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TNH’s 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America List 2022: Numbers 50-41

50. Michel Vounatsos

$32M (WallMine)

Cambridge, MA

Pharmaceuticals

That’s not a typo in the name of the Biogen CEO who enters our list this year: Michel – not Michael – Vounatsos is a true citizen of the world, and his name tells only a small part of his background. Vounatsos is a French citizen, born in Casablanca, Morocco, who lives in the United States after travelling all over the world as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry. A polyglot who speaks six languages, Vounatsos held various management positions at pharmaceutical company Ciba-Geigy before a 20-year career with Merck, which took him to different parts of Europe, to China, and, finally, to the United States, as the company’s president of Primary Care and Customer Centricity. In that role, Vounatsos led Merck’s global primary care business unit, encompassing Merck’s cardiology-metabolic, general medicine, women’s health, and biosimilars groups and developed and instituted a strategic framework for enhancing the company’s relationships with key constituents, including the most significant providers, payers, and retailers and the world’s largest governments. In 2016, Vounatsos joined Biogen as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, bringing to the company a wealth of experience in identifying and developing markets to expand business. After only a year, he rose to Biogen’s board of directors, and to the position of CEO, taking over from Greek-American George Scangos. Vounatsos also holds a significant number of shares of Biogen stock, which makes for the biggest part of his earnings with the company.

Vounatsos is leading Biogen, a company with a market cap of over $40B and sales topping $10B, during a challenging time, dealing with expiring patents as well as with exciting prospects, such as the company’s treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, which, however, had a controversial start and is still trying to position itself in a market which represents perhaps the most desperate quest for a treatment in contemporary medicine – except for the COVID pandemic. Biogen’s Aduhelm – the brand name for the monoclonal antibody treatment against the disease – is the first treatment to have been approved for Alzheimer’s in over 20 years.

A doctor himself, Vounatsos, now 60, was educated at France’s Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux II, and at the HEC School of Management in Paris, where he got his MBA. In addition to his position with Biogen, he is a director of PerkinElmer, Inc., a global scientific technology and life science research company. He also serves on the advisory board of China’s Tsinghua University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, on the Supervisory Board of Liryc, the Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute at the University of Bordeaux, France, and is a member of the MIT Presidential CEO Advisory Board, as well as serving on the board of directors at the UK’s Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases (EDoN).

Vounatsos and his wife, Martine, also a doctor, have three children.

 

49. ALBERT BOURLA

New York

$35.5 MILLION (WallMine)

PHARMACEUTICALS

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Biotechnology of Reproduction); Married, 2 children

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019 file photo, Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer, prepares to testify before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on drug prices, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2019 file photo, Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer, prepares to testify before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on drug prices, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

When the pandemic is finally over, its chapter in history will talk about the devastating loss of human life, the cataclysmic changes it brought to the economy and politics, and about the global shift it brought to social relations. But in the most soothing pages of that chapter will be featured the astonishing achievement that has been the scientific community’s response. Scientists around the world scrambled to match the speed of their research to the pace of 21st century life and to the virus transmissibility that it enabled. Pfizer won the race for a safe, effective vaccine against COVID, guaranteeing that Albert Bourla, its CEO, will see his name go down in history as a source of hope during the most challenging time in generations. A scientist himself, Bourla did not develop the technology for the vaccine, but he made every decision possible to see that Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, could research its efficacy, scale its production, and deliver it at the necessary speed for some light to start shining at the end of the tunnel. In the process, he made a huge financial bet, that paid off on all imaginable levels.

Dr. Bourla is a Greek business executive and veterinarian, who currently serves as the chief executive officer of the American pharmaceutical corporation, Pfizer. He is known for his push for aggressive timelines in Pfizer’s development of a vaccine against COVID-19 and is credited with helping with the development of that lifesaving vaccine.

