||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
12 December c. 1944
|Spouse(s)||Petros Koutoumanos (1967–71)
Alexandros Lykourezos (1976–present)
Zoe Laskari was born Zoi Kouroukli in Thessaloniki, from a middle class family which had a long tradition of service to the Hellenic Army. At an early age she lost both her parents and was raised by her paternal grandparents. In 1959, she won the title of Star Hellas (Miss Greece) and went on to represent Greece at the Miss Universe pageant in Long Beach, California where she made it to the semifinals. However, while her being in the United States, it was revealed that she was not an adult yet, as she had hidden her real age, and was asked to return to Greece. She refused to and managed to live alone in New York City for a while. In 1967 she married industrialist Petros Koutoumanos, with whom she gave birth to her first daughter, Martha Koutoumanou. Their marriage ended in 1971. In June 1976, she married criminologist Alexandros Lykourezos, having her second daughter, Maria-Eleni Lykourezou.
Because of her success at the beauty pageant, director Giannis Dalianidis, offered her the starring role in O katiforos, a 1961 film. The success of the movie gave her a rapid popularity and she shortly signed an exclusive contract with the biggest Greek film production company at the time, Finos Film, and it is impressive that her first movie was number one in the box-office in Mexico during the season 1962-63 and was played for 57 consecutive weeks in the cinemas of Mexico City.
Laskari, along with Tzeni Karezi and Aliki Vougiouklaki, were considered the three greatest divas and most commercially successful female stars of Greek cinema. The films she starred in ranged from drama to comedy and musical. It is interesting that the leading role in her first film, O katiforos, was given to her after Aliki Vougiouklaki had turned it down as too piquant. So, Laskari grabbed the chance and developed into one of Vougiouklaki's biggest commercial rivals. Some of her later movies made also a sensation abroad like the film Stefania (1966), which was screened for several weeks in 18 European countries, while Oi Thalassies oi Hadres (1967) impressed the Cannes Film Festival, although it did not officially contest, and paparazzi followed her everywhere during her stay in Cannes. Among her magazine covers were those on the French magazine "Cine Monde" in 1967 and 1968. Other Laskari film hits were Nomos 4000, Merikoi to protimoun kryo, Koritsia gia filima, Dakrya gia tin Ilektra, Mia kyria sta bouzoukia and Marihouana stop.
In 1965 she formed her own stable and made her stage debut in 1966 in Cyprus, while she was studying at the Pellos Katselis Theatre School from which she graduated in 1969. But it was not until the decline of the commercial Greek cinema in the mid-1970s that she really concentrated on theatre. Her stage work included famous plays like Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the ancient Greek tragedy The Trojan Women by Euripides and Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Her theatrical hits include the play Oi erastes tou Oneirou which was also her first play in Athens. Laskari's first television appearance was her leading role in the TV series Romaios kai Ioulieta in 1976.
|1961||O katiforos||Rea Nikolaou||box office: 161,331|
|1962||Nomos 4000||Maria Oikonomou||box office: 118,841|
|Horis taftotita||Liana Mavroleontos|
|O atsidas||Anna Kourouzou||box office: 69,414|
|1963||Merikoi to protimoun kryo||Eva Aggelou||box office: 212,247|
|Ena koritsi gia dyo||Myrto||box office: 386,817|
|1964||Egoismos||Maria||box office: 344,675|
|1965||Teddy boy agapi mou||Zoe Eftyhidou|
|Koritsia gia filima||Tzeni||box office: 619,236|
|Istoria mias zois||Marigo / Maria / Mairi|
|Dakrya gia tin Ilektra||Ilektra Petridi||box office: 328,277|
|1967||Oi Thalassies oi Hadres||Mary Kaniatoglou||box office: 531,278|
|1968||Olga agapi mou||Olga Panagiotidoi-Vassileiadou||box office: 367,559|
|Mia kyria sta bouzoukia||Anna Masourou||box office: 615,483|
|Gymnoi sto dromo||Xenia Koumarianou|
|1969||Agapi gia panta||Eleni|
|1970||Aftoi pou milisan me ton thanato|
|1971||Marihuana stop||Kaiti Lagopoulou||box office: 312,260|
|1972||Aixmalotoi tou misous||Viky Kouvariotou||box office: 124,745|
|1973||Ston asterismo tis Parthenou||Koula||box office: 120,010|
|1974||Erastes tou oneirou||Zoe||box office: 70,456|