ADONI: Actor, Athlete, Type 1 Diabetic
Being an exceptional all-around athlete in high school, it appeared Adoni would pursue a professional career in some sport. Turning down various athletic scholarships, he enrolled at West Virginia University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.
But, from years of being entertained by Adoni’s impromptu comedic performances and impersonations which began when he was a small child, his father told him that the suit and tie of the business world would probably choke him to death and encouraged Adoni to give acting a shot. Surprised, yet intrigued at this suggestion, Adoni enrolled at a performing arts school, Point Park College (now a University) in Pittsburgh, and studied acting, dialects, singing, and a bit of dance.
His first stage role (using the term loosely) was as a freshman - even though freshman weren’t allowed to perform at the time - because they needed an “Arabian Carrier” in The Nutcracker Suite. So Adoni got to flex his muscles in that role, then later he played the “Jack-in-the-Box” in the same production. Some of his more memorable plays and musicals were: Working, Evita, Getting Out, You Can’t Take it With You, and Little Shop of Horrors (where he played the man-eating plant, “Audrey II.”) After three years of theatre at Point Park, with the help of his younger brother Chris, he headed for Hollywood.
Now Adoni is probably most recognized for his passionate portrayal of the lead terrorist, Abu Fayed, in Season 6 of the hit TV series 24 opposite Kiefer Sutherland. Some of Adoni’s other diverse roles include: the flamboyant evil sorcerer, Quan Chi, in the TV show Mortal Kombat Conquest (1998), the sarcastic undercover agent in The Gristle (2001), and the regal falcon-man in Hidalgo (2004), starring Viggo Mortensen. His exotic look also helped him land supporting roles in memorable films such as The Scorpion King (2002) with The Rock, Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt, and Bad Company (2002) with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. In addition, Adoni is the co-author of three exciting and inspirational screenplays.
Although Adoni is blessed with athletic ability and creative talent, the challenges of being a Type 1 Diabetic are what kept him grounded and focused on daily survival, and painfully aware of what is truly important in life.
At the age of 18 months old, Adoni went into a coma and was diagnosed with this serious condition. At that time, there was no way to check the blood for actual blood-sugar levels, so monitoring and controlling insulin and blood sugar was next to impossible. His parents were told he would be weak, sickly, and in and out of hospitals his whole life. Early on, a renowned diabetic specialist told his father that most likely Adoni would be dead by the age of 25. But instead of letting this keep him down, Adoni used it as a source of strength and took it as a personal challenge. This has been proven by his numerous athletic awards and championships throughout high-school and college which include: tennis, basketball, baseball, football, weight lifting, arm-wrestling, fitness, and his favorite pastime, which is table tennis (ping-pong). As Adoni puts it, “I get a kick out of people saying I can’t do it.”
In addition to acting, Adoni is now known for his ping-pong playing, and has a few national-level titles. He is also a big advocate of creative and natural workouts. Adoni exercises every day, by either running, biking, doing aerobic activities, martial arts, or what he calls his "unique, unnatural, yet truly natural Cirque du Soliel/Tarzan workout" (a must see!). A daily regimen of less than one hour a day is essential to Adoni’s survival, which is why he is passionate about spreading the word to Diabetics and non-Diabetics alike as to the importance of physical fitness. Some of his unique, creative work-out routines have been posted on YouTube (don’t try this at home!).
Born and raised in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, a small town southwest of Pittsburgh, he is the middle son of Petro (retired periodontist, free-lance writer, and athlete) and the lovely Despina Maropis (housewife and ex-model) and is very close to his brothers, Sam (accountant at the American Naval Base in Souda Bay, Crete and athlete) and Chris (Family Practice doctor, athlete and Adoni’s #1 guardian angel).
Adoni will tell you that the most important ingredients to success and happiness are Love, Laughter, and Fitness! He credits his family and a few good friends with supplying all three.
~ Written with love by a friend.