Greek-American actress Melina Kanakaredes was born on April 23, 1967 in Akron, Ohio. After attending classes at the Ohio State University for a while, she transferred to Point Park College in Pitssburgh, Pennsylvania, where she participated in synchronized swimming competitions before graduating with a theater arts degree in 1989. It was two years before, however, when she made her film debut, appearing in a short film called Carts.
Kanakaredes got her first major exposure 1991, when she was cast in the daytime soap Guiding Light. She originated the role of Eleni Cooper, and her portrayal earned her two Daytime Emmy nominations, in 1994 and 1995. After she left the show in 1995, she played guest roles in shows such as Due South, NYPD Blue, Leaving L.A. and The Practice. She made her feature film debut in 1996, starring in the action drama The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Her next high-profile television role came in 1999, when she was given the lead role in the television drama Providence. She played the role of Dr. Sydney Hansen, a successful plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills who chose to leave her glamorous career and move back to her hometown of Providence, Rhode Island in an attempt to rebuild her life and be with her family. The series ran for five seasons in three years, and was a notable success, but production was abruptly halted after some cast members, including Kanakaredes, opted out of a sixth season.
Kanakaredes followed it up with another high-profile television role, this time in the police procedural drama CSI: NY. She plays the role of Stella Bonasera, the second-in-command of crime lab head Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), whose determination and strong personality sometimes leads her to overstep her boundaries and affect others unjustly in the process. Thus, her character has to date four complaints on record.
Daughter Zoe born 23 May 2000, weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz.
Competed in Synchronized Swimming while at Ohio State, famous for its college Synchronized Swimming program.
Her husband, Peter, is a chef and restaurateur.
Spokeswoman for Maybelline New York (2001)
Graduated from Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio.
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.
She competed as "Miss Columbus" in The 1986 Miss Ohio Pageant (Miss America).
At the 1986 Miss Ohio Pageant, she won a talent award in a three-way tie, and was eventually named first runner up to Miss Ohio 1986.
2004-2010: CSI: NY (TV series) - Detective Stella Bonasera
2010: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Athena
2005: Into the Fire (TV movie) - Catrina/Sabrina Hampton
2004: CSI: Miami (TV series) - Detective Stella Bonasera
1999-2002: Providence (TV series) - Dr. Sydney Hansen
2001: 15 Minutes - Nicolette Karas
2001: 3rd Annual TV Guide Awards (TV movie)
1998: Saint Maybe (TV movie) - Rita
1998: Rounders - Barbara
1998: Oz (TV series) - A.D.A. Marilyn Crenshaw
1998: Dangerous Beauty - Livia
1997: The Practice (TV series) - Andrea Wexler
1997: Leaving L.A. (TV series) - Libby Galante
1996: The Long Kiss Goodnight - Trin
1995: NYPD Blue (TV series) - Benita Alden
1995: New York News (TV series) - Angela Villanova
1995: Due South (TV series) - Victoria Metcalf
1991-1995: The Guiding Light (TV series) - Eleni Andros Cooper
1994: Bleeding Hearts - Daphne
1987: Carts (short)