๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish Actor and Eurovision Representative, passes away

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish Actor and Eurovision Representative, passes away

Vesa-Matti Loiri, who represented Finland at the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, has died at the age of 77. His death, following a period of illness, was confirmed by his manager Pete Eklund.

Finnish broadcaster Yle said of Loiri:

“[He] was able to throw himself from tragedy to comedy without losing his credibility. That’s what made him extraordinary.”

Pia Parkkinen

His Life and Works

Outside of his Eurovision participation, Loiri was best known as an actor. He rose to prominence at the age of 17, playing Jake in Mikko Niskanen ‘s film Pojat (1962). Over the course of his career, he gained 112 acting credits across television, film and theatre. He was also the winner of multiple Jussi and Telvis awards for his work. Six films starring Loiri are in the top 20 list of the highest-grossing domestic films in Finland.

He is perhaps most well-known for his role as Uuno Turhapuro, a character which he portrayed for over 20 years across a series of television and films. He also provided the Finnish dub voice for the Genie in Aladdin.

Loiri also had a notable career as a musician, both as a singer and as a flautist. He is known for performing Eino Leino’s poems, which he returned to many times over the course of his career.

Loiri described his process:

I experience each lyric as if it were a small play. Through a point of view, I approach the world that the poet wants to convey in them, in my opinion. I’m trying to find a character who is saying those things publicly

Vesa-Matti Loiri

Five albums by Loiri made it to the top position in the Finnish charts.  He is currently the fifth-best-selling soloist and ninth-best-selling artist of all time in the country.

Loiri at Eurovision

Loiri represented Finland at the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague with the song Huilumies, a song inspired by his passion for playing the flute and the ability of music to express emotions. The song finished in 19th place with 6 points; 5 from the Norwegian jury and 1 from the French.

His performance found a new generation through EurovisionAgain, finishing in 18th place during the renewed voting.

News Source: Yle

Photo Credit: Jussi Eskola

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