Greece is the country that gave us Gyro’s and Aristotle. It has been the bridge between the Middle East and Europe, both in terms of commerce and culture. The Golden Age of Greece’s hay-day may seem long tarnished, yet there still are Greeks that influence art, industry and culture. Here are the five most influential Greeks today, Opa!
1. Jennifer Anniston
Yes, the most bodacious of the friends (sorry Courtney and Lisa), and Brad Pitts ex is a tzanziki guzzling Greek. OK, so the tzanziki thing might be an extrapolation. I mean aren’t most stereotypes true? Oh, they’re not? They’re actually racist? Anyway back to Ms. Anniston. She was born of a Greek father and American mother. Both of her parents were actually actors also. As a child, Jennifer spent a year living in Greece, but then the family relocated to New York and it was there where she was bitten by the acting bug. Studying at New York’s School of the Performing Arts, (or the ‘Fame’ school) she graduated and started her career acting on Broadway. She stared in many roles before her most recognized seminal part in the hugely popular series ‘Friends’. Kind of a fun fact is that Aniston first auditioned for the part of Monica.
2. John Stamos
Before you pelt me with yogurt and feta cheese, I am in full realization that Stamos should have been the number one entry. Stamos is like a stubbly patron saint of the Greek-American. If you’ve known any Greek-Americans I am sure at some point during the conversation the phrase: “Did you know that John Stamos is Greek?” has been uttered. Yes, yes Yianni, it’s the seventieth time you’ve mentioned it. It’s not without valor that Mr. Stamos is the pride of the Greek-American community. He was married to Rebecca Romijn. That’s not why he’s the pride of the Greek-American community? Oh, right! It’s because he’s just an all-around super, nice dude. Clean cut and just perfect for some big haired Greek aunt’s niece.
3. Zach Galifianakis
The off-kilt comedian is of Greek decent from the island of Crete. Famous for his absurdly socially awkward character, Alan, in the Hangover franchise, he also created the ‘Between Two Ferns’ series which is widely popular, and has interviewed various personalities including President Barack Obama. His career started in the back of a hamburger joint in which he would perform his off-beat style of stand-up comedy. After touring the country for the better part of a decade, he got his break-through role in 2009 in the Hangover.
4. Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee is well known for his drumming prowess, playing for the metal band Motley Crue. Lee was born in Athens, but his family moved to California shortly after. He started playing drums at the tender age of four and was influenced by the rock bands of the 70s. He started his musical career playing with Suite 19 on the Sunset Strip until he met his future band-mate, Nikki Sixx. They created Motley Crue and the rest is hard rock history. The band was well known, not only for their music, but their hard partying ways.
5. Nia Vardalos
The creator and director of the break-away hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia has collaborated with Hollywood giants like Tom Hanks and Richard Dreyfuss. She is a Canadian born Greek that received her first shot to act in an American production in the Second City comedy, Repertoire. She went on to write the Academy Award nominated movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Have I missed any Greek Gods or Goddesses in my list? Well let me know in the comment section below.