Costas Karras, a popular actor and former conservative politician, died Sunday in Athens of complications from cancer, his family announced. He was 75.

Although Karras became popular as a cinematic actor, it was on stage that he achieved critical acclaim, most notably in Nikolai Gogol's monologue "Diary of a Madman" and Noel Coward's play "Blithe Spirit."

Born on June 21, 1936, Karras went to London in the 1950s to study political science, but graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts. He also studied theater in Greece and debuted on stage in 1963.

Karras also served as a conservative member of Parliament from 2000 to 2007. He is survived by his wife and a son.