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Nia Vardalos

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Title: Nia Vardalos  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: My Life in Ruins, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Life, Larry Crowne, Connie and Carla
Collection: 1962 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 20Th-Century Canadian Actresses, 21St-Century American Actresses, 21St-Century Canadian Actresses, Actresses from Winnipeg, Actresses of Greek Descent, American Film Actresses, American People of Canadian Descent, American People of Greek Descent, American Television Actresses, American Voice Actresses, Canadian Emigrants to the United States, Canadian Film Actresses, Canadian People of Greek Descent, Canadian Television Actresses, Canadian Voice Actresses, Eastern Orthodox Christians from Canada, Eastern Orthodox Christians from the United States, Greek Orthodox Christians, Living People, Ryerson University Alumni, Second City Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Nia Vardalos

Nia Vardalos
Vardalos in 2011
Born Antonia Eugenia Vardalos
(1962-09-24) September 24, 1962
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Occupation Actress, director, producer, screenwriter, singer
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Ian Gomez (m. 1993)
Children 1

Antonia Eugenia "Nia" Vardalos (born September 24, 1962) is a Canadian-American actress, screenwriter, director, and producer of Greek descent. Her most notable work is the 2002 Academy Award–nominated film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was based on a one-woman stage play she dramatized and in which she starred.


  • Early and personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • Filmography 3
    • Film 3.1
    • Television 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early and personal life

Vardalos was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on September 24, 1962. She is the daughter of Greek Canadian parents Doreen, a bookkeeper and homemaker, and Constantine "Gus" Vardalos, a land developer.[1][2][3] She attended Shaftesbury High School and Ryerson University.[4] She married American actor Ian Gomez on September 5, 1993. Gomez converted to Greek Orthodoxy prior to marrying her. In 2008, they adopted a daughter named Ilaria. She posted an advice column about the adoption process at The Huffington Post.[5] She became a U.S. citizen in 1999.


Vardalos at the Connie and Carla premiere on the Universal City Walk, Los Angeles, April 2004

An alumna of the Chicago-based Second City comedy repertory company, Vardalos had many small roles in television, most notably on The Drew Carey Show and Two Guys and a Girl; in addition, she provided voices for the 1996 radio adaptation of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi which Brian Daley had written for National Public Radio.

She gained overnight success with her movie about a woman's struggle to find love in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was based on a one-woman show which Vardalos had previously written for the theater and starred in onstage. The film was a huge critical and commercial success. The film earned Vardalos an Academy Award Nomination for Best Writing, a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and a Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination.

The sleeper hit, which quickly became one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time, led to the unsuccessful CBS spin-off series, My Big Fat Greek Life. The show was cancelled after seven episodes and featured the entire cast from the film, aside from John Corbett.[6] Her next film, released in 2004, was Connie and Carla, a musical about two women pretending to be drag queens.[6]

She made her directing debut in 2009 with the independent feature I Hate Valentine's Day. The film, about a florist finding romance, received only a limited release and grossed $1,985,260 at the international box-office. This was followed by My Life in Ruins, about a misguided tour-guide travelling around Greece and featuring Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss. The film was the first American production given permission to film at the Acropolis; Vardalos sought the approval from the Greek Government. The film was a moderate success at both the international box-office and DVD sales.[6]

In 2011, Vardalos collaborated with Tom Hanks to write the romantic comedy film Larry Crowne for the screen. The film received moderate reviews and was a commercial success, grossing $59.8 million; Vardalos also voiced the character Map Genie in the film. As of 2013, Vardalos was slated to star in the upcoming films Talk of the Town (2012) and A Wilderness of Monkeys (2013).[6]

Vardalos is among many celebrities helping to produce The 1 Second Film art project. Vardalos was featured in The Dialogue interview series. In this 90 minute interview with producer Mike DeLuca, Vardalos talks about how her experiences in The Second City comedy troupe helped her as an actress and a screenwriter, and how the unofficial "tell-the-Greek" word-of-mouth program had a hand in catapulting her movie to such great heights. She performed The Beatles song "Golden Slumbers" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars. In May 2015, she commenced filming My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in Canada.



Year Title Role Notes
1996 No Experience Necessary Sheila
1997 Men Seeking Women Iris
1999 Meet Prince Charming Jennifer
2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding Toula Portokalos As Writer
American Screenwriters Award – Discover Screenwriting award
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award For Best Original Screenplay
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — London Critics Circle Film Award for Screenwriter of the Year
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated — Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
As Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2004 Connie and Carla Connie also writer
2006 Greece: Secrets of the Past Narrator
2009 My Life in Ruins Georgia Yanokoupolis
2009 I Hate Valentine's Day[7] Genevieve also writer and director
2011 Larry Crowne Map Genie (voice) also joint screenwriter with Tom Hanks
2012 For a Good Time, Call... Rachel Rodman
2012 An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars Mrs. Brooks
2013 Dealin' with Idiots Ava Morris
2015 Helicopter Mom Maggie
2015 Dogs, CarCar Dogs Sharon
2015 Me Not, ForgetForget Me Not Catherine
2016 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Toula Portokalos Post-production, also writer


Year Title Role Notes
1996 High Incident Uncredited Episode: "Father Knows Best"
1996 Common Law uncredited Episode: "In the Matter of, Acceptance"
1997 Men Seeking Women Iris
1997 Drew Carey Show, TheThe Drew Carey Show Grace Almada Episode: "Strange Bedfellows"
1997–98 Team Knight Rider Domino (voice) 22 episodes
1998–99 Boy Meets World Uncredited 2 episodes
1999 It's Like, You Know... Mindy Episode: "Memories of Me"
1999 Two Guys and a Girl Evelyn Episode: "Career Day"
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry's Lawyer Episode: "Interior Decorator"
2002 Saturday Night Live Host
2003 My Big Fat Greek Life Toula Portokalos Writer and executive producer; 7 episodes
2008 My Boys Jo 3 episodes
2009 Drop Dead Diva Lisa Shane 1 episode
2010 Good Guys, TheThe Good Guys Eileen Pilot episode
2011 Cougar Town Andy's sister in law Episode: "Damaged by Love"
2012 Grey's Anatomy Karen 1 episode
2013–14 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Attorney Minonna Efron 3 episodes
2015 Marry Me Pam Episode: "Mom Me"
2015 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Mrs. Diaz Voice role
2015 Jane the Virgin Barbara Stanbrook Episode: "Chapter Nineteen"


  1. ^ "Sending up the Greek in spirit". The Age (Melbourne). October 6, 2002. 
  2. ^ Nia Vardalos profile,; accessed July 2, 2015.
  3. ^ Seiler, Andy (August 28, 2002). Greek Wedding' marches on, much to Hollywood's surprise"'". USA Today. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ Nia Vardalos profile, Yahoo! Movies; accessed July 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Nia Vardalos. "The List". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Nia Vardalos". Movies. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  7. ^ Nia Vardalos To Reunite With John Corbett In Another Romantic Comedy | AHN | August 9, 2008

External links

  • Nia Vardalos at the Internet Movie Database
  • Nia Vardalos's Executive Producer Profile on The 1 Second Film website
  • Works by or about Nia Vardalos in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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