Nikos Papatakis

Nikos Papatakis
Born (1918-07-05)5 July 1918
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Died 17 December 2010(2010-12-17) (aged 92)
Paris, France
Nationality Greek
Other names Nico Papatakis
Occupation film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor
Years active 1950–2004

Anouk Aimée (1951–1954)

Olga Karlatos (1967–1982)
Children Manuela Papatakis (born 1951)
Serge Papatakis (born 1967)

Nikos Papatakis (nicknamed Nico, Greek: Νίκος Παπατάκης; 5 July 1918 – 17 December 2010)[1][2][3] was an Ethiopian-born naturalised French filmmaker, who lived in France.


He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and spent his early years between Ethiopia and Greece. In 1939 he established himself in Paris and worked as an extra in films. Eventually, he owned the famous Parisian club 'La Rose Rouge' where performers included singer Juliette Greco. He was married to actress Anouk Aimée from 1951 to 1954 and from whom he had a daughter, Manuela Papatakis, born in 1951. He was then married to actress Olga Karlatos from 1967 to 1982, from whom he had a son, Serge Papatakis, born in 1967.

In 1957, Papatakis moved to New York City, met John Cassavetes, and became co-producer of Cassavetes' Shadows (1959). In 1963, his first film, Les Abysses, enjoyed a "Succès de scandale" and was entered into the 1963 Cannes Film Festival which refused to show it.[4] It was based on Jean Genet's The Slaves. In 1967, he directed another daring film, Oi Voskoi (The Shepherds in Greek). During the Algerian War he was active in the Front de Liberation National. He returned to filmmaking in 1987 with a film in Greek, I Photografia (The Photograph). His last movie was Walking a Tightrope (1992).

He died in Paris on 17 December 2010.

Legend has it that the photographer Herbert Tobias nicknamed the then-fashion model, later singer, Nico (Christa Päffgen), after Nico Papatakis, who had been her boyfriend for a few years.


As actor, only


  1. Death certificate registered by the Paris's City Hall (France)
  2. (French) Fin de l’aventure pour Nikos Papatakis (End of the adventure for Nikos Papatakis), on December 23, 2010.
  3. David Hudson. "Nikos Papatakis, 1918 2010". Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  4. "Festival de Cannes: Les Abysses". Retrieved 2009-02-25.

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