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Melina Eleni Kanakaredes Constantinides (Greek: Μελίνα Ελένη Κανακαρίδου Κωνσταντινiδου;[1] born April 23, 1967) is an American actress. She is widely known for two starring roles on U.S. prime-time television drama series; playing Detective Stella Bonasera in CSI: NY and portraying Dr. Sydney Hansen in Providence.

Melina Kanakaredes (*)

CBS confirmed in July 2010 that Kanakaredes would not be returning for the seventh season of CSI: NY.[2]

Early life

Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Connie (née Temo; b. 1936), a candy company owner, and Harry Kanakaredes (b. 1928), an insurance salesman.[3][4] She is a second-generation Greek-American and speaks Greek.[5][6] Her two maternal uncles own and run a candy store in Akron called "Temo's Candy Company," a chocolate store established in its current location by Kanakaredes's grandfather, Christ Temo.[7] She has two sisters: Cornelia "Lia" (b. 1961) and Aretta Kanakaredes (b. 1962).

At age 8, Kanakaredes made her stage debut in a production of "Tom Sawyer" at Weathervane Playhouse in Akron, Ohio.[8] She graduated from the Firestone High School in Akron.[6] She attended Ohio State University for a short time, and then transferred to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she performed roles in the professional theatre scene there, including the role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar at Pittsburgh Musical Theater.[9] She graduated from Point Park in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts.[10]
Career

Melina Kanakaredes.2

Television

Kanakaredes's first television role was on the daytime drama Guiding Light, originating the role of Eleni Andros Spaulding Cooper from 1991 to 1995. She was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Eleni.

Her most high-profile roles on television were as the series protagonist Dr. Sydney Hansen on Providence, which ran for five seasons between 1999 and 2002, and as Det. Stella Bonasera on the CBS drama series CSI: NY. Kanakaredes left CSI: NY in 2010, after six seasons on the program.[2]

Her other television credits include NYPD Blue (in a recurring role as reporter Benita Alden during that show's second season), Northern Exposure, Due South, Oz, The Practice, MTV's The Ben Stiller Show, and a Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of the Anne Tyler novel Saint Maybe.
Film

Kanakaredes's film appearances include The Long Kiss Goodnight as Trin and 15 Minutes as Nicolette Karas, the girlfriend of Robert De Niro's character. She was considered for the lead role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but had to turn it down due to her pregnancy.[11] She played the role of the Greek Goddess Athena in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Personal life

Kanakaredes married Peter Constantinides[12] on September 6, 1992.[13][14] Together, they have two daughters: Zoe (b. May 23, 2000) and Karina Eleni (b. January 25, 2003).[12] She and her husband, a former restaurant consultant,[12] owned the "Tria Greek Kuzina" in Powell, Ohio, but it has since closed.[15] When she was once asked why she doesn't use her husband's last name professionally, she stated, "It's even more difficult to pronounce than my maiden name."
Filmography
Film Year Title Role Notes
1987 Carts Short film
1994 Bleeding Hearts Daphne
1996 The Long Kiss Goodnight Trin
1998 Dangerous Beauty Livia
1998 Rounders Barbara
2001 15 Minutes Nicolette Karas
2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Athena
2013 Snitch Completed
Television Year Title Role Notes
1991-1995 Guiding Light Eleni Andros Cooper Recurring role
1995 Due South Victoria Metcalf 3 episodes
1995 New York News Angela Villanova TV series
1995 NYPD Blue Benita Alden 5 episodes
1997 Leaving L.A. Libby Galante 6 episodes
1997 The Practice Andrea Wexler Episode: "First Degree"
Episode: "Sex, Lies and Monkeys"
1998 Oz A.D.A. Marilyn Crenshaw Episode: "Great Men"
1998 Saint Maybe Rita TV movie
1999-2002 Providence Dr. Sydney Hansen Lead role
2004 CSI: Miami Stella Bonasera Episode: "MIA/NYC Nonstop"
2004-2010 CSI: NY Stella Bonasera Lead Role
2005 Into the Fire Catrina / Sabrina Hampton TV movie
2008 CSI: NY Det. Stella Bonasera (voice) Video game
Awards/Nominations
Awards and nominations Year Award Category Production Result
1992 Soap Opera Digest Awards Outstanding Female Newcomer: Daytime Guiding Light Nominated
1994 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series Guiding Light Nominated
1994 Soap Opera Digest Awards Hottest Female Star Guiding Light Nominated
1995 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Guiding Light Nominated
2000 TV Guide Awards Favorite Actress in a Drama Providence Won
2001 TV Guide Awards Actress of the Year in a Drama Series Providence Nominated

See also Famous Greek Americans
References

^ "Cavaliers: The Optimist". NBA. October 2, 2009.
^ a b "US: Melina Kanakaredes leaves CSI: NY". The Spy Report (Media Spy). July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
^ Melina Kanakaredes Biography (1967-)
^ "ACTOR LOSES GUIDING LIGHT, SOAP STAGE GOES DARK FOR FIRESTONE GRAD AFTER 22 YEARS IN ROLE". Akron Beacon Journal. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
^ Whitfield, Fredricka (2002-10-02). "Interview with Melina Kanakaredes". CNN. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
^ a b Profile from "Women in Akron History" from a University of Akron website
^ Temo's candy is an Easter tradition in Akron, a March 2007 Akron Beacon Journal article via Topix.net
^ Akron native Melina Kanakaredes leaving 'CSI: NY'
^ http://designinghomelifestyles.com/07spring_athomewith.php
^ Past Distinguished Alumni from the Point Park University website
^ Pierce, Scott D. (2003-02-16). "Mega-hit 'Wedding' had inauspicious beginning". Deseret News (Salt Lake City. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
^ a b c Kanakaredes savors her married life from USA Today
^ "Melina Kanakaredes on TV.com, Biography". TV.com. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
^ "The Melina Kanakaredes Picture Pages". SuperiorPics.com. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
^ Official website for Tria Greek Kuzina

External links

Melina Kanakaredes at the Internet Movie Database
CSI: NY cast member biography at CBS

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