Lakis Lazopoulos (Greek: Λάκης Λαζόπουλος) is a Greek playwright, actor and songwriter. He was ranked 83rd by the public in Skai TV's Great Greeks in 2009. In 2010, Forbes ranked Lazopoulos as the most powerful and influential celebrity in Greece.
Lazopoulos was born in Larissa, Greece, where he received his primary and secondary school education. He then entered the School of Law at the University of Thrace and in 1984 received his Master’s degree from the University of Thessaloniki. However, he decided not to practise law but to pursue other vocations.
In 1979, he wrote his first script for the revue Something's cooking in Gipsyland. SAY GOODBYE, IT’S ALL OVER NOW soon followed with great success. Lazopoulos joined the Free Theatre of Athens, where he performed WHY PEOPLE ARE HAPPY, followed by yet another successful revue, CHANGE AND CRAZE.
The political situation at the time triggered the production of four revues of a more politico-satirical nature, written between the years 1982-86 by Lakis Lazopoulos and Giannis Xanthoulis: Haido’s Pasok’’ (1982), Pasok keeps harping on (1983), Blowing hot and cold on kastri (the PM’s residence), and Andrea’s taxing tolls (1985).
In 1986 he starred in Lysistrata. The play toured Greece and was performed in all major open theatres, including the Theatre of Herod Atticus in Athens, to highly acclaimed success. That same year, he began writing on his own and staged I was Pasok and I grew old. In 1987, he wrote What the Japanese saw. For this latter he was sued by then-President of Greece, Christos Sartzetakis. After standing trial he is finally acquitted of all charges; while issue draws strong press coverage in Greece and overseas, including an article in TIME Magazine.
In 1988 he stages and performs in Nicholai Gogol’s “Diary of a madman” without great commercial success. Nonetheless, he considers this performance a significant personal milestone in his career.
In 1989 he stages “Greece after heart surgery” which breaks all records, while his following play “THERE WAS A SMALL SHIP” runs for two successive years and is a box office hit.
1n 1991 Lakis Lazopoulos stages “I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU” which, like all his plays thus far, he writes and performs in himself.
In the summer of the same year he tours Greece with the performance “ALONE AT LAST”. This comprises a series of his most popular acts, and proves to be his most successful commercially since 1981. In fact its success was such, that another tour followed two years later, debuting in New York City.
In 1992 he turns his attention to television, writing and interpreting fifteen character roles (both male and female), in the most successful TV series on Greek television to date, entitled Deka mikroi Mitsoi. The roles, portraying everyday characters satirizing contemporary social and political situations, draw great affinity with the public.
Spurred by the series' success, the educational department of the University of Athens conducts a survey looking into reasons why Greeks everywhere, not only avidly watched the series, but also adopted expressions used by its characters. With its creator, Lakis Lazopoulos present, the findings were officially announced to academics, students and the press.
Deka mikroi Mitsoi also takes part in the festival of Forte dei Marmi in Italy, receiving an Honorable Distinction.
In 1993 he presents Prokofiev’s well-known tale of Peter and the Wolf at the Athens Opera House. He also plays the role of McKeith in Brecht’s “THREE PENNY OPERA” under the direction of Jules Dassin.
In 1994 he played the male lead in a television film titled Girl with Suitcases directed by Nikos Nikolaidis.
He follows this with a guest star appearance in the film “KAVAFIS”, directed by Giannis Smaragdis.
In the summer of 1996 he writes the play “THE SUNDAY OF SHOES”, which goes on to be staged in Thessaloniki in the spring of 1997 and then Athens at the beginning of 1998.
During that year, Walt Disney Productions assigns him the supervisory role of the animation film Hercules, for which he provides his own adaptation from English to Greek. He overseas the casting of actors and uses his own voice in dubbing the roles of Philoctetes/Phil and Panic in the film.
In the summer of 1999 he plays the lead role in the film Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns directed by Australian director John Tatoulis. The film is a box office hit when released in Greece in January 2000.
In 2001 he works on a film entitled My best friend, the script of which he writes, directs and stars as the lead.
At the same time he also writes the theatrical play “TA LEME”, which maintains its position at the top of the box office well into 2002.
In September 2002 he presents 12 theatrical monologues from the most important writers of 1700.
That same summer he presents a theatrical monologue as part of the framework of the Cultural Olympiad entitled “AGES OF RIDICULE”.
Between 2003/2004 he stars in the revue “WIND IN OUR SAILS”, a production he writes and directs, which is presented at the theatre Britannia in Athens to huge commercial success.
At the same time, he becomes Artistic Director for two prominent Athens theatres, the Britannia and Athinon.
In February 2004 the film R20, for which he has written the script and co-directed with P. Karazas, opens at the box office.
During the summer of 2004 he holds the leading role of Hremilos in Aristophanes' ancient comedy Ploutos. The play tours Greece, culminating in a special performance at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, as part of the Athens Olympics that August.
The winter of 2004/2005 finds Lakis Lazopoulos writing, directing and starring as the lead in yet another successful and original production at Athens' Britannia theatre, entitled “WHERE IS THIS BUS GOING?” The show is a huge sell out, gaining exceptional reviews from the press.
The premiere of Al Tsantiri News (“Live from the Shack”) in November 2004 makes Lakis Lazopoulos the first actor in Greek television history to host his own weekly show. To the present day, this satirical news bulletin continues to draw exceptionally high ratings.
Since 2004 he has held the position of Programming Director for the entertainment sector of the privately owned television channel, Alpha TV.
The television program “504KM NORTH OF ATHENS”, inspired by student life in Greece, was a project through which he was able to introduce a group of young actors and a very talented new director to Greek audiences. The film “DON’T GO”, released in April 2005 was an adaptation of this story.
In the summer of 2005 Lakis Lazopoulos will once again bring his own style and interpretation to another Aristophanes play, The Acharnians this time for The National Theatre of Greece.
In November 2005, he directed and had the lead in Vretania Theater, entitled “Hysteria” written by Tery Johnson.
In 2006 he played in the film El Greco by Iannis Smaragdis, having the part of Nicolo, Greco’s best friend. The movie was released on October 2007 and was a record ticket-selling success.
In November 2008 and after 3 years of absence from the theater he writes, directs and stars as the lead in the play “Toiler on the roof”. The play was a great success.