Elias Koteas was born on March 11, 1961, in Montreal, Canada. Both his parents are of Greek descent. Elias attended Vanier College in Montreal before leaving to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981, of which he is a graduate. He also attended the Actors Studio in New York City, where he studied acting under Ellen Burstyn and Peter Masterson. His film debut was in One Magic Christmas (1985). He has also appeared on stage in productions of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Death of a Salesman, Bent and The Cherry Orchard. In 1989 he was nominated for a Genie (Canada’s Academy Award) for best actor in Malarek (1989), a true story in which he plays a troubled street-kid-turned reporter for a Canadian newspaper.

A somewhat of a breakthrough role for Elias happened in 1990, when he got the role of vigilante Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and its sequels. He is one of Canada’s most popular actors and frequently appears in films by Canadian directors Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg. It was Cronenberg’s controversial movie Crash (1996/I) that had Cannes all abuzz in 1996. Elias played Vaughan, a self-appointed “mad scientist” with an unusual fetish – sexual delight in car crashes!

As Capt. James Staros, the commanding officer of Charlie Company in The Thin Red Line (1998), he brought sensitivity and compassion to his portrayal of a man who cared about the safety of his men – even at the risk of his own career. In 2000 he appeared in Lost Souls (2000), a thriller starring Winona Ryder, and starred on Broadway with Josh Brolin in the Sam Shepard play True West. He starred in the critically-acclaimed film Shot in the Heart in 2002 and in 2003, he won a much deserved Best Supporting Actor Genie for his performance in Atom Agoyan’s Ararat (2002).

He has appeared in the TV series The Sopranos and Traffic and was just recently seen in a starring role in the season-ending episode of the smash TV series House aired in May 2006 where he played the person who shoots the lead character, Dr. Gregory House.


Dated Heather Graham.

Appears frequently in Atom Egoyan’s films: Ararat (2002), Exotica (1994) and The Adjuster (1991).

He is frequently confused for actor Christopher Meloni, although Koteas is less beefy and Meloni is of Italian-French descent rather than Greek.

Is a Greek/Canadian and speaks Greek fluently

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Elias guest stars in 2006 season-ending episode of TV series House with Hugh Laurie Elias guest stars in 2006 season-ending episode of TV series House with Hugh Laurie
As Capt. James Staros in The Thin Red Line (1998) As Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

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