Share via

Evgenios Spatharis

Lifelong master of Greek shadow puppetry

Evgenios Spatharis, 85, a Greek master of shadow puppet theater, died Saturday in an Athens hospital days after being injured in a fall down a staircase while on his way to a performance, a state news agency reported.


He was well-known throughout Greece for his puppet theater stories revolving around the hunchbacked character Karagiozi, who came to represent the virtues and vices of the average Greek. Cunning and rebellious, Karagiozi was often shown as a liar and petty thief who wormed his way out of difficult situations.

The deeply satirical stories featured a varying cast of characters whose accents and mannerisms poked fun at various people in Greek society. Authority figures were represented by a Turkish pasha.

Shadow theater, a dying art form in Greece, is thought to have originated in China or India and arrived in Greece when it was part of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-15th century to late 1820s.

Spatharis was born Jan. 3, 1924, and followed his puppet master father, Sotirios Spatharis, into the craft. From his first performance in 1942, he worked until the end of his life, most often as a solitary performer manipulating his puppets behind a small, semitransparent screen.

Linda Dangcil

Actress played Sister Ana on TV’s ‘The Flying Nun’


Linda Dangcil, 67, a versatile actress, singer and dancer whose roles included Sister Ana on the 1960s TV series “The Flying Nun,” died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after an eight-year battle with tonsillar cancer, her daughter Linda Casto said.

Dangcil’s career began at age 12, when she appeared as an Indian American dancer in the 1954 Broadway production of “Peter Pan” starring Mary Martin. She also danced in the film version of “West Side Story” in 1961 and the national touring production of “A Chorus Line” in 1976.

Starting in the 1960s she had numerous guest parts on TV series, including “Maverick” and “The Rifleman.” In addition to her recurring role on “The Flying Nun,” Dangcil had a lengthy run as Elena on “Villa Alegre,” a bilingual children’s program that aired on public television in the early 1970s. And she had many parts as a voice actor, including as Carmen Alonso in the 1980s animated series “Jem.”

Her last stage appearance was in Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” with the East West Players in Little Tokyo in 2000.

She was born June 19, 1941, in San Francisco. Her mother was of Mexican, French and Belgian descent and her father was Filipino. As a girl she learned to speak both English and Spanish. The family moved to Los Angeles when she was 9, and she attended Immaculate Heart High School.

Recently, Dangcil helped stage student productions at Immaculate Heart and directed local productions for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation and the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts.


-- Times staff reports