Born and raised in Thessaloniki to Sephardic Jewish parents who were among the 2,000 (of the 50,000 living in Salonika) that survived the German invasion of Greece during the Holocaust, Bourla began his career in Greece. He earned his doctorate in the biotechnology of reproduction at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Veterinary School before taking on the role as Technical Director in the Pfizer Animal Health Division in Greece. Since then, Bourla has lived and worked in eight different cities, in five different countries. In an interview with TNH, Bourla had this to say about his native Greece: “No matter how many times I move around or where I live, Greece will always be my home. Let’s not forget that I lived in Greece into my thirties, so I had a whole life in Greece. I still have all my Greek friends and every summer I return and enjoy meeting up with everyone. I am honored to be Greek and it’s very much a part of who I am. It is a privilege to lead Pfizer at such a pivotal time in our company’s history – and the history of global health in general. I hope, in some small way, it may inspire others to know that they can move around and lead others and still be who they are.”

During his more than 25 years at Pfizer, Bourla has built a diverse and successful career, holding a number of senior global positions across a range of markets and disciplines. Prior to taking the reins as CEO in January 2019, Albert served as Pfizer’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) beginning in January 2018, responsible for overseeing the Company’s commercial strategy, manufacturing, and global product development functions.

In 2020, Bourla was ranked as America’s top CEO in the pharmaceuticals sector by Institutional Investor magazine. He is on the executive committee of The Partnership for New York City, a vice president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, a director on multiple boards – Pfizer, Inc., The Pfizer Foundation, PhRMA, and Catalyst – and a trustee of the United States Council for International Business. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable and the Business Council.

A devoted fan of Thessaloniki’s Aris soccer team, Bourla is always committed to his hometown and to economic cooperation between the United States and Greece. According to the National Journal, he has led Pfizer’s effort to help Greece’s economic recovery; he has organized vaccine donations, medical aid for refugees, and more than $1 million in medicine to help uninsured patients; he has established a new tech hub in his hometown, the Pfizer Artificial Intelligence Center, that will provide around 200 jobs; and he has directed Pfizer’s participation in the Thessaloniki International Fair.

Dr. Bourla now lives in New York with his wife, Myriam, and the rest of their family.

 

47. NICK MARKAKIS

40 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE

Young Harris College; Married, 3 children

FILE – Atlanta Braves’ Nick Markakis hits a home run during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

At 38 years old, Nicholas William Markakis, more commonly known as Nick Markakis, retired from baseball before last year’s season, but makes a comeback on our list with a net worth of approximately $40 million.

An MLB All-Star (2018), Silver Slugger Award Winner (2018), and a three-time Gold Glove Award Winner (2011, 2014, 2018). Markakis was the Baltimore Orioles’ first round draft pick in 2003, and he played for the team until 2014, when he joined the Atlanta Braves.

Markakis and family moved to Woodstock, Georgia from Glen Cove, NY when Nick was still just a boy. It’s at Woodstock that he developed his passion for baseball and was drafted out of high school in 2001 by the Cincinnati Reds and again in 2002 but Markakis declined both advances and opted to attend Young Harris College.

Following his collegiate career, in 2003, Markakis also represented Greece in the European National Championships where the Greek national baseball team won the silver medal. He played with the Greek national team again at the Athens 2004 Olympics.

Markakis hit .288 BA/.357 OBP/.423 SLG with 1,119 runs, 514 doubles and 189 home runs in 2,154 big league games throughout his career. Commenting on his retirement, he told The Athletic: “My No. 1 decision and my main focus on this is obviously my kids and my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this for a very long time and not many people get to do what I’ve gone through. I’m thankful for every second and every minute.” He is married to Christina Dutko, and they have three sons.

 

47. Zach Galifianakis

$40 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

ACTING

Zach Galifianakis. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Imagine being the grandson of Greek immigrants from Crete. A third-generation Greek-American, you work hard, you find and hone your craft, you rise to its highest ranks, and you make it in this country to great fame and fortune. In a family that has its share of American prominence, including a U.S. Congressman, no less, you get the lion’s share (or tiger’s share, if you go by The Hangover standards). You prove the merits of that brave decision to cross an ocean and move to a different continent in search of a better future. And you end up living in Sparta. Well, Sparta, North Carolina. But still, how’s that for comedic instinct? No one knows if Zach Galifianakis, born Zachary Knight Galifianakis to Mary Frances and Harry Galifianakis in 1969, moved from Sparta, as he recently revealed, just so geography would not antagonize his own comedic stylings. And, aside from a lack of pickles, for which he recently complained on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, it sounds like he is doing great in his new surroundings, living on an island in western Canada. Then, again, he seems to be doing great all around.

