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.
Actor | La passion de Jeanne d'Arc
Antonin Artaud was born on September 4, 1896 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France as Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud. He was an actor and writer, known for The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Napoleon (1927) and Graziella (1926). He died on March 4, 1948 in Ivry-sur-Seine, Val-de-Marne, France.
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 ...
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 ...
Actor | Land of the Pharaohs
Alexis Minotis was born on August 8, 1898 in Canea, Greece as Alexis Minotakis. He was an actor and director, known for Land of the Pharaohs (1955), Notorious (1946) and The Chase (1946). He was married to Katina Paxinou. He died on November 11, 1990 in Athens, Greece.
7. 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 ...
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 ...
10. Spiros Focás
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...
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, ...
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 ...
13. Titos Vandis
Actor | Prosohi, kindynos!
Titos Vandis was born on November 7, 1917 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was an actor, known for Prosohi, kindynos! (1983), Poliorkia (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 February 23, 2003...
15. 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 ...
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 ...
19. Dimitra Arliss
Actress | The Sting
Dimitra Arliss's 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 ...
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,...
Actress | Minnie and Moskowitz
Katherine Cassavetes was born on June 24, 1906 in New York City, New York, USA as Katherine Demetre. She was an actress, known for Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Opening Night (1977). She was married to Nicholas John Cassavetes. She died on March 29, 1983 in Los...
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
24. 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), Victor Victoria (1982) and Porky's (1981). He was married to Susan Clark and Ivalyn Joan Jurgensen. He died on October 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, ...
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 Eyes of Laura Mars (1978). She was married to Tom Aldredge. She died on January 21, 2011 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
27. Charlie Callas
Actor | Legends of the Superheroes
Born Charles Callias in Brooklyn, NY on December 20, 1927, he served in the US Army in Germany during World War 2.
Originally a drummer, he played with Tommy Dorsey, Claude Thornhill and Buddy Rich. He was always clowning around and would drive the band members crazy on the bus as they traveled. So ...
28. 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 ...
29. John Colicos
Actor | Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
John Colicos was born on December 10, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was an actor, known for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), Battlestar Galactica (1978) and The Changeling (1980). He was married to Mona McHenry. He died on March 6, 2000 in Toronto.
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 ...
32. 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 ...
Actress | Five Easy Pieces
Helena Kallianiotes was born in Greece. At age 10 she came to America and lived in Boston, Massachussetts. At 16 she started belly dancing in Boston night clubs. In 1958 she left Boston and worked as a belly dancer across the U.S. She settled in California, where she belly danced at The Greek ...
35. 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
36. John Considine
Actor | A Wedding
John Considine was born on January 2, 1935 in Los Angeles, California, USA as John William Considine III. He is an actor and writer, known for A Wedding (1978), MacGyver (1985) and Combat! (1962). He has been married to Astrid Lee Peterson since December 24, 1984. He was previously married to Jette...
37. 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).
38. 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, ...
40. Vic Polizos
Actor | Superhero Movie
Vic Polizos was born on August 12, 1947 in the USA. He is an actor and director, known for Superhero Movie (2008), Eraser (1996) and Eddie Macon's Run (1983). He has been married to Elizabeth Baker since November 14, 2015. They have two children. He was previously married to Christine Estabrook and...
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....
44. 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
45. 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 ...
47. 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...
49. 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 ...
50. 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...
51. 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...
52. 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
53. 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 ...
54. 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 ...
59. 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.
Cinematographer | The Forgotten
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 ...
63. 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. ...
64. 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), I Hate Valentine's Day (2009) and Connie and Carla (2004). She has been married to Ian Gomez since September 5, 1993. They ...
65. 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.
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
68. 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.
70. 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...
71. 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,...
72. Ana Gasteyer
Actress | Mean Girls
Ana Gasteyer is best known for her incomparable work on Saturday Night Live. During her six-year stint, she created some of the most famous SNL characters including middle school music teacher Bobbie Moughan-Culp, NPR radio host Margaret Jo, Lilith Fair poetess Cinder Calhoun, as well as spot-on ...
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
77. 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 ...
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
97. 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 ...
99. Michael Papajohn
Actor | Jurassic World
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Michael graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1983.
The Texas Rangers drafted him in 1985, but he chose instead to attend Louisiana State University on a baseball scholarship. He was the starting center-fielder on the first LSU team to go to the College World ...