Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Nia Vardalos was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, trained in the classics at Toronto's Ryerson Theater School. She performed in Shakespeare and many musicals, later taking a job in the box office of The Second City so she could watch the shows every night. One fateful night, the lead actress fell ill and Vardalos convinced producers to let her fill in. The next day she was hired to write/perform in twelve Second City revues. (Chicago's Jefferson Award Best Actress winner.)
Her feature films include the # 1 romantic comedy of all time, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," (Academy Award nom for best Screenplay, Golden Globe nom for Best Actress, Independent Spirit Award and People's Choice award winner) and the recently released "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2", which she wrote, starred in and co-produced.
She is the screenwriter/actor of "Connie and Carla," lead actor in "My Life in Ruins," and "For a Good Time Call," co-writer of "Larry Crowne" with actor Tom Hanks, and actor/writer/director of "I Hate Valentine's Day."
Vardalos is the author of INSTANT MOM, a New York Times bestseller, the true story of adopting her daughter as a toddler from American Foster Care. Social workers confirm that the information from the book has placed over 1000 children in permanent homes, to date. Vardalos also donates all proceeds to charities.
Some of her television credits include "The Catch", Graves", Law & Order: SVU", "Grey's Anatomy," "Cougar Town," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," hosting "Saturday Night Live", "Jane The Virgin", and the voice of Angie Diaz in Disney's animated series "Star Vs. the Forces of Evil."
With her husband Ian Gomez, Vardalos co-hosts ABC's "The Great American Baking Show". The show, which is based on the hit UK series "The Great British Bake Off" will follow some of the nation's best amateur bakers as they compete in a series of themed challenges and eliminations, all hoping to be crowned American's Best Amateur Baker.
Stage credits include "Jennie" in Theate20's COMPANY dir by Gary Griffin. (winner Best Actress Broadway Theater Award).
This Fall/Winter, directed by Thomas Kail (HAMILTON,) and performed at THE PUBLIC, Vardalos plays SUGAR in the new play TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, her stage adaptation of the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed.
Nia Vardalos currently volunteers with LA-area charities, including matching prospective parents with children living in foster care. She mentors five writers, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their eleven-year-old daughter, and many pets.