Posted by: nikusjka | July 23, 2009

Famous Greeks

What best represents the country? Probably its people.

So today I got interested in world famous people, who came from Greece. Most of the people know American actors, Brazilian and Spanish football players, European politicians…  But how many Greeks do you know?

The first name that pops up in my mind is a businessman Aristotle Onassis (Αριστοτέλης Ωνάσης). Born in 1906 in a rich family by the age of 16 he spoke four languages: Spanish, Turkish, English and Greek. He was famous shipping magnate and founder of the national Greek air carrier Olympic Airlines. Aristotle was married twice (Athina Livanos and Jacquelinne Kennedy) and had an affair with world known opera diva Maria Callas. He died in France in 1975, but his daughter Christina Onassis successfully continued fathers shipping business.

Above mentioned beautiful Maria Callas(Μαρία Κάλλας), a worldwide known opera singer, was a New York born, but got her musical education in

The Grave of Maria Callas in France

The Grave of Maria Callas in France

 Greece. She was naturally talented and was singing on the major stages of the opera theaters all over the world.

I was surprised to find out that one of my favorite fashion brands “BULGARI” was founded by the Greek jeweller Sotirios Boulgaris (Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης) in 1884. Another famous Greek-American designer Peter Speliopoulos was working with such huge fashion houses like Laura Biagotti in Rome, Christian Dior, Gloria Sachs and today he is a Vice President of Design for Donna Karan New York. And I love their perfume 🙂

Alexander Payne (also known as Alexander Papadopulos) is an American Academy Award-winning film director and screenwriter. His movies mostly are satirical and unusual for USA film industry. To mention some of the most famous ones: Sideways (2004), About Schmidt (2002), Paris, je t´aime (2006) and Jurassic Park III (2001) (screenwriter).


Nia Vardalos

Probably the most famous Greek actress today is Nia Vardalos(Antonia Eugenia Vardalos). “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” made her well-known comedian actress all over the world. She comes from Greek-Canadian family and is not only an actress, but also a movie and TV show producer. Her next movie “My Life in Ruins”came out in June 2009. I still haven´t seen it, but I´m really looking forward to watching it.


Another Greek actress I got introduced to while I was in Greece – Aliki Vougiouklaki (Αλίκη Βουγιουκλάκη). Someone told me I´m like her, because we both are like “tsakpina” (I am not sure how to write this word, so correct me if I am wrong), that means something like “flirty”. I was honored. Seriously 🙂 Aliki lived in Athens and was popular and loved all over the Greece. She appeared in 42 movies (mostly musicals) and variety of TV shows. In 1970 she was given a title National Star of Greece and I believe she´ll stay in the hearts of Greek people for a long time. She died in 1996 in Athens.

Believe it or not, Jennifer Aniston (yes,yes the one from famous “Friends” serial) has Greek roots too. Her grandfather was born on Crete and grandmother was Italian-Scottish born in New York.


This was a part 1 of the “Famous Greek people”. Follow the updates and you will find many more interesting things about Greece! 🙂



  1. open up your philosophy books, sure you’ll find loads of famous greeks there :)))

    • I know I know! 🙂 But no one is interested very much in reading about Aristotle or Sokrat :))) We know a lot about them from school!

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