After years of stand-up, and minor roles in film and TV, Galifianakis got a break working shortly for Saturday Night Live. The emphasis is on “shortly.” He wrote for the show for two weeks, pitching, among others, a bit for guest host Britney Spears that would have seen Will Ferrell playing a security guard shrunk to fit inside, and protect, the pop star’s belly button. The pitch flopped, but hold on to the Will Ferrell connection. In 2008, when a sketch pilot by Scott Aukerman and B.J. Porter was not picked up by Fox, a short film within that pilot found its home at Funny or Die, the online comedy platform founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Mark Kvamme, and Chris Henchy. That short film would eventually grow into the critical and commercial success that has been ‘Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,’ the uniquely irreverent, masterfully deadpan take down of celebrity talk shows, which has seen Galifianakis interview everyone from Michael Cera to Natalie Portman, Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt, Jerry Seinfeld -even Hillary Clinton and President Barrack Obama – then still in office. As one of its producers, Ferns got Galifianakis two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program, but, most importantly, it got his comedy a much wider, albeit still somewhat niche, audience.

That audience would expand exponentially just a year after Between Two Ferns moved to Funny or Die, with the release of 2009’s tenth-highest-grossing movie, The Hangover. Taking on a role that was initially written for and offered to Jack Black, who turned it down, Galifianakis defined the tone of the movie, and was catapulted to bigger and lead roles, including Dinner for Schmucks, Due Date, and his critically acclaimed supporting role in 2014’s Birdman. Since then, he has been a steady comedic reference, not only on film, where he proved to be charismatic in voice-over work, as well, but also on TV (Bored to Death, Baskets, among others). Baskets brought him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2017. And he even got back to Saturday Night Live as a host three times – effectively outperforming his initial go at the legendary show by a whole week. Of course, he also starred in The Hangover sequels, adding to his deal backend royalties which have contributed greatly to his current net worth.

A private person for the standards of his success and fame, Galifianakis studied Communications at North Carolina State University before turning to comedy. Talking to Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes’ podcast, Smartless, he spoke about the influence his father had in his choice of a career: “in a weird way… probably because I loved the sound of my dad’s laughing. Watching Benny Hill or All in the Family with my father and listening to those laughs… I think there was a craving for me to hear that kind of noise out of human beings as much as I could get it. It sounds very corny, but it’s true.”

Galifianakis is married to Canadian businesswoman and philanthropist Quinn Lundberg; they have two sons.

 

46. Kelly Clarkson

$45 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

MUSIC, TV

Kelly Clarkson. (Photo by vagueonthehow via flickr)

It has been 20 years since Kelly Clarkson won American Idol, and she has spent all those years at the top of her art. Following her victory and subsequent deal with RCA, she released the single ‘A Moment Like This’ which became the year’s best selling single. Having now recorded 9 studio albums, and hosting her very successful talker The Kelly Clarkson Show, she has found international success and critical acclaim, including three Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and three Daytime Emmy Awards.

Born Kelly Brianne Clarkson to Jeanne Ann and Stephen Michael Clarkson, this Texan superstar is half-Greek on her mother’s side, and she has spoken many times about her Greek heritage, identifying her ancestry as Greek and Irish. When she graduated high school, Clarkson was offered full scholarships to the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Texas, and to the renowned Berklee College of Music, but she turned down those offers, opting to directly pursue a career in the music industry. Her bet paid off when she auditioned for American Idol’s inaugural season, and got a ‘golden pass’ to the Hollywood rounds. In September 2002, Clarkson won the contest and two weeks later released the songs she performed for the finale. The single debuted at #60 and rose to the top at a pace that broke the chart’s 38-year old record for the biggest leap to #1. That record had been set by The Beatles.

