Greeks in Hollywood & TVby sambuca | created - 20 May 2013 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Actor | The Hangover
Zach Galifianakis was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to Mary Frances (Cashion), who owned a community arts center, and Harry Galifianakis, a heating oil vendor. His father is of Greek descent and his mother is of mostly English and Scottish ancestry. Zach moved to New York City after failing ...
Actress | Friends
Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek, and her mother was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian descent. Jennifer spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City ...
3. Billy Zane
Actor | Titanic
William George Zane, better known as Billy Zane, was born on February 24, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, to Thalia (Colovos) and William Zane, both of Greek ancestry. His parents were amateur actors and managed a medical technical school. Billy has an older sister, actress and singer Lisa Zane. Billy ...
Actor | The Shield
Michael Chiklis has been working professionally as an actor since he was thirteen. He started in the theater and after receiving his BFA in acting from Boston University's College Of Fine Arts, Michael moved to New York City where he continued acting on the stage until he got his big break playing ...
5. Nia Vardalos
Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Nia Vardalos was born on September 24, 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as Antonia Eugenia Vardalos. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) and My Big Fat Greek Life (2003). She was previously married to Ian Gomez.
Actor | Virtuosity
Costas Mandylor was born on September 3, 1965 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Costas Theodosopoulos. He is an actor, known for Virtuosity (1995), Saw V (2008) and Saw VI (2009). He has been married to Victoria Ramos since October 10, 2013. He was previously married to Talisa Soto.
Actor | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
is most recognized for his leading credits throughout a variety of highly acclaimed, award winning films and television series, including the Academy Award-nominated box office smash hit comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and its sequel Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
Additionally, he is known...
8. Rita Wilson
Actress | Jingle All the Way
Rita Wilson was born on October 26, 1956 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Margarita Ibrahimoff. She is an actress and producer, known for Jingle All the Way (1996), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and Runaway Bride (1999). She has been married to Tom Hanks since April 30, 1988. They have two children.
9. Sofia Milos
Actress | CSI: Miami
Sofia Milos has over 237 hours of television on the air, as well as on film. She starred opposite David Caruso on the international hit show CSI: Miami as, Yelina Salas, sister-in-law and impossible love of Horatio Caine, from season 1 to season 8 (2003-2010).
Starred as Homeland Security Agent ...
10. Anna Mouglalis
Actress | Romanzo criminale
Anna Mouglalis was born on April 26, 1978 in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France. She is an actress and director, known for Romanzo Criminale (2005), Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009) and Kiss of the Damned (2012). She was previously married to Vincent Raes.
11. Telly Savalas
Actor | Kojak
Of Greek descent on both sides, the son of immigrants, Savalas was a soldier during World War II, although most of his enlistment records were destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973. He later studied psychology at Columbia University under the ...
12. Melina Mercouri
Actress | Pote tin Kyriaki
Melina Mercouri was born in Athens, Greece on October 18, 1920. An early woman activist, she was elected to the Greek Parliament in 1977. Later Miss Mercouri was to become the first woman to hold a Senior cabinet post "Minister of Culture" in the Greek government. In 1971 she wrote her ...
Actor | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Award-winning Greek-American actor Michael Constantine (born 22 May 1927) is best known for his portrayal of the Windex bottle-toting family patriarch "Gus Portokalos" in the sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). Before his appearance in that movie and the subsequent TV series based on it, ...
14. Dimitra Arliss
Actress | The Sting
Dimitra Arliss' acting career began at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, she first caught audience's eyes appearing in Arthur Kopit's Broadway play "Indians", she played a Native American character who spoke with an Italian accent. While she continued acting on stage, she began to appear in several ...
16. Criss Angel
Actor | CSI: NY
Criss Angel was born on December 19, 1967 and raised in East Meadow, New York. He grew up loving music, playing the drums and always having an interest in magic. Two of his biggest magic influences are Harry Houdini and Richiardi Jr.. His father was also a big influence on him, especially after a ...
Actress | Raising Cain
Gabrielle Carteris was born on January 2, 1961 in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA as Gabrielle Anne Carteris. She is an actress and producer, known for Raising Cain (1992), Minority Report (2002) and The Event (2010). She has been married to Charles Isaacs since May 3, 1992. They have two children.
