Kanakaredes in Ohio, 2009
|Born||Melina Eleni Kanakaredes
April 23, 1967
Akron, Ohio, United States
|Spouse(s)||Peter Constantinides (m. 1992)|
Melina Eleni Kanakaredes Constantinides (born April 23, 1967) is a Greek American actress. She is widely known for her roles in U.S. prime-time television dramas as Dr. Sydney Hansen in Providence (1999–2002) and as Detective Stella Bonasera in CSI: NY (2004–10), and on the American daytime television drama series Guiding Light as Eleni Andros Cooper.
Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Connie (née Temo), a candy company owner, and Harry Kanakaredes, an insurance salesman. She is a second-generation Greek-American and speaks Greek. Her two maternal uncles own and run a candy store in Akron called "Temo's Candy Company", a chocolate store established in its current location by Kanakaredes's grandfather, Christ Temo. She has two sisters: Cornelia "Lia" and Aretta Kanakaredes.
At age 8, Kanakaredes made her stage debut in a production of Tom Sawyer at Weathervane Playhouse in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from the Firestone High School in Akron. She attended Ohio State University for a short time, and then transferred to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she performed roles in the professional theatre scene there, including the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar at Pittsburgh Musical Theater. She graduated from Point Park in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts.
Kanakaredes's first television role was on the daytime drama Guiding Light, originating the role of Eleni Andros Cooper from 1991 to 1995. She was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Eleni.
Her most high-profile roles on television were as the series protagonist Dr. Sydney Hansen on Providence, which ran for five seasons between 1999 and 2002, and as Det. Stella Bonasera on the CBS drama series CSI: NY. Kanakaredes left CSI: NY in 2010, after six seasons on the program.
Her other television credits include NYPD Blue (in a recurring role as reporter Benita Alden during that show's second season), Due South, Oz, The Practice, MTV's The Ben Stiller Show, and a Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of the Anne Tyler novel Saint Maybe.
Kanakaredes's film appearances include The Long Kiss Goodnight as Trin and 15 Minutes as Nicolette Karas, the girlfriend of Robert De Niro's character. She was considered for the lead role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but had to turn it down due to her pregnancy. She played the role of the Greek Goddess Athena in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and starred in the 2013 drama Snitch alongside Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.
Kanakaredes married Peter Constantinides on September 6, 1992. Together, they have two daughters: Zoe (b. 2000) and Karina Eleni (b. 2003). She and her husband, a former restaurant consultant, owned the "Tria Greek Kuzina" in Powell, Ohio, but it has since closed. When she was once asked why she does not use her husband's last name professionally, she stated, "It's even more difficult to pronounce than my maiden name."
|1996||Long Kiss Goodnight, TheThe Long Kiss Goodnight||Trin|
|2001||15 Minutes||Nicolette Karas|
|2010||Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief||Athena|
|1991–95||Guiding Light||Eleni Andros Cooper||Recurring role|
|1995||Due South||Victoria Metcalf||3 episodes|
|1995||New York News||Angela Villanova||Series|
|1995||NYPD Blue||Benita Alden||5 episodes|
|1997||Leaving L.A.||Libby Galante||6 episodes|
|1997||Practice, TheThe Practice||Andrea Wexler||Episodes: "First Degree", "Sex, Lies and Monkeys"|
|1998||Oz||A.D.A. Marilyn Crenshaw||Episode: "Great Men"|
|Providence||Dr. Sydney Hansen||Lead role|
|2004||CSI: Miami||Stella Bonasera||Episode: "MIA/NYC Nonstop"|
|2004–10||CSI: NY||Stella Bonasera||Lead role|
|2005||Into the Fire||Catrina / Sabrina Hampton||Movie|
|2008||CSI: NY||Det. Stella Bonasera (voice)||Video game|
Awards and nominations
|1992||Soap Opera Digest Awards||Outstanding Female Newcomer: Daytime||Guiding Light||Nominated|
|1994||Daytime Emmy||Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series||Guiding Light||Nominated|
|1994||Soap Opera Digest Awards||Hottest Female Star||Guiding Light||Nominated|
|1995||Daytime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Guiding Light||Nominated|
|2000||TV Guide Awards||Favorite Actress in a Drama||Providence||Won|
|2001||TV Guide Awards||Actress of the Year in a Drama Series||Providence||Nominated|
- Melina Kanakaredes Biography (1967-)
- "ACTOR LOSES GUIDING LIGHT, SOAP STAGE GOES DARK FOR FIRESTONE GRAD AFTER 22 YEARS IN ROLE". Akron Beacon Journal. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- Whitfield, Fredricka (2002-10-02). "Interview with Melina Kanakaredes". CNN. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Profile from "Women in Akron History" from a University of Akron website
- Temo's candy is an Easter tradition in Akron, a March 2007 Akron Beacon Journal article via Topix.net
- Akron native Melina Kanakaredes leaving 'CSI: NY'
- Milliner, Janice (Spring 2007). "At home with: Richard E. Rauh Conservatory & Pittsburgh Musical Theater". Designing Home Lifestyles. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- Past Distinguished Alumni from the Point Park University website
- "US: Melina Kanakaredes leaves CSI: NY". The Spy Report (Media Spy). July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- Pierce, Scott D. (2003-02-16). "Mega-hit 'Wedding' had inauspicious beginning". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Kanakaredes savors her married life from USA Today
- "Melina Kanakaredes on TV.com, Biography". TV.com. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "The Melina Kanakaredes Picture Pages". SuperiorPics.com. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Official website for Tria Greek Kuzina