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Zoe Laskari was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 1959 she won the title of "Miss Greece" and two years later she played the female lead in Yannis Dalianidis's youth melodrama Katiforos, O (1961). The success of that film made Laskari a star; she signed an exclusive contract with Finos Film, the most powerful Greek studio of the period, and appeared in many films, musicals, comedies and melodramas (most of them were directed by the prolific Dalianidis, who became her mentor). She made her stage debut in the late 1960s, but really concentrated on theater after the decline of the Greek commercial cinema in the mid-1970s; her stage work includes Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (as Martha), Euripides' "The Trojan Women" (as Eleni), Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park" etc.
Her first starring role and big break came in 1961, after Aliki Vougiouklaki the number one box-office star in Greece, turned down the part of Rea in the sexually charged melodrama Katiforos, O (1961)(Downhill Road). She got the part and became an overnight sensation in Greece.