Lainie Kazan’s Ex-husband Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels was once the husband of Hollywood actress, Lainie Kazan –whom you may remember best from the comedy film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.


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Peter’s 77-year-old wife is grabbing headlines not exactly for her work on the screen. This time Kazan is said to have been arrested under charges of shoplifting. Kazan allegedly loaded up a cart at a Gelson’s supermarket in Los Angeles with $180 worth of food, put it all into several reusable bags and walked away.

Police were called and Kazan was handcuffed and taken to a police station, then was later released without bail, TMZ reported. A source told the gossip site, Kazan had no money on her at the time of the incident.

Born as Lainie Levine on May 15, 1940; the New Yorker who graduated from Hofstra University in New York –made her Broadway debut in the early 60’s but it was her 1970 nude spread on Playboy which made her popularity increase. As a result she made numerous appearances on Playboy Jazz Clubs, from there she went onto guest-starred on Dean Martin’s variety series multiple times.

Other TV work includes appearances on The Nanny, Veronica’s Closet, St. Elsewhere, Touched by an Angel and Will & Grace. She was nominated for the 1988 Primetime Emmy Award for St. Elsewhere and the 1993 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year.

Early movie roles include The Delta Force (1986), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Beaches (1988). She’s well known for her 2002 role as Maria Portokalos, mother of Nia Vardalos’s lead character Toula Portokalos in the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

In addition to her role in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, Kazan also appeared in films such as You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, opposite Adam Sandler, and played Maxine Rosen on Desperate Housewives.

Lainie Kazan is actually a widow and has only been married once. She was married to Peter Daniels from 1971 until his death in 1989. From her marriage to Peter Daniels, she is the mother of one daughter, Jennifer Bena.

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Peter Daniels was a musical director-arranger. The couple worked together on the Broadway musical Funny Girl where they first met. Daniels was Barbra Streisand’s associate musical director in ‘Funny Girl.’

The late composer-arranger worked for many years with such entertainers as Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Lainie Kazan and many others.

Born in London, he studied at Juilliard School of Music. In addition to his club, stage and TV work he also conducted symphony orchestras throughout Europe and the United States. His compositions include the song “We’ll Meet in the Spring.” According to the LA times he died aged 65 in Kingston-Ontario, Canada, of cancer.