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Katina Paxinou, Award Winner –

Paxinou in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Katina Paxinou: Best
Supporting Actress 1943:

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Drama – Unrated)

Katina Paxinou won her Supporting Oscar for playing the fiery Spanish gypsy revolutionary, Pilar, in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

About Katina Paxinou (1900 – 1973)

Greek actress whose real name was Katina Constantopoulos. Katina Paxinou began her training as an opera singer, but then became enamored of the theater. When she decided to devote herself to acting, her family disowned her.

She was the first to translate Eugene O'Neill into Greek, beginning with Desire Under the Elms, which she also starred in, on the stage in Greece. She was one of the founders of the Greek Royal Theater in the early 1930s. In that company, over a nine year period, she performed many roles from the classics, including Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts and Sophocles' Electra. Katina Paxinou was touring with a modern Greek version of Electra in London, playing the part of Clytemnestra, who murders her husband when he returns from the Trojan War. While she was there, World War II broke out and she was unable to return to her home country.

Paxinou and her husband, Greek actor Alex Minotis, with whom she often appeared on the stage, emigrated to the U.S. In 1943, Katina Paxinou was cast as the fiery Spanish gypsy revolutionary, Pilar, in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Commenting on her success with the role, she asserted, "I come from generations of guerrillas. My grandmother learned her ABCs from a guerrilla chieftain in a cave. I know that Pilar. I know her well." She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal.

In 1947, Katina Paxinou again played the murderous Clytemnestra in the filming of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, an update on the first two plays of the Ancient Greek Oresteia Trilogy by Aeschylus. She co-starred with Rosalind Russell and Michael Redgrave.

Paxinou and her husband returned to Greece in the early 1950s and Katina returned to the stage, playing strong female characters in such classics as Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, in which she played Jocasta, and the title roles in Euripides' Hecuba and Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage.

Katina Paxinou's notable movie credits include...

Confidential Agent (1945)
Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)
Confidential Report (1947)
Rocco And His Brothers (1960)
Zita (1968)
The Miracle (1959)
The Martlet's Tale (1970)