George Best Costacos Foundation

George Best Costacos

"An admirable talent. Charisma. The cut of a classic movie star.

George Costacos was born in Athens in 1964, he was raised on Aegina island. In his early twenties he moved to the US to study physical education but instead became a successful Broadway actor/singer. Before that, George Costacos participated in the Balkan Games and won several medals for gymnastics. He always had a great love and appreciation of athletics and therefore he was especially honored to be the only Actors' Equity member to be invited to participate in the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. George Costacos died suddenly at the age of 44 in Hannover, Germany of complications from a brain tumor. The handsome singer/actor was laid to rest on November 23rd, 2008 on his native island of Aegina.


George "Best" Costacos biography        
George "Best" CostacosGEORGE COSTACOS shined along a path of critically acclaimed dramatic and concert performances blending the best of Broadway musicals and dramas, new works, as well as bringing lost and rare material to light for new audiences. His artistic stride crosses theater, music and literature, consistently earning exceptional reviews:

"An incomparable performer who had bewitched with his talent, originality, wit and unique style. A genuine child of the theater. Broadway rebel. Broadway magic. Absolutely intoxicating. A tour de force. A fantastic entertainer. An unusual, incredible tenor voice. An indispensable dynamic artist. A highly-focused dramatic performer, he inhabited the lyrics to a startling degree. Evocative. Graceful. Fascinating. Larger than life. George commanded the audience. Soulful, heartfelt passion. Setting the bar very high."
– to quote a few. Among a multitude of stellar reviews by the American and international media, George was named by Esquire magazine "The most important Greek of Broadway."

George made worldwide front-page news as the only Actors' Equity member invited to perform in the Athens 2004 Olympics Opening Ceremony, which returned the Games to their birth land and George's birth city. Seen by over four billion viewers globally, George's image was issued on the official commemorative DVDs, collector's books, calendars, posters and postcards. He was commended on the Congressional Statement declared in Washington DC by New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and further honored by marching with the Olympic banner in New York's Greek Independence Day Parade.
George has sang in concert with Steve Ross in Story Songs: Once Upon a Time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium; in Hey Look Me Over: The Lyrics of Carolyn Leigh at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York Public Library for the Performing Arts – a part of The Billy Rose Theatre Division 75th Anniversary Celebration; in The American Songbook: Spotlight on Fred Ebb at The 45th Street Theater, and in his lifetime Gold Medal Honor tribute at the National Arts Club.

Other favorite appearances included George's own critically acclaimed musical play Greek Gifts which introduced rare Athenian tangos and serenades to American audiences. The show premiered and was recorded with musical direction by Seth Weinstein, it has also been performed in benefit concert sponsored by the New York Foundation, and a version with choir at Dicapo Theatre with musical direction by Broadway and symphonic maestro Constantine Kitsopoulos.

In prior collaboration with Maestro Kitsopoulos for Axion Esti - 20th American Anniversary Concert at Merkin Concert Hall, George became the first artist in the world history of the epic oratorio to perform both the Nobel prize-winning prose of Odysseas Elytis and the celebrated songs of Greece's renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis.

Among many distinctions George appeared live twice on PBS for The Greek Americans, he performed his poetry collection The Fifth Season at Alexander Hamilton Auditorium for New York Governor George Pataki's first Hellenic Cultural Month, and was the United States presenter of the international co-production award-winning documentary The Olympic Games in Antiquity.

American singing appearances ranged from City Center to the legendary Sardi's in New York, the Hudson River Museum, Eighty Eight's, landmark 
Coast. Literary narrations include Simon & Schuster audio books, Barnes & Noble literary series and The Greek Cultural Center of New York, where George also starred in Mrozek's drama The Emigrants for the organization's 25th Anniversary Celebration, sponsored by the NY State Foundation for the Arts.

George's diverse writings have been performed at numerous cultural events attended by international dignitaries. New York stages include the Samuel Becket Theatre, 42nd Street Collective, Playwrights' Horizons Theatre School, Trilogy Theatre, Don't Tell Mama and others. Various published essays and poems have been read in over 15 countries through the monthly issues of Georgie®. Making syndicated entertainment news for his leitmotif musical Dora, among George's songs, The Garden was released as part of a MAC Award-nominated CD whose worldwide sales and concert performances benefit The Barbara Mannuell Memorial Fund for the development of musical theater.

George Costacos was the International Patron of the George Best Foundation in the UK, which funds medical research for liver disease and alcoholism, while promoting a healthy lifestyle for youth through participation in soccer.

George holded a Theatre degree from Queens College where he studied with the legendary Ed Greenberg, considered his parents his greatest teachers and was grateful to all who generously support and nurture his artistic journey. Praised for "a strong and singular voice," George Costacos "knew how to magnetize the lens of current events and remained firmly in the epicenter of attention. He put his signature on every aspect of his work, carving a significant course."

Among his best-known quotes, George Costacos' favorite art to master is "the Art of Life itself." Summarized best by Back Stage, "If heart and honesty count, George will make his mark."