Trained as an opera singer in Geneva, Austria, and Berlin, Katina Paxinou switched artistic gears when she joined the Greek National Theater at age 29. Ms. Paxinou distinguished herself in the Classics, not only the ancient Greek tragedies but also the finest works of English and European playwrights. When World War II broke out, Paxinou emigrated to the U.S. While touring in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, she was selected to play Spanish freedom fighter Pilar in the 1943 film version of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her efforts. Alas, her win turned out to be one of the earliest examples of the "Oscar jinx"; though she continued appearing in Hollywood films until 1949, nothing she ever did measured up to her first screen assignment. Returning to Greece in 1950, Paxinou resumed her stage career there, forming the Royal Theater of Athens with actor/director Alexis Minotis, who had been her principal director since 1927 and her husband since 1940. Whenever her schedule permitted (and the spirit moved her), Katina Paxinou would accept the occasional film assignment; the last was in 1972, just prior to her death.