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Elias Koteas Biography

Birth Name:
Elias Koteas
Birth Place:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Fast Facts

  • Speaks Greek fluently
  • Had dreams of becoming an architect or civil engineer, but decided to become an actor after watching Happy Days, the TV-movie The Great Houdinis and, especially, Nick Nolte in the acclaimed miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man
  • Had little acting experience, save for a few classes with Montreal drama teacher Ann Page, but in 1981 auditioned at New York City's American Academy for Dramatic Arts and was accepted three months later
  • Nominated for Canada's Genie Awards for supporting roles in Ararat (2002) and Exotica (1994), and won in the lead actor category in Malarek (1989)
  • Fired after one day of rehearsals from the film adaptation of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986) because of his failure to grasp the vocal nuances of the role, but credits the experience with making him a better actor


  • 2013Canadian Screen Awards-Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: nominated
  • 2009Critics' Choice Awards-Best Acting Ensemble: nominated
  • 2008Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2002Genie Awards-Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: winner
  • 1994Genie Awards-Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1989Genie Awards-Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: nominated