|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
December 17, 1900
|Died||February 22, 1973
(m. 1917–1923; 2 children)
(m. 1940–1973; her death)
Born Aikaterini (Catherine) Konstantopoulou in Piraeus, Greece, she trained as an opera singer, and appeared in the operatic version of Maeterlinck's "Sister Beatrice," with a score by Dimitri Mitropoulos, but changed career and joined the Greek Royal Theater in 1929. According to her bio in Playbill (1942), Paxinou was disowned by her family after she decided to seek a permanent stage career. Paxinou distinguished herself on the stage. In Greece, she translated and appeared in the first of Eugene O'Neill's plays to be seen in Greece, "Desire Under the Elms." In Greece she also appeared in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and Strindberg's Father. In 1932, she became the star of Athens's Theatre Royal, where she worked for nine years. When World War II broke out, Paxinou was performing in London. Unable to return to Greece, she emigrated to the United States, where she had earlier appeared in 1931, performing Clytemnestra in a modern Greek version of Electra.
She was selected to play "Pilar" in the 1943 film For Whom the Bell Tolls, winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture. She continued appearing in Hollywood films until 1949. She made one British film as well, the 1947 film version of Uncle Silas, starring Jean Simmons. She played mother to Tyrone Power in Prince of Foxes in 1949. After 1949, Paxinou returned to Hollywood only once more, to play, again, a gypsy woman, this time in the 1959 Technicolor religious epic, The Miracle.
In 1950, Paxinou resumed her stage career. In her native Greece, she formed the Royal Theatre of Athens with Alexis Minotis, her principal director and her husband since 1940.
Paxinou made several appearances on the Broadway stage and television as well. She played Hedda Gabler for 12 performances at New York City's Longacre Theatre, opening on June 28, 1942. She also played the lead role in the first production in English of Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, at the ANTA Playhouse in New York in 1951, and a BBC production of Lorca's Blood wedding (Bodas de sangre), broadcast on June 2, 1959.
Paxinou died from cancer in Athens, Greece in 1973 at the age of 72. She was survived by her husband, and her one daughter from her first marriage to Ioannis Paxinos, whose surname she had been using after their divorce. Her remains are buried at First Cemetery of Athens.
|1943||For Whom the Bell Tolls||Pilar|
|1945||Confidential Agent||Mrs. Melandez|
|1947||Mourning Becomes Electra||Christine Mannon|
|1947||Uncle Silas||Madame de la Rougierre|
|1949||Prince of Foxes||Mona Constanza Zoppo|
|1959||Miracle, TheThe Miracle||La Roca|
|1960||Rocco e i suoi fratelli||Rosaria Parondi|
|1961||Morte di un bandito|
|1968||To Nisi tis Afroditis||Lambrini|
|1968||Tante Zita||Aunt Zita|
|1970||Été Sauvage, UnUn Été Sauvage||Marya|
|1970||Martlet's Tale, TheThe Martlet's Tale||Orsetta|
- Obituary Variety, February 28, 1973, page 71.