Melpo Zarokosta was born in 1933 in Athens, Greece as Melpomeni Zarakosta. She is an actress and writer.
While growing up in Athens, I had everything! A nice house, private schools, piano lessons… you name it. My father had the first insurance company in Greece. He designed the IKA (the largest Social Security Organisation in Greece). When the Civil war broke out we migrated to Australia. Μy needs clashed with the parent’s desires… My parents wanted to marry me off. I wanted a career in theatre. Eventually, after many hardships, I made my dreams come true…
In 1947 her family migrated to Egypt and then to Australia. Melpo studied acting, directing and screenwriting secretly, because her family was very conservative. Her father was 50 years old at the time, his English very poor and his Diplomas were not recognised in Australia. He was forced to open his own business which fell out because no one in the family had the slightest idea of how to run a business.
My mother was not a great cook. She always had one or two maids to help her out and suddenly she found herself taking care of a bunch of people. She came from a middle-class family but my father, whom she married at a young age (early 20’s) was from an aristocratic family. She could not handle the hardships she faced in Australia and was admitted to a psychiatric clinic and received electric shock treatments. My father’s condition was not any better. He lost interest in life and suffered from depression. The situation we went through is indescribable.
Melpo lived in Australia for eleven years. The family socialised with Greeks from Egypt, namely the Mantourides’ brothers, Fotos and Elena Stavrou and a few more with cultural knowledge that played a significant role in her life and helped her shape her personality.
In 1957, aged 22 years she married Andreas Diamantidis. They moved to London where they stayed for about a year. Due to family obligations, she returned to Greece, in 1958. Her father-in-law kicked her out because she was an actress. When she called her husband to explain the situation, he advised her to stay in Greece.
The relationship did not stand a chance. He was in London. I was in Athens. Pretty soon he got involved with another woman. At the time I was very inexperienced and naive.
While in Athens, she became involved with Lambros Konstantaras’ theatrical troupe. There she met her second husband, Victor Pagoulatos, who was also an actor and director.
Victor was an excellent teacher, actor and director. I remember observing him from the balcony, during rehearsals, admiring his acting. Victor and I went through a divorce when our son, Alexandros, was seven years old. I knew he loved me but he could not stand my mother. At the time she (my mother) was living with us and a lot was happening during that time.
Melpo translated and adapted works for theater, radio and television. She wrote her first play, “Women’s Tutoring”, in which she co-starred with Dinos Iliopoulos, Nora Valsami and Nikos Apergi. She played in 56 (Greek and foreign) films. Her debut in Greek cinema was in 1959, with the film “Το Ξύλο Βγήκε από τον Παράδεισο” starring Aliki Vougiouklaki.
Today she lives in Athens, in the area of Caravel, and writes plays and screenplays for Television.
For full biography please refer to Greek tab