Antonia Eugenia "Nia" Vardalos (Greek: Αντωνία Ευγενία "Νία" Βαρντάλος) (born September 24, 1962) is a Greek Canadian actress, screenwriter, director, singer and producer. Her most notable work is the 2002 Academy Award–nominated film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.


 [hide*1 Early and personal life

Early and personal life[edit]Edit

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][4] She attended Shaftesbury High School and Ryerson University.[5] Vardalos married actor Ian Gomez on September 5, 1993 (her husband converted to Greek Orthodox prior to marrying her). In 2008, they adopted a daughter named Ilaria, and she wrote a post with advice about the adoption process at The Huffington Post.[6] She became a U.S. citizen in 1999.


[1][2]Vardalos at the Connie and Carlapremiere on the Universal City Walk, Los Angeles, April 2004

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. 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 Vardalos had previously written and starred in. 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, excluding John Corbett who was working on his own show, Lucky.[7]

Her next film, released in 2004, was Connie and Carla, a musical about two women pretending to be drag queens. It also featuredToni ColletteDavid Duchovny and Debbie Reynolds[7]

Vardalos 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.[7]

In 2011, Vardalos along with Tom Hanks wrote the romantic comedy film Larry Crowne. The film received moderate reviews. The film was a commercial success grossing $59.8 million. Vardalos also voiced the character Map Genie in the film. Vardalos is set to star in the upcoming films Talk of the Town (2012) and A Wilderness of Monkeys (2013).[7]

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.



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
2009 My Life in Ruins Georgia Yanokoupolis
2009 I Hate Valentine's Day[8] Genevieve also writer and director
2011 Larry Crowne Map Genie (voice) also writer
2012 Talk of the Town
For a Good Time, Call... Rachel Rodman
2012 An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars Mrs. Brooks
2013 A Wilderness of Monkeys


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 The Drew Carey Show Grace Almada Episode: "Strange Bedfellows"
1997–98 Team Knight Rider Domino (voice) 22 episodes
1998–99 Boy Meets World uncredited Episodes: "You're Married, You're Dead" (1998) and "Can I Help to Cheer You" (1999)
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 Episodes: "Spit Take," "Take My Work Wife...Please," and "Dudes Being Dudes"
2009 Drop Dead Diva Lisa Shane One episode
2010 The Good Guys Eileen Pilot episode
2011 Cougar Town Andy's sister in law Episode: "Damaged by Love"
2012 Grey's Anatomy Karen One episode
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Attorney Minonna Efron Episode: "Criminal Hatred"
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