Renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who scored the 1964 classic Zorba the Greek and was an icon of resistance to the former military junta, has died in Athens aged 96, a hospital source said on Thursday.
A prolific talent and political maverick, Theodorakis was adulated in his home country for his inspirational music and defiance during the junta that ruled from 1967-74.
But he was perhaps best-known around the world for his film title scores which also included Z in 1969 and Serpico in 1973.
His work ranged from operas to choral music and popular songs, providing a soundtrack to the life of his country.
Theodorakis joined the resistance against the German and Italian occupation of Greece when he was 17, during World War II
Born into a family of Cretan origin on July 29, 1925, on the northern Aegean island of Chios, Theodorakis joined the resistance against the German and Italian occupation of Greece when he was 17, during World War II.
When a dictatorship seized control of the government in a 1967 coup, Theodorakis was among the first leftwing politicians to be arrested.
Pardoned a year later, he was involved in setting up the clandestine Patriotic Front, which led to another detention and a ban on his works.He was released in 1970 and went to Paris.
Four years later, the dictatorship imploded and Theodorakis returned home to a hero's welcome.
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