She followed that impressive feat with hits like Breakaway, Since U Been Gone, Because of You, My Life Would Suck Without You, Stronger, Piece by Piece and many others, while also recording two very successful Christmas albums. Clarkson branched out to other fields, authoring two children’s books for Harper Collins, doing voice-over work for film and TV, returning to TV as a coach on American Idol, and in 2019 premiering The Kelly Clarkson Show, which has won six Daytime Emmy Awards so far, and is slated for even bigger things as NBC announced that the NBCUniversal Syndication Studios production will be taking over the timeslot of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on the NBC-owned stations. With over 100 #1 hits on the Billboard charts, album sales topping 25 million copies, and a steady, promising viewership for her talk show, Clarkson is set for continued success, though there might be one notable change, as U.S. Weekly and multiple sources reported that she has filed documents to legally change her name to be known only as Kelly Brianne -her first and middle names.

The other most recent change in her life is that earlier this month Kelly Brianne finalized her divorce from Brandon Blackstock, whom she had married in 2013 and who was her manager. The divorce was an almost 2-year process, and will reportedly see the music and TV star pay her former spouse a one-time payment north of $1 million, and child support for the couple’s two children, River Rose, born in 2014, and Remington Alexander, born in 2016.

45. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

New York

$50M (WealthyPersons.com)

MEDIA

Columbia University (Political Science); Married, 2 children

George Stephanopoulos. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
George Stephanopoulos. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

A White House job is something very few people can get. A top West Wing career is even rarer. And following it up with continued success is nothing less than impressive. Well, George Stephanopoulos is impressive – and his steady presence on this list is only a small testament to that.

Stephanopoulos was born to first generation Greek-American parents – Nickolitsa and Robert George – in Massachusetts but grew up in Cleveland, OH. He attended Columbia University and in 1983 won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Stephanopoulos’ father is a Greek-Orthodox priest and Dean Emeritus of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. His mother was the director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America National News Service for many years.

Stephanopoulos reportedly long considered entering priesthood but ended up in politics and media. After beginning his career in Washington, DC, he worked on the unsuccessful presidential campaign of fellow Greek-American Michael Dukakis in 1988 and then served as an aide to an Ohio congressman. Stephanopoulos later worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. After the election, he became White House Communications Director, and later, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy. In 1999, he published his memoir, All Too Human: A Political Education (an account of the 1992 and 1996 Clinton campaigns and of Clinton’s first term in office), which became a New York Times best-seller.

Stephanopoulos joined ABC News in 1997 as an analyst for This Week. Having served as Chief Anchor at ABC News from 2014 to 2020, he currently anchors Good Morning America, and hosts This Week with George Stephanopoulos. For more than a decade, his range and expertise have played a pivotal role at the network – garnering him three Emmys, a DuPont, three Murrows, and two Cronkite Awards. Responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Stephanopoulos, whose This Week tops ratings, produced the Hulu special Two Men at War, providing in-depth profiles of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In September 2016, Stephanopoulos was also featured on a €1 Greek postage stamp, along with other notable Greek-Americans.

In the spring of 2020, Stephanopoulos announced that a few weeks after his wife Alexandra (Ali) Wentworth, an actress and comedian, contracted COVID-19, he did as well. He was largely asymptomatic.

Stephanopoulos married Ali in 2001 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity where Stephanopoulos’ father performed the ceremony. The two were engaged after only dating for two months. According to the New York Times, Stephanopoulos openly mentioned during their wedding that, “I knew within 24 hours, I would not ever dare risk losing her.” The couple has two daughters: Elliott Anastasia and Harper Andrea.