19. John Cassavetes
Actor | Love Streams
John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film, as he often financed his own films.
Cassavetes was born in New York City in 1929 to Nicholas John Cassavetes and his wife, Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). Nicholas was...
20. Nick Cassavetes
Actor | Face/Off
Nick Cassavetes was born in New York City, the son of actress Gena Rowlands and Greek-American actor and film director John Cassavetes. As a child, he appeared in two of his father's films: Husbands (1970) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). After spending so much of his youth surrounded by the...
Director | Broken English
Zoe R. Cassavetes was born on June 29, 1970 in Los Angeles County, California, USA as Zoe Rowlands Cassavetes. She is a director and actress, known for Broken English (2007), Day Out of Days (2015) and Junior (2016). She is married to Sebastien Chenut.
22. George Chakiris
Actor | West Side Story
George Chakiris made his film debut at the age of 12 singing in the chorus of Song of Love (1947). Following his graduation from high school, he supported his night-time dancing, singing and dramatic lessons with a daytime job clerking in a Los Angeles department store. Later he started his acting/...
23. Olympia Dukakis
Actress | Moonstruck
Long a vital, respected lady of the classic and contemporary stage this grand lady did not become a household name and sought-after film actress until age 56 when she turned in a glorious, Oscar-winning perf as Cher's sardonic mother in the romantic comedy Moonstruck (1987). Since then movie (and ...
24. Tina Fey
Actress | Date Night
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish,...
25. Andreas Katsulas
Actor | Babylon 5
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Andreas from a working-class Greek-American family. Attracted from early childhood to being on stage when at 4 his mother took him to see a community theater performance, he took theatre as an extra-curricular activity in high school. He then majored in it at St. Louis ...
26. Gia Carides
Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Gia Carides has been working as an actress since age 12 in film and in theatre. She has been nominated twice for her work, in Strictly Ballroom (1992) (Best Actress in a Supporting Role AFI Awards) and Brilliant Lies (1996) (Best Actress in a Leading Role AFI Awards). She has appeared in as many ...
28. Alex Karras
Actor | Blazing Saddles
Alex Karras was born on July 15, 1935 in Gary, Indiana, USA as Alexander George Karras. He was an actor and producer, known for Blazing Saddles (1974), Porky's (1981) and Victor Victoria (1982). He was married to Susan Clark and Ivalyn Joan Jurgensen. He died on October 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, ...
29. Marina Sirtis
Actress | Star Trek: Generations
Marina Sirtis was born in London, England, to Greek parents, Despina (Yianniri), a tailor's assistant, and John Sirtis. Her parents did not want her to become an actress. As soon as Marina completed high school, she secretly applied to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After her graduation, ...
30. Basil Poledouris
Composer | The Hunt for Red October
Basil Poledouris was born on August 21, 1945 in Kansas City. He started taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old. Eventually, he went on to become a student at USC, where he studied the arts of directing, cinematography, editing, sound and, of course, music. It was also at USC he met John Milius...
31. John Stamos
Actor | Full House
John Phillip Stamos was born in Cypress, California, to Loretta (Phillips), a model, and William Stamos, a restaurateur. His father was of Greek descent, with the family surname originally being "Stamotopoulos". John has two younger sisters, Janeen and Alaina, both school teachers. His first ...
32. Chris Sarandon
Actor | Fright Night
The handsome, versatile, worldly-looking Chris Sarandon has played everything from vampires to Jesus Christ in magnetic performances that have not only been controversial but hard to miss. He was born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia. His mother, Cliffie (Cardullias), was born in Norfolk, ...
Actor | Cyborg
Born in humble surroundings in Provatonas, a small village near the town of Alexandroupoli in northern Greece, on August 3, 1959, Miltsakakis shot to fame fighting Jean-Claude Van Damme in five Hollywood movies. He was raised in an environment where children grew up fighting and wrestling. In 1973,...
Director | Suburbia
Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'.
In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the ...
39. Dean Tavoularis
Production_designer | The Godfather: Part II
Dean Tavoularis was born on May 18, 1932 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA. He is a production designer and art director, known for The Godfather: Part II (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979) and The Godfather: Part III (1990). He is married to Aurore Clément.
