Mary Coustas

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Mary Coustas
Mary Coustas 2012.jpg
Coustas at the Killing Them Softly Australian Premiere in September 2012
Birth nameMary Coustas
Born (1964-09-16) 16 September 1964 (age 58)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
MediumFilm and television actress
Years active1989–present
SpouseGeorge Betsis (m. 2005)
Notable works and rolesAcropolis Now (1989–1992)
Greeks on the Roof (2003)

Mary Coustas (Greek: Μαρία Κούστα; born 16 September 1964) is an Australian actress, comedian and television personality and writer. Originally from Melbourne, Coustas often performs as the character "Effie", a stereotypical second-generation Greek Australian prone to malapropisms. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin University in Melbourne, majoring in performing arts and sub-majoring in journalism.

Coustas won the Logie Award for Most Popular Comedy Personality in 1993.[1]


Coustas' initial claim to fame was in the comedy stage show Wogs Out of Work alongside Nick Giannopoulos, George Kapiniaris and Simon Palomares.

In 2019, Coustas joined the Shooshi Mango boys and Giannopoulos on stage in a show named Fifty Shades of Ethnic.[2]

Television career[edit]

Coustas appeared on the popular television sitcom Acropolis Now, from 1989 until 1992, in the role of Effie Stephanidis.

Since then she has appeared as Effie in other television shows and commercials. Effie also appeared in the interview show Effie, Just Quietly in 2001 and hosted her own short-lived talk show called Greeks on the Roof in 2003.[3]

Coustas played straight dramatic roles in two police series: Skirts in 1990 and Wildside in 1998. Other roles include Grass Roots, The Secret Life of Us and Good Guys Bad Guys. Her voice-over work includes The Magic Pudding, Hercules Returns and Always Greener. She also appeared as a guest on comedy game show Talkin' 'bout Your Generation in 2012, and had a guest role in the drama Rake.

Books and music[edit]

In 1992 Effie released a novelty single: a duet with another fictional character, Garry McDonald's Norman Gunston. The recording was their version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Amigos Para Siempre. Coustas's book Effie's Guide to Being Up Yourself was published in 2003.[4]

In her 2013 memoir All I know: a memoir of love, loss and life,[5] Coustas looked back over her career, and reflected on the lives and deaths of her father, grandmother and daughter.[6]

She co-starred in two comedic, mock music video entries for Eurovision, "Electronik Supersonik" (2004) and "I Am the Anti-Pope" (2006) starring Australian Comedian Santo Cilauro as a fictional Molvanian character Zladko Vladcik.[7] Cilauro, along with Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner, created the popular Internet phenomenon character Zladko "ZLAD!" Vladcik, a Molvanian pop idol style musician. Zlad was performed by Cilauro to accompany the Jetlag Travel Guide to Molvanîa.[8][9] Cilauro was, with Sitch and Gleisner, co-author of the Jetlag Travel Guides to Molvanîa, Phaic Tăn and San Sombrèro.

Personal life[edit]

Coustas was born in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.[10]

Coustas married George Betsis in 2005. In August 2013, Coustas and her husband announced in an interview with 60 Minutes[11] that she was 22 weeks pregnant and expecting their second child in early December 2013. Their daughter Jamie was born on 28 November 2013.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Speaker Profile of Mary Coustas". Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Sooshi Mango - Fifty Shades of Ethnic". Off The Leash. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  3. ^ "AAPT thinks Effie's in touch with her publics". The Age. Fairfax. 10 July 2003. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  4. ^ Coustas, Mary (2003). Effie's Guide to Being Up Yourself. Mark McLeod. ISBN 0-7336-1761-1.
  5. ^ Coustas, Mary (2013). All I know: a memoir of love, loss and life. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781743315651.
  6. ^ "Mary Coustas – ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler". 4 July 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  7. ^ "MOLVANIA DISQUALIFIED FROM EUROVISION!". Jetlag Travel. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016.
  8. ^ Genevieve Dwyer (15 April 2016). "13 Times Australia Loved Eurovision Harder Than The Europeans!". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Elektronik Supersonik - Zladko Vladcik |". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Mary Coustas". ABC Classic FM. ABC Australia. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Mother Mary". 60 Minutes. ninemsn. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  12. ^ Staff Writers (28 November 2013). "Effie's a mum: Mary Coustas gives birth to baby girl". News Ltd. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  13. ^ Rowlands, Letitia (18 March 2014). "Mary Coustas 'How having a baby changed me'". Essential Baby. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 10 June 2016. The much-loved comedian [...] endured a long and heart-breaking journey to become a mother – firstly to stillborn daughter Stevie in 2011, and then to baby girl Jamie in November last year at age 49.

External links[edit]