Evgenia Karpouzi was born in Athens, Greece, to a mathematician father and high school teacher mother. She studied under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph at a private French school in Thessaloniki, and later by the same Order in Athens. She learned French fluently. When she was a teenager, her father left the family and she continued to live with her mother. Her father died in a car accident in 1971. In 1951 she was accepted at the Greek National Theater, where she studied in the Drama School. The playwright Angelos Terzakis and the director Dimitris Rontiris were among her teachers. Upon graduation, in 1954, she was immediately thrust into starring roles in the theatre, playing alongside actors such as Alexis Minotis and Katina Paxinou.