40. Sofia Shinas
Actress | The Crow
Since starring opposite the late Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994), the Greek Canadian goddess may be most recognized by moviegoers worldwide for her performance in the iconic sleeper hit. To her Canadian fans, the actress, director and producer is most recognized for her soft voice, unassuming and ...
42. Spyros Fokas
Actor | The Jewel of the Nile
Spiros Focas is one of Greece's most respected and well-known actors. He was discovered by legendary Italian director Luchino Visconti and cast in a lead role in the classic Rocco and His Brothers (1960). He went on to star in many Greek and Italian films throughout the 1960s and '70s, working with...
Actress | CSI: NY
Melina Eleni Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, to Connie (Temo), who owned a candy company, and Harry Kanakaredes, an insurance salesman. She is of Greek descent. Her love of musical theater, especially the work of Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, inspired her as a child. She began performing ...
46. Titos Vandis
Actor | Prosohi, kindynos!
Titos Vandis was born on November 7, 1917 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was an actor, known for Caution, Danger! (1983), Dawn on the Third Day (1962) and The Exorcist (1973). He was married to Betty Valassi, Nancy Hall, Eleanore Mahlein, Ketty Asprea, Maria Alkaiou and Aleka Paizi. He died on ...
48. Harris Savides
Cinematographer | Elephant
Harris Savides was born on September 28, 1957 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a cinematographer, known for Elephant (2003), Zodiac (2007) and American Gangster (2007). He was married to Medine Chenet. He died on October 9, 2012 in Manhattan, New York City.
49. Dennis Iliadis
Director | The Last House on the Left
Dennis Iliadis was born in Athens, Greece, and also grew up in Paris and Rio de Janeiro. He attended Brown University in Rhode Island, studying film and political economy before enrolling at the Royal College of Art in London. Iliadis is quickly gaining a name in the film industry, having taken on ...
50. Elia Kazan
Director | On the Waterfront
Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...
52. Tony Spiridakis
Writer | Queens Logic
Tony Spiridakis studied acting at the Yale School of Drama. He was a member of Circle In The Square's Professional Workshop, Circle Rep Lab and Uta Hagen's Master Class. He earned his Equity card at the Williamstown Theater Festival, and is proud to have studied with Nikos Psacharopoulos, Geraldine...
Composer | Blade Runner
Vangelis is a composer and performer who works almost exclusively with electronic instruments. He is probably most well known for his Chariots of Fire (1981) and Blade Runner (1982) soundtracks or for the tracks used in the Cosmos (1980) television series. He has been involved in many musical ...
56. Athena Karkanis
Actress | Saw IV
Canadian actress Athena Karkanis began her professional career in acting in 1996 with several episodes of Stickin' Around (1996). Since that time, Athena has an extensive career in film, television and voice acting. Her credits include the Canadian teen drama The Best Years (2007), The Border (2008)...
58. Milton Katselas
Director | Butterflies Are Free
Milton Katselas has been an industry leader for decades. He was a talented director, acting teacher, writer and painter. He showcased his talent as a teacher through The Beverly Hills Playhouse for over 20 years. Milton wrote a book, titled "Dreams Into Action," which garnished international ...
59. Elias Koteas
Actor | The Thin Red Line
Elias Koteas was born on March 11, 1961, in Montreal, Canada. Both his parents are of Greek descent. Elias attended Vanier College in Montreal before leaving to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981, of which he is a graduate. He also attended the Actors Studio in ...
60. Alexander Payne
Director | Nebraska
Director, producer and screenwriter Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Peggy (Constantine) and George Payne, ran a Greek restaurant. His father is of Greek and German ancestry, and his mother is of Greek descent; the family name was originally Papadopoulos. He has two older ...
Director | Rambo: First Blood Part II
George P. Cosmatos was born on January 4, 1941 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy as Yorgo Pan Cosmatos. He was a director and writer, known for Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Cobra (1986) and Tombstone (1993). He was married to Birgitta Ljungberg. He died on April 19, 2005 in Victoria, British ...
62. George Miller
Producer | Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is best known for his Mad Max franchise, with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) being hailed as amongst the greatest action films of all time. Aside from the Mad Max ...
