Phedon Papamichael (1924-2008)—art director, playboy, bon viveur, mentor

He worked with Bogdanovich, Cassavetes and Jules Dassin, and his record as a ladies' man is legendary—names you would know and envy him for, but they've reached a more discreet age now so I'd better not mention them.

He was an extraordinarily handsome man well into his eighties.  Many of the young actresses in Athens were his protégées.  Just when one thought one had met them all someone else came to his elbow and was introduced.  The stunning Despina Mirou (pictured here making up as Blue Girl) first brought him to us, and has been rudderless since he died.  
A pair of coincidences: Zack Norman, who played our heavy, arrived in Athens with a brief from Seymour Cassel to look Phedon up from the old Cassavetes daysand found him on the set!  Which is also where Phedon bumped into our Canadian editor Ion Webster, the son of his former girlfriend.  "I just missed being his father!" he said.
When the production manager pilfered the budget money I turned to my Precious Other and producer-partner, Ioanna, and said "Why weren't you checking her receipts?"  "Don't blame Ioanna," Phedon interrupted, "you didn't want to be distracted and she had to keep the shoot going."  So he supervised even our relationship.  We couldn't have done it without him.  

Now we have to.  Emma Blue was his last film.  I think he'd be proud of how well it's been doing.  Certainly we were proud of him.

He had one lung and smoked two packs a day.  When it finally got him he went through the last grotesque metamorphoses, bedridden but hanging on for months to say good-bye to his son.  (His son is the fine cinematographer of the same name who has photographed so many of the movies we're familiar with.)  We have to assume he was waiting to say good-bye because when Phedon Jr. arrived and spoke with his father, he went downstairs to bring his own son up, and when they got back Phedon was gone.

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