Twenty-four years ago today, actress and politician Melina Merkouri dies. Merkouri was born on October 18, 1920, and was the granddaughter of Spyros Merkouris, the historic Mayor of Athens.

She studied acting at the National Theater Drama School, and made her stage debut in 1944. In 1949 she performed Blanche in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar named desire,” while her first film role was that of Stella in the homonymous Michael Cacoyannis film of 1955.

In 1960, Melina Merkouri starred in Jules Dassin’s “Never on Sunday,” with which she finds international acclaim. Five years later, she marries the famous director, and stars in three more of his films (“Phaedra”, “Topkapi”, and “A dream of passion”). During the junta in Greece, Merkouri wages a grand campaign against the dictatorship in Europe.

Following the Metapolitefsi, Merkouri returns to Greece, deciding to run in the elections with PASOK. She is elected MP in 1981, becoming in charge of the Ministry of Culture. Her great project was the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece. Unfortunately, Melina’s dream remains unfulfilled to this day. The great actor’s light went out on March 6, 1994.