Melina is a spokesperson for the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation.
Melina and her husband, a former restaurant consultant, own the Tria Greek Kuzina in Powell, Ohio.
Melina made her acting debut when she was 8 years old in the community theater production of Tom Sawyer.
Melina is 5'7" tall.
In 1999, Melina was featured in People's magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People In The World".
Melina was the spokeswoman for Maybelline New York in 2001.
Melina competed in Synchronized Swimming while at Ohio State.
After Melina was crowned Miss Coloumbus she became the first runner-up at the 1986 Miss Ohio Pageant.
Melina Kanakaredes can speak fluent Greek.
Melina was going to have the lead for the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but she was turned down because she was pregnant at the time.
While starring in Providence, Melina filmed three public service announcements for NBC 's The More You Know. Her topics were parental involvement, child abuse, and reading.
Melina was the one to announce the arrival of the Olympic flame in N.Y. for the Athens Olympics 2004. She didn't manage to visit Greece though, as she was stuck in N.Y shooting CSI.
Despite the fact that Stella Bonasera always wears pants on the show, Melina is a fan of dresses in real life and tries to bring a bit of what she loves into the show.
Melina has two daughters, she is the youngest of three girls and all her cousins are girls too.
Melina tries to combine work and family having her daughters in a trailer opposite to hers.
When she was starting her career, Melina's agents had suggested she should change her hellenic name and straighten her hair, but she refused.
Before Melina could win the role of Robert De Niro's partner in 15 Minutes she had to meet with the actor, since he was the one to give the final approval.
In 1998 she was offered a role in Law & Order, after Jill Hennessey had left the show, but she turned it down.
While shooting 15 Minutes and Providence she kept flying from L.A. to N.Y., without time off. So after completing her shootings, she took her husband on a romantic weekend and soon after discovered she was pregnant.
Her parents wanted her to become a lawyer or doctor, since they considered these careers as "serious;" however, Melina's love was acting.
Her family owned a candy store in Akron called Temo's Chocolate Company. When she comes back to Akron to visit family, she still goes to Temo's, which is now owned by her uncle.
While most of the CSI: NY cast is from New York, Kanakaredes is one of four exceptions. The others are Gary Sinise (born in Illinois), Hill Harper (born in Iowa) and Anna Belknap (born in Maine).
Melina has appeared in many commercials :
TV commercial for Kmart (1991), Semicid (1991), Rave (1991), Hyundai (1991), Sony (1991), Diet Rite (1991) Maybelline Smooth Result makeup (2001)
and Print ad: Lee Jeans, 2002.
She appeared in industrial films and on stage in the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Melina played the role of Eleni Andros Cooper for four years on the daytime soap opera "The Guiding Light," which she earned her two Emmy nominations for. The character of Eleni Cooper was special to Melina, as Eleni was Greek, and her time on that soap opera garnered her a strong fan following.
She found her acting skills in demand at a nearby Jesuit high school, which was an all-boys school. As a teenager, she continued her involvement in dance and theatrical productions, working summers in New York with various companies. After graduation, she began her professional career in theater, performing in both classic and musical productions. She moved to New York City, landing her first off-Broadway appearance in the play State of the Art. During the weekends, she supported herself as a cocktail waitress.
Melina's first name was derived from the Greek prefix Meli, which means 'honey.' It came from the nurses at the hospital, who were always calling her Honey.
Her first TV commercial was for Semicid contraceptive. Her agent (who she still uses as a result of this) worked an "embarrassment clause" into her contract for the commercial, which has become standard for her ever since.
Her love of musical theater, especially the work of Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, inspired her as a child. She began performing and singing with her sisters and made her acting debut at age eight in the community theater production of "Tom Sawyer."
Melina received the 2000 TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Drama and was nominated for the same award in 2001.
In 2003, Melina starred in the Broadway show Cabaret, three months after giving birth to her daughter Karina.
Daughter Zoe born 23 May 2000, weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz.
Daughter Karina born January 25, 2003.
Melina: (on CSI: NY co-star Gary Sinise) And in real life, as friends and co-workers we just adore each other. We always have a blast. He hasn't failed me yet. He's been a wonderful, wonderful friend and colleague. It's wonderful working with Gary.
Melina: (on continuity and the CSI: NY fans) I always say when we're doing something on the set and it's not matching or it's something different, I'm like, "Hey, our fans are going write in about this!" They watch all the little details! Especially if they're able to TiVO and stop it, so [we have to make sure we can] keep them entertained and keep them guessing!
(Talking about working in CSI:NY with so handsome men.)
Melina: You know if I had my way, I'd have them all as boyfriends on the show! Anna Belknap and I always joke that it's just such a great show. It's the two of us and all these boys! We're in a good position!
(On staying thin)
Melina: Skinny? Listen, my husband's a chef. He cooks only for me now, and our two kids because I won't let him open another restaurant again - but I'm not skinny. I'm Greek. I eat.
(At the Tony's on theater)
Melina: Would you believe five years ago I worked on 'Curtains'? It workshopped for years, but my role turned into three others.
Melina: It's a wonderful time when you sit down around the table for dinner and discuss life," she says. "No matter where you are, it gives the semblance of normalcy to my crazy world. … It grounds us as a family.
Melina: (after her husband baked seven different cheesecakes while studying for a culinary exam) I would invite all my friends, and it would be horrible. Some of the boys are worse than the girls, saying 'I can't eat this!' I'd say, 'Shut up and eat. I can't have all this great food in the house.'
(Talking about her character on "CSI:NY")
Melina: Viewers are watching Stella hold her own.
Melina: I realized that it's okay to take risks and make choices based on your heart as opposed to your pocket book or anybody else's opinion. I knew I could go after what I wanted most. If I tried and failed--big deal. You just keep going.
Melina: Becoming a mother certainly changed me in many, many ways - most significantly was the dichotomy of being an adult, yet starting all over again.And watching my parents crawling around on the floor with my kids - and becoming children again - is the greatest gift ever.
Melina: Whether you work outside the home in addition to parenting or you're a stay-at-home mom, you're a full-time working mother. In my case, doing both is a good thing. I'm one of those people who gets more done the busier I am.
Melina: Don't be embarrassed of who you are, they're gonna judge you no matter what you do.
Melina: Ever since I started working regularly in this business, I was careful to save my money.That allowed me to make decisions based on my heart rather than financial need.
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