Melina Kanakaredes's Biography
Melina Eleni Kanakaredes (born April 23, 1967) is a Daytime Emmy Award-nominated 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.
Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Connie (née Temo), a candy company owner, and Harry Kanakaredes, an insurance salesman.
She is a second-generation Greek-American and is fluent in Greek. 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' grandfather Christ Temo. Melina's sister is an attorney in Akron, Ohio.
Kanakaredes graduated from the Firestone High School in Akron. She attended Ohio State University for a short time, and then transferred to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Point Park in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts.
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 (1999–2002), and since 2004 in a leading role on the CBS drama series CSI: NY as Det. Stella Bonasera.
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 (TV series), The Practice, MTV's The Ben Stiller Show, and a Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of the Anne Tyler novel Saint Maybe.
Her appearances in movies 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.
Kanakaredes married Peter Constantinides on 6 September 1992. The couple have two daughters, Zoe (born 23 May 2000) and Karina Eleni (born 25 January 2003). She and her husband and a former restaurant consultant own the "Tria Greek Kuzina" in Powell, Ohio.