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Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

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Also Known As: Melina Elena Kanakaredes Died:
Born: April 23, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Akron, Ohio, USA Profession: actor, model, singer, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With her wavy brunette hair, piercing green eyes and expressive personality, Melina Kanakaredes has been winning fans since her 1991 breakout role as Greek immigrant Eleni Andros on CBS' daytime serial "Guiding Light". The Ohio-born former beauty contestant spent nearly five years playing the character who moved from wide-eyed innocent to more mature wife and mother, earning a Daytime Emmy nod along the way. Her talent and abilities transcended the genre and like others who began their days in daytime (e.g., Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei), it seemed only a matter of time before she would make the leap to primetime and features. Kanakaredes made her feature debut in Gregory Hines' uneven portrait of an interracial romance "Bleeding Hearts" (1994) and went on to small roles in "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996), "Dangerous Beauty" and "Rounders" (both 1998) and "15 Minutes" (2001). But that one role which would propel her to the ranks of A-list screen actresses remained elusive. Instead, Kanakaredes has made strong impressions in a number of small screen parts. She first caught the attention of primetime viewers in the recurring role of the journalist girlfriend of Jimmy Smits' Bobby Simone on "NYPD Blue"...

With her wavy brunette hair, piercing green eyes and expressive personality, Melina Kanakaredes has been winning fans since her 1991 breakout role as Greek immigrant Eleni Andros on CBS' daytime serial "Guiding Light". The Ohio-born former beauty contestant spent nearly five years playing the character who moved from wide-eyed innocent to more mature wife and mother, earning a Daytime Emmy nod along the way. Her talent and abilities transcended the genre and like others who began their days in daytime (e.g., Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei), it seemed only a matter of time before she would make the leap to primetime and features. Kanakaredes made her feature debut in Gregory Hines' uneven portrait of an interracial romance "Bleeding Hearts" (1994) and went on to small roles in "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996), "Dangerous Beauty" and "Rounders" (both 1998) and "15 Minutes" (2001).

But that one role which would propel her to the ranks of A-list screen actresses remained elusive. Instead, Kanakaredes has made strong impressions in a number of small screen parts. She first caught the attention of primetime viewers in the recurring role of the journalist girlfriend of Jimmy Smits' Bobby Simone on "NYPD Blue" (1995) and as a mysterious woman from the past of Royal Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser on the two-part finale of CBS' "Due South". The actress had her first regular role in primetime as tabloid reporter Angela Villanova on the short-lived "New York News" (CBS. 1995). In 1999, Kanakaredes finally achieved small screen stardom as Dr. Sydney Hansen, a California-based plastic surgeon who returns to her New England home in the soapy but highly watchable "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002). While critics carped over the show's maudlin plotlines and dream sequences (in which Sydney communicates with her dead mother) and pronounced the show "awful", "Providence" proved a winner, debuting as the highest-rated new drama since "ER" and catapulting its lead to stardom.

After the series folded, the actress took to the stage as Sally Bowles in a revival of the Broadway play "Cabaret" and shot the indie film "Into the Fire" (2004) before making her return to primtime network TV with a smart choice, joining the thrid instalment of the popular forensic-oriented police drama franchise "CSI: New York" (CBS, 2004 - ) as Det. Stella Bonasera.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Snitch (2013)
4.
 Into the Fire (2005) Cast
5.
 15 Minutes (2001) Nicolette Karas
6.
 Anne Tyler's "Saint Maybe" (1998) Rita Dicarlo
7.
 Rounders (1998) Barbara
8.
 Dangerous Beauty (1998) Livia
9.
 Long Kiss Goodnight, The (1996) Trin
10.
 Bleeding Hearts (1994) Daphne
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began performing at age eight in local community theater
:
Was runner-up in Miss Ohio beauty pageant
1989:
Moved to NYC to pursue career
1991:
Portrayed Greek immigrant Eleni Andros on CBS' "Guiding Light"
1994:
Made feature film debut in "Bleeding Hearts"
1995:
Played recurring role of Jimmy Smits' journalist girlfriend on ABC's "NYPD Blue"
1995:
Played a woman from Mountie Benton Fraser's past on two-part season finale of "Due South" (CBS)
1995:
Series debut as regular, portrayed journalist Angela Villanova on short-lived CBS drama "New York News"
1997:
Co-starred on short-lived ABC drama "Leaving L.A."
1998:
Played a Courtesan in "Dangerous Beauty"
1998:
Landed small role in John Dahl's "Rounders"
1999:
Played Dr. Sydney Hansenas, a surgeon who returns to her New England home on NBC's "Providence"
2000:
Played a TV journalist opposite Robert De Niro in "15 Minutes"
2004:
Starred opposite Gary Sinise on "CSI: NY" (CBS) as the show's lead female forensic investigator
2005:
Co-starred with Sean Patrick Flanery and JoBeth Williams in Michael Phelan's "Into the Fire"
2010:
Cast as Athena, goddess of wisdom and Battle Strategies in the adaptation "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"
2013:
Cast opposite Dwayne Johnson in action drama "Snitch"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ohio State University: Columbus , Ohio - 1985
Point Park College: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1989
Point Park College: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1989

Notes

Voicing no regrets about her work in soap operas, Kanakaredes told SOAP OPERA DIGEST (October 13, 1998): "What's so nice is that a daytime fan is fan forever, which is sweet."

"Not everybody can deal with what happens as the rocket sled takes off. Melina's unaffected demeanor has not changed," --"Providence" producer-director Mike Fresco quoted in US, April 1999

". . . part of what I love about living in New York so much--there's such a mix of people and cultures. Here, it's such a one-business town. You try to keep your own identity as long as you can." --Melina Kanakaredes quoted in US, April 1999

Kanakaredes has become noted for the research she does before filming. For "Leaving L.A.", she visited the Los Angeles Coroner's Office and for "Providence", she visited with several L.A.-based plastic surgeons. "That's the cool part of being an actor. Just finding yourself in situations you've never thought you'd be in. What possesses me to make this research intense? You learn from that stuff. It certainly makes your characters more interesting." --From NEW YORK VUE, DAILY NEWS, January 3-9, 1999

Canice Kennedy, a casting director from Pittsburgh recalled to the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (Janaury 3, 1999): "She's breathtaking, and the talent is obvious. But what is not obvious is that she is so genuine. She comes from an extraordinary family. She has remained a wonderful human being. That's what I find so attractive."

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Peter Constantinides. Chef. Met while attending Ohio State University; married c. 1992.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Kanakaredes. Retired insurance salesman.
mother:
Connie Kanakaredes. Ran candy company.
sister:
Aretta Kanakarides. Lawyer. Older.
sister:
Lia Kanakarides. Older; works at an insurance company.
daughter:
Zoe Constantinides. Born on May 23, 2000.
daughter:
Karina Eleni. Born on January 25, 2003.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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