Tony Winner Lila Kedrova, of Zorba, is Dead

News   Tony Winner Lila Kedrova, of Zorba, is Dead Lila Kedrova, the Russian-French character actress who won an Academy Award and a Tony Award for playing Madame Hortense in works inspired by the novel, "Zorba the Greek," died Feb. 16 of heart failure in Saulte St. Marie, Ontario.
Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova in the 1983-84 Broadway revival of Zorba.
Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova in the 1983-84 Broadway revival of Zorba.

Lila Kedrova, the Russian-French character actress who won an Academy Award and a Tony Award for playing Madame Hortense in works inspired by the novel, "Zorba the Greek," died Feb. 16 of heart failure in Saulte St. Marie, Ontario. The Saulte Star newspaper quotes her husband, director Richard Howard, saying she was about 80. Her birth records had been lost for years.

Ms. Kedrova played the courtesan-like Madame Hortense in the film version of the story about a lusty Greek who teaches a young man how to live life fully. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the performance, in 1964. She recreated Madame Hortense in 1983-84 on Broadway, also opposite Quinn, in the revised revival of the musical version of the story, with a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Touching, frail, genteel and vulnerable, Ms. Kedrova's performance as the love interest of Zorba is preserved on the cast recording of the revival.

The Leningrad-born actress and Quinn also toured with the musical.

After settling with her family in Paris, she began acting in her teens and appeared on stage and in such films as "Torn Curtain," "The Thrill of Genius," "A High Wind in Jamaica" and more. She is most associated with "Zorba."

Ms. Kedrova and Howard met in London in 1968 when she was featured in The Cherry Orchard. The married in Ontario on New Year's Eve, 1968.

Ms. Kedrova lived with her husband in what had been their summer home, away from residences in Toronto and Paris. They settled there after she fell ill with heart trouble and Alzheimer's disease, the Saulte Star reported.

Per Ms. Kedrova's wishes, there was no funeral.

-- By Kenneth Jones