Olympia Dukakis, the Oscar-winning actor whose hit films included Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias, has died. She was 89.
Dukakis’s brother, Apollo Dukakis, announced the news on Facebook on Saturday, writing that “after many months of failing health” his “beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City”.
Dukakis won an Oscar for best supporting actor for Moonstruck, a 1987 romantic comedy in which she played the mother of the lead character played by Cher opposite Nicolas Cage. Other films included Look Who’s Talking and its sequel, Working Girl and Mr Holland’s Opus.
In an extensive television career Dukakis appeared as Anna Madrigal, a transgender San Francisco landlord, in series based on Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. She also appeared in the stoner comedy Bored to Death, in which her character had an affair with the character played by Zach Galifianakis.
“I always played older,” she told the New York Times in 2004. “I think it was the voice.”
Among tributes on Saturday, Cher tweeted:
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
The Star Trek actor George Takei wrote:
Olympia Dukakis has departed our company. We were Moonstruck by her, as she told us great Tales of the City. A true Steel Magnolia within a more common forest. Ah, what a life force, her later years her best. Rest now among the heavens, Olympia.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 1, 2021
Dukakis had an extensive stage career and married Louis Zorich, also an actor, in 1962. They had three children.
Read more: The Guardian