Alexis Minotis, Greece's best-known tragic actor, died Sunday. He was 84.

Minotis suffered a stroke on Saturday and died early Sunday, the Athens News Agency reported.Minotis was born in Khania, Crete, in 1906 and spent 65 years in the theater. He was best known for his roles in classical Greek tragedy. He also wrote essays and was artistic director of the National Theater for many years.

Minotis married actress Katina Paxinou during World War II and they left for the United States. Paxinou had a successful stage and film career, winning an Academy Award in 1943 for best supporting actress in the film of Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom The Bell Tolls."

The couple returned to Greece in 1951. Paxinou died in 1973.

Minotis was removed from the National Theater by the right-wing military dictatorship in 1967. He returned after its fall in 1974 only to be removed again by the socialist government that came to power in 1981.

Minotis last appeared on stage in Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" in 1988, in a performance that he also directed. He had planned to direct Shakespeare's King Lear this winter.