Angelika “Lili” Bita-Zaller A Powerhouse of Talent
Angelika “Lili” Bita was born on Zakynthos in 1935 to George and Eleni Bitas. Lili graduated from the Greek Conservatory of Athens and the Athens School of Drama. She performed on the Athens stage and with leading Greek repertory companies.
After emigrating to West Germany in 1957, Lili moved to the United States in 1959, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1969. She earned a Master of Arts in Drama from the University of Miami in 1978.
Lili pursued a dual career in the United States as an actress and author. She taught master classes on the art of drama at more than fifty American universities, including Villanova University (1989–91) and Drexel University (1987-1988). In 1995 she toured India as a member of the International Foundation “European Art Center-EUARCE,” under the auspices of the Greek government.
In 2005, Lili published a memoir, Sister of Darkness, which detailed her early life on Zakynthos and her experiences during the foreign occupations of her homeland in World War II, as well as the Greek Civil War that followed. She also confronted the suppression of women in traditional Greek society.
Lili’s plays, poetry, and fiction have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, and Bengali. In 2014, she was elected to the Hellenic Authors Society, the oldest and most prestigious literary society in Greece.
Lili was a prominent figure in the cultural life of Philadelphia for thirty years. She lived in Bala Cynwyd with her husband, Robert Zaller, until her passing in February of 2018.