 

44. CRISS ANGEL

Nevada

$60M (WealthyPersons.com)

ENTERTAINMENT

2 Children

Greek-American magician Criss Angel. (Photo via Facebook)
Greek-American magician Criss Angel. (Photo via Facebook)

 

All the people on our list have made their fortunes by taking chances, honing their instincts, and leading the way toward new business. But, in addition to all that, for 54 year old Criss Angel, born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos in North Hempstead, NY, it really, actually, took a little – well, a lot of – magic. The son of Dimitra and John Sarantakos, the latter a successful restaurant and doughnut shop owner, Angel is one of the most popular magicians in the United States, with almost 30 years of successful performances across media.

Angel became interested in magic around the age of seven after his aunt Stella showed him a card trick. After graduating from high school, Angel opted not to go to college. Instead, he chose to follow the path of being a professional magician. He educated himself by going to public libraries frequently where he studied magic, music, mysticism, and even martial arts. He practiced his trade in relative obscurity until he caught a big break in 1994 – appearing in a major prime time television special titled Secrets.

Angel’s popularity grew exponentially, so he decided to venture to the A&E Network to launch a reality show. Criss Angel: Mindfreak debuted on the A&E Network in 2005 and stayed on the air until 2011. The shows were shot in Las Vegas and featured Angel performing a number of mesmerizing illusions. The illusions often gave off a sense of danger and this contributed to the popularity of the program.

Angel’s live performance illusion show titled Criss Angel Believe at Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas generated $150 million dollars in tourist revenue for the city in 2010. In 2018 he was ranked number three on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid magicians.

Angel and his brothers J.D. and Costa founded the BELIEVE Charitable Foundation in 2007 in loving memory of their father John, who passed away in 1998. The foundation works for the benefit of children, especially those suffering from debilitating illnesses and diseases. He also actively supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Last year, Angel donated $250,000 worth of food (enough to sustain 100 families for six to eight weeks) and show tickets to families at Cure4TheKids – a non-profit organization that treats children battling cancer.

Angel won the International Magician Society’s Magician of the Decade title in 2009 and Magician of the Century title in 2010. He is the only magician to have won the Merlin Magician of the Year twice. In 2017, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Angel holds the world records for longest time submerged underwater (24 hours), the longest body suspension (5 hours, 42 minutes), and the fastest straightjacket escape (2 minutes, 30 seconds).

As a result of COVID-19, Criss Angel had to cancel his long-hosted show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Angel has two children, Johnny Crisstopher (2014) and Xristos Yannis (2019). His first born was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia – a form of cancer. In December of 2020, Angel announced that his son Johnny Crisstopher’s cancer had returned after a few months of remission, but, in what is certainly a greater success story than his own career and fortune, Angel announced in January that Johnny Crisstopher has entered remission, hopefully forever.

 

43. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

Wisconsin

$70 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE

2 Children

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo warms up for the team’s NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo might very well have the most important fortune of all the shining examples in our list – maybe not in terms of net worth, but certainly in terms of the great fortune that has made him a household name in the United States, a fierce presence in the NBA, and an inspiration to people everywhere.

Just over 27 years old, the Greek Freak’s estimated net worth has remained unchanged the past year, but he did manage to add an important ring on his finger, winning the 2021 NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks. Most importantly, his family with partner Mariah Riddlesprigger, a volleyball player, grew in 2021 when they welcomed son, Maverick Shai. Their first son, Liam Charles, was born in 2020, recently celebrating his second birthday.

A bona fide NBA superstar, twice named Most Valuable Player and 2021 NBA All-Star Game MVP, Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, Greece to Nigerian immigrants from Lagos. Although he and three of his four brothers were born in Greece, they did not automatically receive full Greek citizenship as the Greek nationality law abides by the jus sanguinis principle. For the first 18 years of his life, Antetokounmpo was effectively stateless, having no papers from Nigeria or Greece. After gaining Greek citizenship in 2013, his family Hellenized their surname from Adetokunbo to Antetokounmpo to more closely follow Greek spelling rules. Giannis grew up in the Sepolia neighborhood in Athens and due to harsh working conditions for immigrants in Greece, he and his brothers helped his parents financially by hawking items on the street.

