Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis is a Greek songwriter and famous composer. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer.
Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s; in 1989, he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party in order for the country to come out of the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou and helped to establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek-Turkish-Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the Greek junta 1967-1974, which imprisoned him.