Hollywood is filled with numerous people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds. Greeks are known as very proud people, so if one of them makes it big in the world they feel like they have all made it big. Greeks have a lot to be proud of; their rich history, glorious culture and breathtaking landscapes are just a few reasons why they are known as the some of the proudest people on the planet.
Although a lot of celebrities have Americanized their names, they can never Americanize their roots.
This is a list of the most popular Greek American celebrities in Hollywood. You may think you know everything about your favorite celebrities, but you may not know where their roots are from. Some of the celebrities on this list are bound to leave you surprised and others are a bit more obvious. These are the top ten celebrities you didn’t know are of Greek descent.
10. Hank Azaria
Hank Azaria is an extremely talented and popular actor born in Queens, New York. This talented performer is known for his roles on The Simpsons and in Godzilla. The funny guy who was once married to Helen Hunt may have been born in the United States, but his roots are all Greek. Both sets of his grandparents immigrated to America from Greece, something not many know about the actor. He has portrayed characters of a lot of different ethnicities, however he has yet to play a Greek. Hank Azaria is just one of the many Greeks who is proud of their roots.
9. Billy Zane
Remember Rose’s evil fiancé Cal in the iconic movie Titanic? Yes, the handsome one we all loved to hate…Well, that’s Billy Zane and he is born to two Greek American parents. He was raised in Chicago and in 1989 he married actress Lisa Collins. Zane has two beautiful daughters named Ava and Gia, and he tries to keep his family connected to their Greek roots. Although he is best known as his evil character in Titanic, Zane is actually an extremely talented artist who has made both the U.S. and Greece proud he is a part of them.
8. Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen was born in January of 1974 in Long Beach, California. This beauty began her career as a model and then she caught her big break when she landed the starring role on the hit television series Saved By the Bell. Thiessen was just a teenager at the time and many people grew up watching and loving her. She is known for her beauty, which stems from her unique background. She is a mix of Greek, German and Turkish, which explains why she is so gorgeous. Thiessen loves that she is such a mutt and especially loves being Greek.
7. Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee earned his fame as the drummer of the band Motley Crue. Lee has been married to both Heather Locklear and the notorious Pamela Anderson. This bad boy has had quite the wild life and has been involved in numerous scandals including a sex tape with then-wife Anderson. Tommy Lee grew up in California, which many of his fans know, however not many realize is that he was born in Athens, Greece. The Greek rock star has two handsome sons with Pamela Anderson, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger. Tommy Lee, who is very proud of his Greek heritage, tries to instill the same pride in his sons.
6. Criss Angel
Criss Angel is by far one of the most well known magicians in all of America. Criss Angel’s real name is Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos and with that information it comes as no surprise that he is a Greek. This magical man was born in 1967 in New York and he became a household name when he made his primetime TV debut on ABC’s on-hour special called Secrets. Then in 2005 he launched his own series on A&E, which was titled Criss Angel: Mindfreak. Since then he has partnered with Cirque du Soleil and now resides in Las Vegas.
5. Betty White
Betty White is by far one of the most hilarious and iconic actresses to ever live. The only living Golden Girl has had quite the impressive career. In recent years it is almost as though her star skyrocketed back into popularity and everyone has Betty fever. Betty White is seen as an American treasure but what not many know is that she is 1/4th Greek. Although she is not super connected to her Greek roots, it is still part of who she is. White is an icon and it is crazy to think of how much the world still doesn’t know about this legendary talent.
4. John Stamos
John Stamos had the world fall in love with him when he played Uncle Jesse on the iconic show Full House. When the show ended in 1995 after airing for eight seasons, Stamos struggled to separate from his iconic role and found himself on Broadway. John Stamos is a heartthrob who can be defined as a Greek god. His good looks are part of what made him so successful and girls both young and old have always been into Stamos. His charm, talent and handsome features are just some of the qualities that prove he is Greek!
3. Tina Fey
Tina Fey is hilarious, gorgeous and Greek! The actress, whose real name is Stamatina, a very common Greek name, never really liked her name. Growing up, she went by Liz, like her character on the show 30 Rock. Fey is a tough and courageous woman who, like her Greek ancestors, has overcome a lot. What many of her fans don’t know is that when Fey was only five years old, she was in her front yard when a stranger came up to her and attacked her with a knife. The incident left a scar on her face that has now become part of her identity, like her Greek culture.
2. Zach Galifianakis
Most of you know and love this actor from his incredibly hilarious role in The Hangover films. His quirky personality and undeniable talent has gotten the attention of countless fans. His online show Between Two Ferns has also become a hit. The premise of the show is simple, he interviews people of all walks of life, including President Obama. It may not be that surprising to find out that Galifianakis is Greek, seeing how his last name is Galifianakis. He is extremely proud of his Greek heritage and has visited the country on numerous occasions.
1. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is a superstar, no doubt about it. Her father, who is a famous Greek actor on the soap opera Days of Our Lives helped sky rocket his daughter to fame. Greeks are extremely proud to tell people that Jennifer Aniston is half Greek because she is the nationality’s biggest super star. She has been in countless hit movies and was in what is arguably the most iconic sitcom of all time, Friends. Although the world knows a lot about this Greek goddess, not everyone knows that her real last name is not Aniston but Anastassakis – you don’t get more Greek than that!