Stone-jawed and puppy-eyed, Elias Koteas has the enviable ability to call on both his distinctive looks and talent to portray a variety of complex, often troubled characters. Koteas is one of Canada's most prominent and well-respected actors, and during the late '90s, he began to amass international critical attention for his work in a number of high profile films, including David Cronenberg's Crash (1996) and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998).
Koteas, who is of Greek ancestry, was born in Montreal on March 11, 1961. His father was a mechanic for the Canadian National Railways and his mother worked as a hatmaker; Koteas himself planned to be an architect until his teenage introduction to acting changed his plans. He was particularly inspired by Nick Nolte's performance in the TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man; little did Koteas know that two decades later, he would be starring opposite Nolte in The Thin Red Line.