Kanakaredes, b. 1967
is an actress, best known for her role on the prime-time television
born in Akron, Ohio, on April 23, 1967, to a Greek-American family.
Her first name comes from the Greek prefix Meli, which means honey.
She was born the youngest of three daughters to an insurance salesman
and a homemaker. Her family owned a candy store in Akron called Temo's
Chocolate Company. When she comes back to Akron to visit family, she
still goes to Temo's, which is now owned by her uncle.
from Firestone High School and started her entertainment career in a
community theater. While attending high school at Firestone, she appeared
in plays at a nearby all-boys school.
Ohio State University briefly but then transferred to Point Park College
in Pittsburgh, which is affiliated with the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Before
long, young Kanakaredes was appearing in productions at the Playhouse
as well as the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. She also made appearences
in commercials and industrial films.
with honors with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in theater from Point Park,
Kanakaredes moved to New York City, where she worked in the off-Broadway
play, "State of the Art."
In 1991, she landed
the part of Eleni Andros Cooper (no. 1) on the popular daytime drama,
"The Guiding Light." She earned two Emmy nominations for that
role. The role also led to her being cast for a brief role on "NYPD
Blue," and eventually co-star roled in "New York News,"
"Leaving L.A," and "Oz" before settling on "Providence"
also appeared in feature films such as the 1998 Casino hit "Rounders,"
"Dangerous Beauty," "The Long Kiss Goodnight" and,
most recently, "15 Minutes." She also appeared in the television
movie "Saint Maybe" in 1998.
Kanakaredes is married
to chef/restauranteur Peter Constantinades. They have a daughter Zoe.
The family lives in Los Angeles, although Kanakaredes has just joined
the Roundabout Theatre Co.'s production of "Cabaret." She
plays Sally Bowles.
Photo courtesy of
Playbill, Inc., copyright 2003.