Top 100 Greek Diasporaby minalex | created - 19 Jul 2011 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
People from the Greek diaspora and Greeks that pursued an international career.
Director | Les quatre mousquetaires
Gilles Margaritis was born on March 19, 1912 in Paris, France as Jean Gilles Margaritis. He was a producer and director, known for The Four Musketeers (1953), La piste aux étoiles (1954) and Children of Paradise (1945). He was married to Hélène Margaritis. He died on November 7, 1965 in ...
2. Hermes Pan
Academy Award-winning dance director responsible for choreographing several dozen of Hollywood's most truly memorable musicals, including every one of the nine Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers 1930s gems - not to mention Fred and Ginger's screen swan song, The Barkleys of Broadway (1949). He also ...
Actor | Citizen Kane
The son of a Greek immigrant father (merchant) and an English mother, George Coulouris was educated at England's Manchester Grammar School. As an actor he was quite adept at playing villains, particularly wealthy businessmen, but he was just as suitable at playing nobler roles. A member of Orson ...
Costume_designer | Les enfants du paradis
Antoine Malliarakis, aka Mayo, was born in 1905 in Egypt, the son of a Greek engineer and a French mother. Although he kept a Greek passport throughout his life, he was culturally French and lived in France for half of his life after leaving Egypt. He came to France to study architecture but ...
Make_up_department | The Brain from Planet Arous
As we look back on the cinematic pioneers of the 20th century, no individual is more significant in his field than genius makeup artist Jack Pierce, the legendary monster-maker who worked in the 1930s and 1940s at Universal Studios during its classic horror period. Pierce's story is equal parts ...
Actor | An American in Paris
When we hear songs like "Rambino" and " Ciao Ciao Bambino" the name of Georges Guétary cames to one's mind. But also as a producer of " Bless the bride", "Latin Quartier" in London and "Arms and the girl" on Broadway, he added light and charm to show business. The last show to celebrate 50 years of...
9. 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 ...
10. A.I. Bezzerides
Writer | Kiss Me Deadly
A.I. Bezzerides was born on August 9, 1908 in Samsun, Ottoman Empire as Albert Isaac Bezzerides. He was a writer and actor, known for Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Sirocco (1951) and Action in the North Atlantic (1943). He was married to Silvia Richards and Von Gorne, Yvonne. He died on January 1, 2007 in...
11. 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/...
12. 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 ...
14. 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 ...
15. George Devine
Actor | Tom Jones
George Devine, the very influential theatrical manager, was born on November 20, 1910 in London to Georgios Devine, who was half-Greek and half-Irish, and the former Ruth Eleanor Cassady, who was Irish-Canadian. He became a member of the famous Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS) while ...
Composer | Z
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 ...
18. Maria Callas
Soundtrack | Ghost in the Shell
This volatile opera diva was born in New York City to Greek émigrés in 1923. Her father set up a pharmacy and changed the family name from Kalogeropoulos to Callas. As a child Maria studied the piano. When her parents separated (she was 14 at the time), her mother returned to Athens with Maria and ...
20. 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.
21. John Cassavetes
Actor | Love Streams
John Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as John Nicholas Cassavetes. He was an actor and director, known for Love Streams (1984), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and Husbands (1970). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los Angeles, California,...
Art_director | A Woman Under the Influence
Phedon Papamichael was born in Germany. He was an art director and production designer, known for A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Unhook the Stars (1996) and Seven Hours to Judgment (1988). He died on July 16, 2008 in Athens, Greece.
Not to be confused with his son of the same name
Costume_designer | The Great Gatsby
Theoni V. Aldredge was born on August 22, 1922 in Thessaloniki, Greece as Theoni Athanasiou. She is known for her work on The Great Gatsby (1974), Addams Family Values (1993) and Moonstruck (1987). She was married to Tom Aldredge. She died on January 21, 2011 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
25. Telly Savalas
Actor | Kojak
Son of Greek immigrants. Soldier during World War II. Studied psychology. Worked as journalist for ABC News. The bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types. He became a TV favorite in the 1970s when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie The Marcus-Nelson ...
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 ...
Composer | Alexander
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 ...
30. Marilu Henner
Actress | L.A. Story
Marilu Henner was born on April 6, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski. She is known for her work on L.A. Story (1991), Taxi (1978) and Johnny Dangerously (1984). She has been married to Michael Brown since December 21, 2006. She was previously married to Robert Lieberman ...
31. Rosalie Varda
Producer | Visages villages
Rosalie Varda was born on May 28, 1958 in Paris, France. She is known for her work on Faces Places (2017), L'événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la lune (1973) and Une Chambre en Ville (1982).
33. Ralph Macchio
Actor | The Karate Kid
Ralph George Macchio was born on November 4, 1961 in Huntington, Long Island, New York. He started out in various TV commercials in the late 1970s before appearing in the puerile comedy movie Up the Academy (1980), then a regular role in 1980 on the television series Eight Is Enough (1977) followed...
Italian-Greek father, Italian mother
35. Agnès Varda
Director | Sans toit ni loi
Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She is a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Le Bonheur (1965) and Les plages d'Agnès (2008). She was previously married to Jacques Demy.
French mother, Greek father (whose family were refugees from Asia Minor).
36. 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, ...
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....
40. Tchéky Karyo
Actor | Nikita
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Tcheky Karyo grew up in Paris. He studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, where he played numerous classical roles. He next joined the National Theatre of Strasbourg, where he starred in contemporary theatre as well as in such ...
Greek mother, Turkish-Jewish father
41. 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 ...
