Thursday, April 20, 2017

Craziest Career Ever? The Amazing Life of Olga Karlatos


Has any performer ever had a weirder and more diverse resume than Olga Karlatos, born on this day in 1947?

Her first credited acting role is in the Greek New Wave landmark THANOS & DESPINA (1967), directed by her first husband Nikos Papatakis. Also known as SHEPHERDS OF DISASTER, this is the favorite film of THE LOBSTER and DOGTOOTH. AFS Artistic Director Richard Linklater presented a screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse last year.

A military coup sent her into exile where she worked with such fine directors as Wolfgang Peterson, Enzo Castellari (in the freak-folk Spaghetti Western masterpiece KEOMA), Fernando Di Leo, and Mario Monicelli.

She also became a regular in such international schlock as Rene Cardona Jr.'s reprehensible JAWS rip-off CYCLONE and Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE. Along the way, she naturally appeared in one of the only two films directed by cult Japanese artist/novelist Masuo Ikeda (OFFERING IN THE AEGEAN).

After a number of small roles in American TV movies, and in Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, she capped her career in the only logical way, by playing Prince's mother in PURPLE RAIN.

After that, what can you do? How about going back to school. She did so, and graduated summa cum laude in 2003 from NYU with a Bachelor's in International Studies and a Masters the following year. Then, onto law school in England, and back in her adopted home of Bermuda, where she lived with her husband Arthur Rankin, Jr. of Rankin-Bass Productions fame. There, she became a barrister of the court at age 65. Whew.

Here is a picture of Karlatos on the day she was admitted to the bar in 2010.


If there is a more unusual career trajectory in movie history, we'd like to hear it.



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