You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yani Begakis dies at 81

Five-time president of HFPA also a SAG member

Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July.

Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the local movie theater where he learned English by watching American movies.

After serving in the army and working in a travel agency, he got a job organizing a press junket for the opening of the Istanbul Hilton in 1955, where he met two fellow Greeks, director Elia Kazan and 20th Century Fox prexy Spyros Skouras. He later began writing for a local newspaper, through which he met Hollywood journalists Hedda Hopper and John Cameron Swayze, as well as Louella Parsons and Cole Porter.

Skouras invited Begakis to Hollywood, finding him a job at Fox and helping him become a permanent resident of the U.S. While at Fox, Begakis began writing for foreign news outlets, and began a long association writing for Japan’s Screen magazine.

Also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Begakis appeared in various small roles over the years and received the International Media Award from the Publicists Guild of America.

He is survived by his sister, Kleo Lee, a journalist.

Services will be held at Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, 1324 S. Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 19.

Donations may be made to the Hellenic Society, 936 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90046.

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Korea Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Rules Holiday Weekend

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

  • IN DEN GÄNGEN (R: Thomas Stuber);

    Berlin: Music Box Buys U.S. Rights to Thomas Stuber's 'In the Aisles'

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

  • Italian Director Laura Bispuri on Motherhood,

    'Daughter of Mine' Director Laura Bispuri on Motherhood, Modernity and #MeToo

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

  • Berlinale -- 2018 --Luiz Bolognesi Talks

    Berlin: Luiz Bolognesi Talks ‘Ex-Shaman’

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

  • Film Republic Notches Deals for “The

    Berlin: Film Republic Notches Deals for “The Line,” and “M/M” (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

  • American Honey Kansas City

    Pulse Quickens Content Plans as Lars Knudsen Comes on Board (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yani Begakis, a five-time president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., died Aug. 12 in Los Angeles. He was 81. Begakis, a 48 year member of the HFPA, had been hospitalized since returning from a press junket in Athens at the beginning of July. Born to Greek parents in Constantinople (Istanbul), he worked at the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content