Louis Mandylor

Observed on the (regrettably short-lived) tv show Martial Law in recent reruns, the hard-working actor Louis Mandylor, playing a Los Angeles police detective Louis Malone, paired with the title character Sammo Law, a Chinese detective and martial artist (played by Sammo Hung). Notable as a prime member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps and also as an exemplar of amiable high masculinity.

Mandylor in a stock p.r. photo:


About the actor, with several surprises (from Wikipedia):

Louis Mandylor (born Elias Theodosopoulos; 13 September 1966) is an Australian film and television actor. He is best recognized as Nick Portokalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), a role he reprised in the sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016).

… Mandylor was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the son of Greek immigrants from the Peloponnese

… He played for Heidelberg United FC (Megas Alexandros) in their 1988 State League championship team. He also played five National League games in 1989 and scored one goal.

During his football career, he was also boxing in Melbourne, winning 14 fights with 4 losses. He then emigrated to the United States to originally pursue a boxing career and then subsequently an acting career.

… Other major roles include playing Louis Malone in Martial Law alongside Sammo Hung. However, the show only lasted two seasons, with Mandylor being dropped at the end of its first season.

His American English accent is really good; I had no idea he was Australian.

He’s also one of the many men who have crossed over from sports careers — in his case, both football / soccer and boxing —  to acting. Unsurprisingly, he’s an enjoyably physical actor, fun to watch in movement.

And then, of course, he’s got plenty of masculinity cred, but his brand of masculinity is amiable rather than dominating or threatening.

Finally, he’s definitely an Acting Corps member, with tons and tons of appearances, especially in various tv series. (On the Acting Corps, see the Page on ths blog about it.)

About Martial Law. From  Wikipedia:

(#2) Featured actors from  season 1: Hung, Mandylor, Kelly Hu, Arsenio Hall

Martial Law is an American-Canadian action-adventure comedy television series that aired on CBS from September 26, 1998, to May 13, 2000, and was created by Carlton Cuse. The title character, Sammo Law (Sammo Hung), is a Chinese law officer and martial arts expert who comes to Los Angeles in search of a colleague and remains in the US.

The show was a surprise hit, making Hung the only East Asian headlining a primetime network series in the United States. At the time, Hung was not fluent in English and worried about the audience’s ability to understand him. In many scenes, Hung does not speak at all, making Martial Law one of the few US television series to feature little dialogue from the lead character. The show lasted two seasons, before being cancelled due to high production costs and Hung being unhappy with the writing of season two.

It’s full of physical gags and comedy set-ups (as well as tons of martial arts action) —  remarkably good-natured.


One Response to “Louis Mandylor”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    His American English accent is really good; I had no idea he was Australian.

    There seem to be quite a few Australian actors who do credible American accents (Simon Baker of The Mentalist and Jesse Spencer of Chicago Fire come to mind; the latter first came to my attention playing an actual Australian on House). Also several British actors, such as Hugh Laurie (title character in the above-mentioned House) and Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters).

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