Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in Greece on March 29, 1943, he became a well-known electronic and prog-jazz composer, launching his career in the '60s pop bands the Forminx and Aphrodite's Child. The latter's "666" (1972), an ambitious adaptation of passages from the Book of Revelation, is widely viewed as a classic.
After scoring indie films in the '60s, then documentaries and TV projects (including a breakthrough with his work on the PBS series "Cosmos" in 1980), the artist began to score mainstream films. His score for "Chariots of Fire" (1981) won him the Oscar, and the film's theme, released as a single, hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It was nominated for Record of the Year, losing to Toto's "Rosanna."
Another of his iconic works was the score for "Blade Runner" (1982), which earned him BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
Along with releasing nearly two dozen solo studio albums from 1972-2021, he teamed with Yes' Jon Anderson to form the duo Jon & Vangelis. One of the most influential figures in electronic music, he also found time to paint, enjoying an exhibition of his work in 2003.