Actress / Director
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated Nia Vardalos wrote the film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when she moved to Los Angeles. Without a connection to a film studio, Vardalos could not get her screenplay read so she rented a theater and performed the stories as a solo stage show. This play got the attention of Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman who produced Vardalos’s script with her in the lead role. Vardalos won the Independent Spirit award and People’s Choice award. The film is currently the #1 Romantic Comedy. Writing and acting film credits include, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”, "Connie and Carla", "I Hate Valentine's Day", "My Life in Ruins", “Helicopter Mom”, co-writer with Tom Hanks of "Larry Crowne.” Selected television credits are “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, “The Catch”, “Graves”, “Law & Order: SVU”, "Grey's Anatomy", "Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Jane The Virgin”, hosting "Saturday Night Live” and “The Great American Baking Show”, voicing Angie Diaz in Disney’s animated series "Star Vs. the Forces of Evil" and Selene in “DuckTales.” Most recently, directed by Thomas Kail (director of “Hamilton”), Vardalos played “Sugar” for three seasons at The Public in New York and California’s State Theater, The Pasadena Playhouse, in “Tiny Beautiful Things.” Vardalos wrote this critically acclaimed New York Times Critics’ Pick stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling book and performed the lead role. Licensed productions are underway for over fifteen cities as well as in Spanish for Mexico and Argentina. Along with five years with The Second City Toronto and Chicago, stage credits include “Jennie” in “Company” directed by Gary Griffin. (winner Best Actress Broadway Theater Award.) Vardalos’s memoir INSTANT MOM, a New York Times bestseller, is the true story of adopting her daughter as a toddler from American Foster Care. Social workers confirm that, to date, the information from the book has placed over 1300 children in permanent homes. Vardalos also donates all proceeds to adoption charities. Canadian born and raised, currently living in Los Angeles, Vardalos volunteers with several charities, mentors five new writers per year, and matches prospective parents with children living in foster care.