Olympia Dukakis Dies: Oscar-Winning Actress For ‘Moonstruck’ Was 89

She then began her career in New York City. That same year, she married actor-producer Louis Zorich, famous for his hit NBC comedy Mad About You decades later. They had three children. She made her debut in The Aspern Papers in 1962. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in in physical therapy and a master’s in performing arts.
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Her work in the Broadway comedy Social Security playing Marlo Thomas's mother was her ticket into filmdom.
Her other film credits include Steel Magnolias (1989) Look Who’s Talking (1989), Over the Hill (1992), I Love Trouble (1994), Picture Perfect (1997).
Her portrayal of a woman overly involved her daughter’s love life earned her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination. Dukakis was a theater veteran who struck gold in the film business later in life. She was 56 when she played Cher’s sardonic mother, Rose Castorini, in Norman Jewison’s classic romantic comedy Moonstruck.
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In 1963, she won an Obie Award for A Man’s a Man, and then a second two years later in The Marriage of Bette and Boo.
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She also taught drama at New York University. She and Zorich founded the Charles Playhouse in Boston and the Whole Theater in Montclair, N.J. in the 1970s, appearing together in several productions.
Dukakis also appeared in Netflix's 2019 revival, titled Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Her television credits include the 1993 transgender drama Tales of the City and its 1998 sequel, which earned her an Emmy nomination.
She stumped for him during her Oscars acceptance speech, shouting “OK, Michael, let’s go!” 1988 was a year of prominence beyond the Oscars, as Dukakis's cousin, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, was the Democratic nominee for president.
“My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City,” wrote her brother Apollo, who confirmed her death on his Facebook page. “After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her [husband] Louis [Zorich].” The cause of death has yet to be determined.
That upbringing shaped her life, leading her to take to the stage as a means of expression. Born on June 20, 1931, in Lowell, MA, she was the daughter of immigrants from southern Greece.
Olympia Dukakis, who won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1987 hit Moonstruck also starred in Away From Her, the three Look Who’s Talking films and Mr. Holland’s Opus, died today at her home in New York City. She was 89 and had been in ill health for some time.
A lifelong activist and philanthropist, Dukakis earned a star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.

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