Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Eleni Kanakaredes (born April 23, 1967) is an American actress. Kanakaredes is known for her starring role as Dr. Sydney Hansen on the television show Providence. She currently stars in the CBS show CSI:NY as Det. Stella Bonasera, alongside Gary Sinise as Det. Mac Taylor.


Early life

Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio to a Greek American family. She is a second-generation American and is fluent in the Greek language. Her family owns and runs a candy store in Akron called "Temo's Candy Company". She graduated from Firestone High School in Akron and attended the Ohio State University, where she competed in synchronized swimming and was first runner-up in the Miss Ohio pageant. After a year, Kanakaredes transferred to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater.


Kanakaredes' first major role was as Eleni Andros Spaulding Cooper on the daytime drama Guiding Light (1991-1995). She was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Eleni, a favorite character of fans. Her other television credits include NYPD Blue, Northern Exposure, Due South, Oz, The Practice, and the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of Saint Maybe. She was considered for the lead role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but had to turn it down due to pregnancy.

Her most high-profile roles on television were as series protagonist Dr. Sydney Hansen on Providence, which ran for five seasons, and in a leading role on the CBS show CSI:NY, as detective Stella Bonasera. The show is in its third season. Her appearances in film include The Long Kiss Goodnight as Trin and 15 Minutes as Nicolette Karas, the girlfriend of Robert DeNiro's character.

Personal life

She married Peter Constantinides, a chef and restaurateur on September 6, 1992 and has two daughters, Zoe (b. May 23, 2000) and Karina Eleni (b. January 25, 2003). She and her husband own a Greek restaurant in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Powell, Ohio.


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