His most trenchant screen relationships, though, were undoubtedly with men. His two Oscar-winning performances provided dynamic, assured counterpoints to two of Hollywood’s strongest actors at their most intense: Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata! and Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life. Many of Quinn’s most enduring films find him inhabiting an almost exclusively male world: Lawrence of Arabia, The Guns of Navarone, The Ox-Bow Incident. Only his signature performance in Zorba the Greek finds him balancing equally intimate relationships with both the pathetic Madame Hortense of Lila Kedrova and the introverted Basil of Alan Bates.
His offscreen life, never very private, seemed at times to merge with his onscreen roles, none more so than that of Zorba. The actor and the character became inextricably
Left: rehearsing with Alan Bates on the beach in Crete during the filming of Zorba the Greek, 1964