Vangelis, the Greek ‘Chariots of Fire’ composer, dies at 79

Greece Obit Vangelis

FILE – Composer Vangelis Papathanassiou, right, answers a question during a press conference in Athens, June 27, 2001. Vangelis, the Greece-born electronic composer who wrote the Academy Award-winning score for the film “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, has died. He was 79. (AP Photo/Aris Messinis, File)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, has died.

The composer known as Vangelis was 79. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other officials expressed their condolences Thursday.

Greek media reported that Vangelis died in a French hospital late Tuesday.

Vangelis started playing the piano at age four, although he claimed he never learned to read notes.

His big breakthrough came with the score for “Chariots of Fire,” a 1981 film that told the story of two British runners in the 1924 Olympics. Vangelis’ score received one of the four Academy Awards the film won, including best picture.

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