We are sad to report that actress Olympia Dukakis has died at age 89 as announced by the AP.
Dukakis was a stage and screen actress who won an Oscar for best supporting actress playing the role of Cher’s mother in the movie Moonstruck (1987).
Olympia Dukakis brought warmth, humor and wit to the stage and screen for almost 60 years, including a stellar run of unforgettable roles in "Steel Magnolias" "Tales of the City" and "Moonstruck," for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/TLuNTx32PI
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) May 1, 2021
She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on June 20, 1931, to Greek immigrant parents. She studied physical therapy at Boston University where she earned her bachelor’s degree, later returning to study drama.
In 1960 she made her off-broadway debut leading to a Broadway debut two years later in "The Aspern Papers."
RIP to my old Montclair neighbor, beautiful artist and co-founder of the Whole Theater company, Olympia Dukakis. pic.twitter.com/YQOLCz4hj4
— Alex Winter (@Winter) May 1, 2021
Dukakis married actor Louis Zorich, moving to New York and then later Montclair, New Jersey to raise their three children where they co-found The Whole Theatre Company.
Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing,Academy Award Winning Actress.Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck,& Even Though Her Part was
That Of a Suffering Wife, We?ALL The Time.She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis,Her”Handsome Talented,Husband”.I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One pic.twitter.com/RcCZaeKFmz
— Cher (@cher) May 1, 2021
After multiple roles in tv and film including Moonstruck (1987), Steel Magnolias (1989), Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), The Simpsons (2002), and more, she went on to publish her autobiography "Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress" in 2003, talking about her life and the challenges she faced.
RIP Olympia Dukakis…the consummate actor. You made all around you step up their game. A joy to work with. Rest well. "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest".???https://t.co/9uC2Ld4rTU
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 1, 2021
She could later be seen on shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2011), and Tales of the City (2019).
Dukakis died Saturday, May 1 in her home in New York City. The cause of death was not released.
Dukakis’ Disney/20th Century work included:
- Ladies and the Champ
- Mr. Holland’s Opus
- The Cemetery Club
- I Love Trouble
- Jane Austen’s Mafia!
- Working Girl
- Picture Perfect
- John and Mary
- Made for Each Other
- The Simpsons