Her love of performing led Vardalos to begin her professional career at the Rainbow Stage, a theater company that eventually provided her with the means to get a scholarship to Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1986. It was two short years later that the emerging performer would join Toronto’s Second City theater troupe, moving to Chicago’s Second City phase shortly thereafter. Introduced to future husband Ian Gomez while performing in the Windy City, the couple married in September 1993 and moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. Both Vardalos and Gomez began appearing on several small-screen shows such as The Drew Carey Show, and it wasn’t long before Vardalos, inspired by her eccentric family and her colorful childhood, began to pen a stage play entitled My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Penning her very first draft in a mere two weeks, the play was assembled based on her friends’ recollection of humorous stories about her family and centered around her account of her and Gomez’s memorable wedding. A stage hit that shortly drew the attention of actress Rita Wilson, Wilson recommended the play to husband Tom Hanks and after Hanks attended the following night’s performance of the charming one-woman play, the couple agreed that a film version would captivate audiences.
Though she confronted a lot adversity by means of executives eager to cast a major star and tinker with her winning script, Vardalos stuck to her guns and brought her vision to the screen fully intact for a paltry five million dollars, a gamble that paid off when word of mouth identified audiences flocking to the film in list numbers.
|Day of Birth||24 September 1962|
|Place of Birth||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|