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Did You Know This Famous Greek Descendants Origins?


Many famous people have Greek names and talk about their Greek roots all the time. But there are also a lot of famous Greek descendants, which might surprise you.

Let's look at some of the most famous people who have Greek roots.

Famous Greek Descendants

This list of famous people with Greek roots is roughly ordered by how well-known they are. A lot of famous people come from Greece. Some of them are from more than one country, while others are all Greek. Greek-American celebrities have done well in sports, movies, and television. A number of funny actors and actresses have Greek roots.

Who is the most famous person of Greek heritage? This list is topped by Jennifer Aniston. On her father's side, the "Friends" star is Greek.

Some funny actors are also from Greece. Tina Fey'smother is Greek, and comedian Zach Galifianakis is of Greek, English, Scottish, Welsh, French, and Irish ancestry. Among the movies he has been in are The Hangover and Due Date. Betty White from "The Golden Girls" and comedian Demetri Martin are also funny celebrities with Greek roots.

How do you celebrate the different cultures that make up your background? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Hank Azaria

Hank Azariacomes from a Greek-Jewish family. Both his mother's and father's parents were born in Thessaloniki, a city in northern Greece.

Before World War II, there were a lot of wealthy Sephardic Jewish-Greeks living in the city. During the time that the Nazis controlled Greece, many of the city's Jews were killed in concentration camps in Europe.

A lot of the people who made it out ran away to the US or Israel.

The Greek-American star is well-known for his roles on TV shows like The Simpsons and Friends, where he voices many of the most famous characters.

Betty White

Surprisingly, everyone's favorite "American sweetheart over 90," Betty White, was of Greek descent. Her maternal grandfather was Greek.

Her life was incredible in a lot of ways. She grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and was a trailblazer for female TV executives from the start. She went on to become a TV star for decades.

White died at the age of 99 in December 2021. On January 17, 2022, she would have turned 100.

Betty white in a movie from 1973
Betty white in a movie from 1973

Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon, who stars on the TV show Law and Order, is also Greek. She was born in Texas to a Greek-American mother and a German and Irish-American father.

The model and actress are also known for playing the tough, brash Italian-American detective Jane Rizzoli in the hit show Rizzoli & Isles, which ended in 2016.

Jennifer Anniston

On her father's side, Jennifer Aniston is part Greek. She became well known because she played Rachel on the hit TV show "Friends."

He decided to shorten his name from Anastassakis to Aniston, like many Greek immigrants who came to America.

Aniston is also the goddaughter of Telly (Aristotelis) Savalas, a famous Greek-American actor.

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson got her start as a singer, songwriter, and actress when she won the first season of the hit reality TV show American Idol. Clarkson now has The Kelly Clarkson Show, her own daytime talk show.

The famous person is of Greek, Irish, Welsh, and German descent, which you might not know.

Tommy Lee

The drummer for the band Motley Crue, Tommy Lee, is known for living the rock star life. Many people may not know that the musician was born in Athens to a Greek mother and an American father.

Tommy Lee in 2012
Tommy Lee in 2012

Chris Angel

Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, who became Angel, was born on Long Island, New York. He chose to do magic instead of going to college, and now he is one of the most famous magicians of his time.

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson talks a lot about how much she loves Greece, and she and her husband, Tom Hanks, go there quite often. However, many people may not know that the actress is Greek herself.

Dorothea Tzigkou, Wilson's mother, was Greek and was born in Albania near the Greek border. Her father, on the other hand, was Bulgarian and was born in Greece. He was part of a small group called the Pomak.

John Stamos

John Stamos comes from Greece, Ireland, and England. He has been on shows like "ER" and "Full House" on TV.

Theo James

Fans of "Downton Abbey" know him as Mr. Pamuk, the handsome (but doomed) Turkish diplomat who seduced Lady Mary in season one. Fans of dystopian books for young adults know him as Four, the handsome Dauntless warrior in "Divergent," but his family calls him Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis.

If his last name doesn't give away that he has Greek roots, James told the Greek press that his grandfather, who moved from Greece to New Zealand, "loved Greece," but that his father never learned the language. He said, "I tried a little bit, but I only know a few words."

Zach Galifianakis

Galifianakis is an oddball comedian and the star of the "Hangover" trilogy. He recently made headlines when President Obama appeared on his "Between Two Ferns" mock-interview web show to talk about health care reform.

Galifianakis is an oddball comedian and the star of the "Hangover" trilogy. He recently made headlines when President Obama appeared on his "Between Two Ferns" mock-interview web show to talk about health care reform.

It's pretty amazing for the son of a Greek immigrant who spent years on the stand-up circuit improving the skills he first learned at home.

"I grew up in North Carolina with wonderful parents and a big, always laughing Greek family. I think that's where my sense of humor came from from making jokes with my big brother, my sister, and my cousins.

Alexander Payne

Constantine Alexander Payne, who won an Oscar for writing and directing "The Descendants" and "Sideways," has said that his last name used to be Papadopoulos but that his grandfather Nicolas changed it to Payne around 1915 to avoid anti-Greek feelings in the Midwest.

The Virginia Cafe, a famous restaurant in downtown Omaha that burned down in 1969, was owned by Payne's grandfather and later by his father, George. Payne, who was born and raised in Nebraska, showed off his Greek roots when he thanked his mother, Peggy, during his acceptance speech at the 2012 Oscars.

"This one is for you, mom." "S'agapói poly," he told his mother (and date). "I really love you," in other words.

Tracy Spiridakos

The beautiful young star of NBC's dystopian drama "Revolution," Spiridakos, is also Greek-Canadian. It's not known if his family knows Wendy Vardalos' family, who are also Greek. She was born in Winnipeg, and when she was four, she and her two brothers moved to the Greek village of Skala, just south of Sparta.

After her family moved back to Winnipeg a few years later, Spiridakos worked at their Greek restaurant during most of her school breaks and summers.

Spiridakos is fluent in Greek, which is different from many of the other celebrities on this list. She shows off her language skills when she's interviewed by the Greek press, such as MTV Greecehost George Satsidis.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey's father comes from a mix of German and Scottish roots. Her mom is from Greece. Fey has played the lead role in movies like Date Night and Baby Mama.

Tina fey with glasses
Tina fey with glasses

People Also Ask

Who Is Greek In Hollywood?

  • Tina Fey.
  • Hank Azaria.
  • Zach Galifianakis.
  • Billy Zane.
  • Kelly Clarkson.
  • Mena Suvari.
  • Maria Menounos.
  • Tommy Lee.

Is Greek A Race Or Ethnicity?

Greeks, also known as Hellenes, are an ethnic group and country that are native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Anatolia, sections of Italy, and Egypt, as well as, to a lesser degree, other nations bordering the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea.

What Color Hair Do Greeks Have?

Greece was and continues to be a Mediterranean country. They have often had brown or sometimes black hair, with a small minority having lighter traits like blonde or red hair. Those who were blonde or red in ancient times are specifically mentioned.


The Greek ancestry of the stars who have kept their hard-to-pronounce, multisyllabic last names is pretty obvious, but the Greek ancestry of other actors and performers might surprise you.

Who most surprised you? Did you expect to learn these interesting facts about a famous Greek descendant? You can go to Hooksite for more crazy facts and stories about your favorite movie stars, and don't forget to keep reading our interesting articles.

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About The Authors

Christoforos Karahaliidis

Christoforos Karahaliidis- Christoforos is always engaged in the Greek community and promotes the local economy. Chris just recently quit his job from finance to be a father to his new born baby. Casino and sport betting are the topics of interest for Chris since he was very young.

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