater with a capacity of 330 seats, a cinema with 120 seats, a ?black box? hall for a variety of uses that seats 68, an exhibition hall, two cafe-bars, an outdoor and an indoor restaurant as well as a shop.