Giannis’ basketball journey began in 2007, when he was first introduced to the sport. Within three years, he was playing on local club Filathlitikos’ youth squad. In 2011, he was called up to the senior squad of Filathlitikos which competed in the Greek Basket League (Third Division) before the team was promoted to the Greek A2 League (Second Division) for the 2012-2013 season.

In 2013, Antetokounmpo declared himself eligible for that year’s NBA draft, where he was selected in the first round with the 15th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. At the conclusion of his rookie season, Giannis was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team. After continuing to impress despite his young age, on September 19, 2016 Antetokounmpo signed a four-year $100 million contract extension with Milwaukee. The contract reflected the superstar that Giannis had become and the faith that the Bucks had that he would only get better. In his seven NBA seasons to date, Antetokounmpo has been selected six times as an NBA All-Star, an All-Star Captain (twice), and was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. Right before the close of 2020, he signed another five-year extension with the Bucks – reportedly worth $228 million.

In addition to his exploits at the club level with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, Giannis is a proud member of the Greek Men’s National Basketball Team. Giannis is one of four brothers born to Charles and Veronica Antetokounmpo. His father Charles passed away following a heart attack at the age of 54 in Milwaukee, WI.

Giannis is an active member in the Milwaukee metro-area philanthropic community and has never forgotten his Greek roots. He gives back to Greece whenever possible and is the poster-child of Greek tourism, Aegean Airlines, recycling initiatives, and most recently pandemic safety in Greece. He also announced that he will be funding an indoor basketball court near Mati, east of Athens, where 100 people lost their lives in an infamous fire, so that the community can continue to heal following the losses they sustained. In Greece, Giannis is contributing to the growth of basketball programs for the youth by organizing basketball tournaments and revitalizing, as well as creating, basketball courts in his native neighborhood of Sepolia.

Three of Giannis’ brothers play basketball professionally: Thanasis for the Milwaukee Bucks (alongside Gianni); Kostas for the Los Angeles Lakers; and Alexandros for the UCAM Murcia of the Spanish Liga ACB.

 

 

42. TINA FEY

New York

$75 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

ENTERTAINMENT

University of Virginia (Drama); Married, 2 children

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Invision FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, actress Tina Fey attends the American Museum of Natural History’s 2019 Museum Gala in New York. Fey says more than $115 million was raised toward supporting New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19 during a virtual telethon. A tearful Fey said “Thank you, thank you” in reaching the dollar amount as host of the Rise Up New York! event Monday, May 11, 2020. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) Headshot FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, actress Tina Fey attends the American Museum of Natural History’s 2019 Museum Gala in New York.

Both the net worth and industry influence of Tina Fey remained steady since last year, Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, continued creating and starring in critically acclaimed content that keeps finding its way to viewers’ preferences.

Fey’s maternal grandmother, Vasiliki Kourelakou, emigrated to the United States by herself in 1921 from the village of Petrina. Although Fey’s father was not Greek, Zenobia (nee Xenakis), her mother, spoke Greek at home with her children and took them to church every Sunday. Knowing from an early age that she was destined for a career in comedy, the native Pennsylvanian from the predominantly Greek suburb of Upper Darby, now 52, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live more than twenty years ago, and served as its first female head writer. She hosted the show’s consistently popular Weekend Update mock news segment, where she brought up her Greek heritage on more than one occasion (in one episode, she poked fun of the retirement age in Greece by proclaiming: “What did you say? Retire at 54? Really? Αλήθεια? Greek people in America work the register at the diner until they die…”)

An actor, writer, and producer, Fey’s body of work has won her nine Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Producers Guild Awards, and seven Writers Guild of America Awards. In 2010, she was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the award. Fey created, wrote for, and starred in the multi award-winning sitcom 30 Rock (it received 112 Emmy nominations in total). Fey also co-created the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and, more recently, NBC’s Mr. Mayor. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011 and was proclaimed the best comedian of the 21st century by The Guardian.

