For the past twenty-five years, Elias Koteas has not just been a recognizable name within Greek households. Since 1985, this Greek Canadian actor has had roles in countless movies, completed a handful of theater productions and after two-decades in the business, is still alive and well, making the most of what tinsel town has to offer.
He has starred alongside Robert Downey Jr.(Zodiac), Christopher Walken (The Prophecy), Mark Wahlberg (Shooter), Cate Blanchett (Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and so many more. You’ll un-doubtingly remember him from one of the 72 character’s he’s portrayed in the last twenty-years as a professional actor. His most notable characters, Victor Malarek from Malarek (1989), which he won a Genie (Canada’s Academy Award), Casey Jones in the pisino-kicking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990/93), most notably in the controversial and acclaimed Crash (1996) as Vaughan and most recently as Jack Payne in Shooter (2007). You’ll soon be able to remember him as Amdrew Laeddis in Martin Scorsese’s thriller, Shutter Island, in theaters February 18, where he stars alongside Leonardo Dicaprio and Michelle Williams.
Koteas was born in Quebec to hard working Greek parents, his father a mechanic and his mother a milliner, both unquestionably taught their son the meaning of a good work ethic. “Even when he’s only on screen for a few minutes, Elias still shines!” said a fan from a Koteas fan site.
Koteas is very dedicated to his Greek roots. 100% Greek, speaks it fluently (along with French) and has also been fortunate enough to play one of the most notable Greek-oil-typoons and second husband to America’s royalty (Jackie-O) Aristotle Onassis, in the ABC miniseries The Richest Man in the World: The Aristotle Onassis Story (1988).
Born and raised Canadian, Koteas grew up in Montreal where he studied at Vanier College. In 1981, he moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, class of 1983, as well as the Actors Studio in NY under Ellen Burstyn and Peter Masterson. In the Big Apple, Koteas did countless stage productions appearing in “Holy Ghosts” and “The Changing Room”, to name a few, at the AADA. In 1985, his career took flight when producer Fred Ross discovered the actor and immediately casted him in the Disney holiday film One Magic Christmas.
Though the camera loves him, Koteas has stayed true to his love of theater and in 2000 returned to the stage to star on Broadway alongside Josh Brolin in the Sam Shepard production of “True West”.
Keep a weather eye out for this Greek stud; you’ll be seeing much more of him in the next year, with five projects in the works.