Elias KoteasElias Koteas, actor (b at Montréal 11 March 1961). Elias Koteas, an intense, brooding actor of Greek descent, studied at Vanier College in Montréal with the idea of pursuing architecture or civil engineering as a career. Prior to graduation he began attending acting classes, which led him to apply for admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981.
He was a member of the Academy's 1983-84 production company and also attended the prestigious Actors Studio in New York, where he studied under Ellen Burstyn. He started to land stage work, most notably in the North American premiere of the play Kiss of the Spider Woman. Small parts in films followed, the first being in Phillip Borsos's One Magic Christmas (1985), then in Some Kind of Wonderful and Francis Ford Coppola's Gardens of Stone (both in 1987). Coppola used Koteas again in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), and the actor played a young Aristotle Onassis in the made-for-television movie Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988).
His breakout role was that of Canadian investigative journalist Victor Malarek in the true story Malarek (1989). Though the film was initially made for television, Elias Koteas's performance was so powerful that the movie was given a limited theatrical release and received 2 GENIE AWARD nominations, one for direction and the other for Koteas as best actor. Following that success, Koteas secured the part of Casey Jones in 2 of the wildly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles popcorn movies (1990, 1993), and starred opposite Christopher Walken and Viggo Mortensen in The Prophecy (1995).
Back in Canada, his work was decidedly more substantial and Koteas earned praise as a dramatic actor for his roles as a troubled insurance adjuster in Atom EGOYAN's The Adjuster (1991) and creepy flesh palace disc jockey in Egoyan's Exotica (1994), a part for which he received a second Genie nomination.
In 1996 David CRONENBERG cast Koteas as Vaughan, the collision-obsessed doctor in his highly vaunted - but simultaneously much maligned - Crash. This assignment, combined with a compelling screen gravitas akin to that of Robert DeNiro, established Elias Koteas in the industry, garnering him a variety of roles in major films such as Gattaca (1997), Apt Pupil (1998), Fallen (1998) and The Thin Red Line (1999). He won a Genie Award for best supporting actor for his performance in Ararat (2002), Egoyan's film about the Armenian genocide.
On television Elias Koteas has appeared in the Horton Foote family drama The Habitation of Dragons (1992), played the notorious serial killer Gary Gilmore in the HBO movie Shot in the Heart (2001), and was in the miniseries Traffic (2004). He made a guest appearance in the 2006 season finale of the popular series House as a disturbed patient who shoots the cranky doctor played by Hugh Laurie. In 2008 Koteas had a recurring role in 2 episodes of the popular drama CSI: NY and was seen in Saving Grace.
He appears in the Hollywood film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) as Monsieur Gateau and in numerous other feature films, among them Defendor (2009) and Shutter Island (2010). He portrays Colonol Xavier Marks, a doctor at an Allied army base in Afghanistan, in the Canadian TV series Combat Hospital (2011).