She has appeared in (or voiced) numerous feature films including Martin & Orloff (2002), Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008), The Invention of Lying (2009), Megamind (2010), Date Night (2010), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), Wine Country (2019) and most recently, Soul, where she voiced the co-lead role in the Pixar fantasy comedy adventure. She also appeared on Peacock’s Only Murders in the Building.

In 2011, she released her memoir, Bossypants, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks and garnered her a Grammy Award nomination. Fey also created the musical adaptation of Mean Girls, which premiered on Broadway in 2018, and earned her a Tony Award nomination. Fey also executive produced one of the first original series for NBCU’s streaming platform, Peacock. Girls5Eva is a comedy about a one-hit-wonder girl group from the ’90s that reunites to give their pop star dreams one more shot.

Fey takes on many causes, including having done benefits and fundraisers for various charities including Autism Speaks and Mercy Corps, a global relief and development organization trying to end world hunger. She is also vocal about gender roles in America, having told Town & Country magazine in 2016 that, when she hears that this might be a great time for women in comedy, she responds: “No, it’s a terrible time. If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.”

Most recently, Fey, along with her frequent sidekick Amy Poehler, hosted the 2021 Golden Globe Awards with the pair airing their MC duties via web from opposite coasts.

In 1994 Fey began dating Jeff Richmond, a pianist who later became a composer on 30 Rock. They married in a Greek Orthodox ceremony on June 3, 2001. They have two daughters, Alice, born September 2005, and Penelope Athena, August 2011.

 

41. TOMMY LEE

California

$80 million (WealthyPersons.com)

MUSIC

Married, 2 children

Tommy Lee. (Photo via Facebook)
Tommy Lee. (Photo via Facebook)

A founding member of the legendary heavy metal/hard rock band Motley Crue, drummer Tommy Lee, was born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens in 1962 to American U.S. Army sergeant Oliver Bass and Vassiliki Papadimitriou, a contestant in the 1957 Miss Greece beauty pageant. Lee’s father moved the family to the United States in 1964, and when he was 4, young Tommy got his first drum sticks. Growing up listening to classic hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Sweet, Van Halen, and Cheap Trick, Lee cites John Bonham and Alex Van Halen among his biggest influences.

Lee formed Motley Crue in 1981 along with lead singer Vince Neil, Bassist Nikki Six, and guitarist Mick Mars. The band soared to great heights in the 1980s, capitalizing on the birth of music television on channels such as MTV and later VH1. Lee embarked on a solo career in the 1990s, briefly returning to Motley Crue for a reunion, and then resuming his solo career, which has included albums and extensive touring.

Lee lived the life of a typical rock star of the times, including bouts of alcohol and drug abuse, and even trouble with the law. He has been married four times, including to Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson. He and Anderson have two children. From 2014 to 2017, Lee was engaged to Greek-German singer Sofia Toufa. Ever the Greek romantic in search of love, Tommy Lee wed for the fourth time in 2019 to internet personality and former Vine comedian Brittany Furlan.

Lee is a staunch supporter of animal rights and is avidly involved in the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In December of 2019, Lee sent a letter to then-Minister for Agricultural Development and Food, Makis Voridis, blasting the “sickening abuse” of donkeys and mules that are used on the island of Santorini to take tourists and belongings around the island, calling for the practice to stop.

From 2014 to 2015, Lee rejoined Motley Crue for a special ‘Final Four’ tour, during which they would give their adoring fans what they want most – seeing the original members live one last time – and then promised to have legal papers drawn to formally end their joint touring in the future. Lee then left Motley Crue and told Rolling Stone in 2016 that “it was really cool to finish where we started. We accomplished everything we set out to do.”

In early 2018, Kerrang! reported that Machine Gun Kelly, the rapper and actor, would portray Lee in a Motley Crue biographical film; The Dirt was released on Netflix in the first half of 2019. Most recently, Tommy Lee, who released his third solo album, Andro, in 2020 was portrayed by Sebastian Stan, of Marvel multi-verse fame, in the Hulu original series Pam & Tommy.

 

 

 

 

 

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