Costume_designer | Addams Family Values
Theoni V. Aldredge was born on August 22, 1922 in Thessaloniki, Greece as Theoni Athanasiou. She is known for her work on Addams Family Values (1993), The Great Gatsby (1974) and Ghostbusters (1984). She was married to Tom Aldredge. She died on January 21, 2011 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
64. Valeria Golino
Actress | Rain Man
The second child of an Italian germanist and a Greek painter, Valeria Golino grew up in Naples until her parents parted. After three years in Athens with her mother and another three in Naples with her father, she began to work as a model. She left high school after her first movie and didn't study...
65. Alex Proyas
Director | Dark City
Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and ...
Cinematographer | Nebraska
Phedon Papamichael, an award winning Cinematographer, was born in Athens, Greece and moved with his family to Germany, where in 1982 he completed his education in Fine Arts, in Munich. Working as a photojournalist brought Phedon to NYC in 1983, where he started crossing over into cinematography.
Writer | Immortals
Charley Parlapanides was born on September 28, 1977 in Toms River, New Jersey, USA as Charles Kiriakos Parlapanides. He is a writer and producer, known for Immortals (2011), Death Note (2017) and Gods & Heroes (2020). He has been married to Elenie Syrengelas since January 8, 2006.
Writer | Immortals
He was born in New Brunswick New Jersey but grew up in Seaside Park. He graduated from Villanova University with an Economics Degree and Communications Minor. He briefly worked on Wall Street at the investment banking house Oppenheimer on their foreign equity desk. His mother is of Greek and ...
70. Jordana Spiro
Producer | Night Comes On
Jordana Ariel Spiro was born on April 12, 1977 in Manhattan, New York. She was raised in Manhattan and studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School. She also briefly attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Spiro splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. In addition to ...
71. Maria Menounos
Actress | Fantastic Four
Maria Menounos was born on June 8, 1978 in Medford, Massachusetts, USA as Maria Constaninos Menounos. She is a producer and writer, known for Fantastic Four (2005), Entourage (2015) and One Tree Hill (2003). She has been married to Keven Undergaro since December 31, 2017.
Composer | Serpico
Mikis Theodorakis was born in the Greek island of Chios, in 1925. The exact same year that the other great composer of Greece was born in Xanthi, Manos Hatzidakis. He fought during the 2nd World War, and he was captured at the city of Tripoli. He was tortured, but when he was set free, he joined ...
Actor | The Mahabharata
Georges Corraface has risen to star status in Europe throughout a career in film, theatre and television.
This ruggedly charismatic leading man is notably a box-office draw in Greece, Spain and France, where he lives and is a popular celebrity.
A classically trained and versatile actor, his gift for ...
Actress | Sharp Objects
Elizabeth Ann Perkins was born on November 18, 1960, in the borough of Queens, New York, and was raised in Vermont. Her mother, Jo Williams, was a concert pianist and drug treatment counselor, and her father, James Perkins, was a businessman, farmer, and writer. She is of Greek and English descent....
75. Andy Sidaris
Director | Malibu Express
Andy Sidaris was born on February 20, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a director and writer, known for Malibu Express (1985), Stacey (1973) and Picasso Trigger (1988). He was married to Arlene Sidaris and Anne Sidaris-Reeves. He died on March 7, 2007 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California...
76. Nadia Tass
Director | Amy
Recipient of 2014's Screen Leader Award for Outstanding Leadership to the Screen Industry, Nadia is one of Australia's most respected unique filmmakers. Known for directing Australian classic films "Malcolm", "The Big Steal" and "Amy". She has directed films for major studios in Hollywood and her ...
77. John Aniston
Actor | Days of Our Lives
John Aniston was born on July 24, 1933 in Crete, Greece as Yannis Anastassakis. He is an actor, known for Days of Our Lives (1965), Search for Tomorrow (1951) and Journeyman (2007). He has been married to Sherry Rooney since June 14, 1984. They have one child. He was previously married to Nancy Dow.
79. Manos Hatzidakis
Composer | Pote tin Kyriaki
The names of Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis have been written with golden letters in the music history of Greece since 1960. He was born in Xanthi on 23 October 1925, in a mid-class family. When he came of age he came in the capital city of Greece of Athens. He succeeded from the beginning ...
