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In addition to an Academy Award nomination, Nia Vardalos received Writers Guild of America and Critics’ Choice Movie Award nominations as the screenwriter of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which holds the record as the top-grossing romantic comedy as well as the most profitable movie of all time. Her performance in the movie brought her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award ensemble nomination. Ms. Vardalos received many other accolades including the Write Girl Award; the movie, directed by Joel Zwick, won additional awards including the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture.
She wrote and directed the feature I Hate Valentine’s Day, reuniting on-screen with leading man John Corbett of My Big Fat Greek Wedding; co-wrote Larry Crowne with its director and star Tom Hanks; wrote, executive-produced, and co-starred in Connie and Carla, directed by Michael Lembeck; and starred in My Life in Ruins, directed by Donald Petrie. Ms. Vardalos is a guest lecturer in screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and ran a writing course for underprivileged girls.
She has guest-starred on such popular television shows as Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, My Boys, Drop Dead Diva, Grey’s Anatomy, and (as host) Saturday Night Live. She is currently writing, starring in, and executive-producing a comedy series pilot for ABC Studios.
Ms. Vardalos has contributed articles and writings to The Huffington Post, CNN.com, People.com, Good Housekeeping, Elle, and Katie Couric’s book The Best Advice I Ever Got.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, she attended Toronto’s Ryerson Theater School, and then took a job in the box office of The Second City to be able to watch the show every night. After filling in for an ill actress one night, she was hired by the troupe. She went on to be a performer and writer in twelve Second City revues in Toronto and Chicago. She won Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Actress.
As an adoption advocate, Ms. Vardalos is the spokesperson for National Adoption Day, and invites people to visit www.helpusaadopt.org. She is currently writing a book about her personal experience with adoption, to be published in April 2013.