Perhaps best remembered for his Oscar-winning song "Never On Sunday," this Greek composer of classical, cinematic, and popular music also became known for works such as Six Folk Paintings (a Greek classical composition), "All Alone Am I" (a popular song), and Illya Darling (a Broadway musical).
He studied piano, accordion, violin, and music theory during his teenage years and also briefly took philosophy classes at the University of Athens. Early in his career, he wrote a song that was featured in the Greek staging of Tennessee Williams' famous play A Streetcar Named Desire.
The famous Greek singer Nana Mouskouri interpreted many of his songs.
A native of Xanthi, Greece, he was the son of Aliki Arvanitidou and attorney Georgios Hatzidakis.
He composed the score for the 1955 Greek film Stella (an adaptation of Carmen); the film's star, Melina Mercouri, performed his song "Love That Became a Double-Edged Knife" for the soundtrack.