80. Jean Doumanian
Producer | Deconstructing Harry
Jean Doumanian was born in 1942 as Jean Karabas to Greek immigrant parents, who raised her in Chicago. She received her last name from her ex-husband Armenian-American, John Doumanian. She is known for her work on Saturday Night Live (1975), August: Osage County (2013), Bullets Over Broadway (1994)...
Transportation_department | Memento
Versatile and underrated B-movie Renaissance man John "Bud" Cardos was born in 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri. His family has interesting roots in the entertainment industry: his cousin Spiros Cardos worked at Twentieth Century-Fox and his father and uncle managed the lavish Graumann's Egyptian and ...
83. Tracy Spiridakos
Actress | Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tracy spent part of her childhood in her parents' homeland, Greece, before the Spiridakos family returned to Canada to open a Greek restaurant. She worked there until moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, a center of Canadian film and television production, to ...
84. Katina Paxinou
Actress | For Whom the Bell Tolls
Katina Paxinou was born in 1900, in Piraeus, Greece. She first appeared on stage in 1928, in an Athens production of Henry Bataille's "La femme nue". In the early 1930's she was one of the founding members of the National Theatre of Greece (previously named Royal Theatre) and performed several ...
Actor | The Three Stooges
Chris grew up splitting his time between Greece and Canada. At age 9, he started doing TV commercials and professional theater. He left home at 18 to perform in a series of US national tours after which, he landed on Broadway. Chris now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles acting in TV ...
87. Elias Toufexis
Actor | Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Elias Toufexis, grew up in Montreal, Quebec and has become an actor with a fan base and cult following around the world.
Elias has played dozens of major characters on television in shows like: Star Trek: Discovery, Shadowhunters, Houdini & Doyle, Bitten, Lost Girl, Alphas, Stargate: Atlantis and ...
88. Alexa Davalos
Actress | The Chronicles of Riddick
Alexa Davalos was born in Paris, France, to American parents, Jeff Dunas, a photographer, and Elyssa Davalos, an actress. Her father's family were Jewish immigrants (from Russia and Lithuania). After a quintessentially bohemian childhood that found her straddling New York, Paris, Italy and Los ...
92. Olga Karlatos
Actress | Purple Rain
Olga Karlatos was born on April 20, 1945 in Athens, Greece as Olga Vlassopulos. She is known for her work on Purple Rain (1984), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) and This Is the Night (1977). She was previously married to Arthur Rankin Jr. and Nikos Papatakis.
94. Robert Drivas
Actor | Cool Hand Luke
Actor-turned-director Robert Drivas showed dark, brooding power and strong potential on the 60s stage, film and TV but, in the long run, did not achieve the kind of success he deserved. Born on November 21, 1935, the Coral Gables, Florida native initially studied his craft at the Universities of ...
95. Demetri Goritsas
Actor | Black Mirror
From Greek and Norwegian parentage, Demetri Goritsas was born in the US, grew up in British Columbia and has lived his adult life in London, England.
Aside from television and film he's had quite a presence on the London stage performing at the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Court working with...
97. George Maharis
Actor | Route 66
Tall, dark and handsome, not to mention a charismatic rebel of 60s Hollywood, actor George Maharis (real Greek family name is Mahairas) was born in 1928 in Astoria, New York as one of seven children. His immigrant father was a restaurateur. George expressed an early interest in singing and ...
99. Adoni Maropis
Actor | 24
Adoni has been blessed with the opportunity to play many diverse and memorable acting roles, such as: the lead villain, Fayed, in Season 6 of the Fox critically acclaimed hit series 24 (2001) with Kiefer Sutherland, the flamboyant evil sorcerer, Quan Chi, in the TV show Mortal Kombat: Conquest (...
100. Zoë Poledouris
Soundtrack | Starship Troopers
The elder of Basil Poledouris' two daughters, Zoë was born on August 25, 1973 in Los Angeles. Zoë grew up interpreting her father's music with movement on ice as a competitive figure skater. At the age of nine years, she performed a piece on the recorder for her father which became the melody for "...