42. Basil Poledouris
Composer | RoboCop
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...
Producer | Tentacoli
Ovidio Assonitis, an independent film producer and businessman with over 35 years experience in the industry, was born to Greek citizens living in Alexandria, Egypt. Assonitis began an extensive distribution network company catering to the Southeast Asia market in the mid-'60s and in a ten-year ...
44. 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 ...
45. 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...
47. 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 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 films, Miller...
48. Emmanuelle Béart
Actress | 8 femmes
Emmanuelle Béart was born August 14, 1963, in Gassin, France. She lived with her mother, brothers, and sister on a farm not far from Saint-Tropez in Provence (southern France), because her father, singer and poet Guy Béart, did not want his children to be affected by the glamour world of Paris. ...
French father, Italian-Greek mother
49. 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 ...
50. 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 ...
51. Zoë Lund
Actress | Bad Lieutenant
Zoe Lund was born Zoe Tamerlis to a Swedish mother and Romanian father on February 9, 1962 in New York City. She was an accomplished composer/musician and devout political activist at an early age. In 1981 at age 19, Lund gave a stunning performance as Thana, a mousy, mute garment worker and rape ...
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 ...
56. 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 ...
His parents were Greeks, living in Egypt, where he was born. They moved to Australia when he was a child.
59. Mena Suvari
Actress | American Beauty
Mena Alexandra Süvari was born in Newport, Rhode Island to Candice (Thompson), a nurse, and Ando Süvari, a psychiatrist. Her father was Estonian and her mother is of Greek, Norwegian, and German descent. Mena was raised in a Rhode Island home that was built in 1870 and had early aspirations of ...
Cinematographer | The First Purge
Anastas Michos works with bold confidence in every genre. From lush period pieces, to sparkling romantic comedies, from electrifying thrillers to pulsating musicals, Michos brings to each of his films a strong style and dynamic look.
His versatility is front and center in the kaleidoscopic musical ...
62. Cameron Crowe
Writer | Almost Famous
Certainly idiosyncratic as a writer, Cameron Crowe has created a series of scripts that, while liked by the critics, were considered offbeat and difficult to market.
Cameron Bruce Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California, to Alice Marie Crowe (née George), a teacher and activist, and James A. ...
63. 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 Life (2003) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016). She was previously married to Ian Gomez.
64. 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.
65. Jennifer Aniston
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 ...
66. 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)...
Actress | Chicago
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born September 25, 1969 in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales, UK. She is the daughter of Patricia (Fair) and David James "Dai" Jones, who formerly owned a sweet factory. Her father is of Welsh descent and her mother is of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Her brothers are ...
Welsh-Greek father, Irish mother
Producer | Voyage of Time: Life's Journey
Sophokles Tasioulis is an international film producer based in Berlin Germany. He studied aerospace engineering at Berlin's Technical University (TU Berlin) & Media Design and Media Art at the BILDO Academy Berlin. After completing his studies, he worked for various broadcasters (including Arte, ...
69. 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 ...
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.
71. 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...
72. Tina Fey
Writer | 30 Rock
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,...
Director | A Perfect Day
Key figure of contemporary Lebanese cinema, along with Khalil Joreige, with whom she has worked in partnership since the beginning of her career, Joana Hadjithomas studied (already with Joreige) in France and in the USA. She (and Koreige of course) both graduated from the University of Nanterre and,...
76. Hugh Jackman
Actor | Les Misérables
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film ...
English-Greek father and English mother who moved to Australia in the 1960s
78. Marina Hands
Actress | Lady Chatterley
Daughter of French actress Ludmila Mikaël and British stage director and actor Terry Hands, granddaughter of famous French painter Pierre Dmitrienko, the discrete and beautiful Marina Hands first wanted to be a professional horse-rider but, eventually, had to give up these dreams. In 1995, she ...
Grand-daughter of Russian-Greek painter Pierre Dmitrienko.
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 ...
88. 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 ...
89. Sasha Grey
Actress | The Girlfriend Experience
Sasha Grey first made her name as one of the most notorious adult film stars in recent history; but with a no regrets attitude, she moved on from her former career, in 2009 at age 21. She has gone on to star in HBO's Entourage, published NEÜ SEX a book of photographs, and she DJ's internationally. ...
92. George Zakk
Producer | The Chronicles of Riddick
Georgios Vitetzakis (Producer), a native of Montreal, Canada from Greek immigrants he began his career producing and arranging music tracks for local garage bands by the age of fourteen. At seventeen, he ventured to Los Angeles to pursue further opportunities in the entertainment industry, working ...
93. Jessica Chastain
Actress | Zero Dark Thirty
Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and ...
Has a half-Greek grandmother
95. Anthony Tambakis
Writer | Warrior
Anthony Tambakis is a former Professor of Creative Writing, an award-winning short story writer, and recipient of a Paul Bowles Fellowship for fiction writing. His novel Swimming with Bridgeport Girls will be published by Simon & Schuster in Spring 2017. Tambakis is also adapting the 1961 novel and...
98. Anthony Katagas
Producer | 12 Years a Slave
Anthony Katagas is one of the most prolific producers working in American independent film. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture for his role in producing "12 Years a Slave," he has produced nearly 35 films in the last twelve years. He has worked with a variety of innovative and ...
Actress | La vie d'Adèle
Adèle Exarchopoulos is a French actress with partially Greek roots (her grandfather was Greek). She was born in Paris, France. Her mother, Marina (Niquet), is a nurse, and her father, Didier Exarchopoulos, is a guitarist. At the age of 9 she started acting and watching movies. As she said on the ...