92-year-old Roviros Manthoulis passed away from COVID-19 in Paris.
The filmmaker, radio producer and poet was born in Komotini but grew up in Athens, where he studied political sciences at Pantion University.
His first collection of poems was published in 1949, when he was frequenting the famed Loumidis coffee shop loft, discussing arts and letters with contemporaries such as music composer Manos Chatzidakis and poet/translator Nikos Gatsos, among others.
He studied cinema and television direction at the University of Syracuse from 1949 to 1953 where he drew unwanted attention by authorities for penning an article in the local paper against McCarthyism.
On his return to Greece in 1953, he first collaborated with the country’s state radio broadcaster for its Wednesday theatre show, where Manthoulis introduced new radio dramatization techniques. Around that time he also headed two film schools, ‘Stavrakos’ and ‘Ioannidis’.
With the coming of the Greek dictatorship in 1967 Manthoulis settled in Paris, where his TV show “A l’ Affiche du Monde” (1968-1971) featured many celebrities of the time, including the Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, John Mayall, Johnny Hallyday, Mikis Theodorakis and Melina Mercouri, among many others.
In 1991, Manthoulis became the president of Paris’ Greek community, and he was also awarded the city’s medal for his rich cultural output.
Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni expressed her condolences “to his family and his many friends”.