Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis, known for playing world-weary and wise characters, has passed away at the age of 89.
After decades of stage work on the East Coast, Dukakis shot to stardom playing Cher’s mother in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s Moonstruck in 1987. The following year she took home the Oscar and Golden Globe honors for Best Supporting Actress in a Film.
More from the New York Times:
She played a catty Southern widow in the mostly female ensemble cast of “Steel Magnolias” (1989); the mother of Kirstie Alley’s character in the three “Look Who’s Talking” movies (1989-93); the pot-growing transgender San Francisco landlord Anna Madrigal, from 1993 to 2019, in the four television mini-series made from Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” stories; and Frank Sinatra’s mother, Dolly, in the 1992 television movie “Sinatra.”
Despite the awards and her other screen successes, Ms. Dukakis never gave up theater work. In 2011 she starred in an Off Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.”
Charles Isherwood, reviewing her performance in The Times, called her “macabre, hilarious and weirdly touching,” with a “bullying bravado that commands attention.” The next year she played Prospero (Prospera, actually) in “The Tempest” for Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts.
Rest in peace Olympia Dukakis.
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
Farewell to the divine Olympia Dukakis. pic.twitter.com/Wsaw7rZjjY
— Kevin Daly (@kevinddaly) May 1, 2021
RIP to the one and only Olympia Dukakis pic.twitter.com/NpeY00k0M9
— Taj Magruder (@TajPHL) May 1, 2021
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
RIP Olympia Dukakis, a wonderful actress, a delightful person and a legend in the theater community. She won an Oscar for Moonstruck, and audiences cherished her take-no-prisoners turn in Steel Magnolias. I worked with her on the movie of my play Jeffrey and she was bliss pic.twitter.com/Kz9c85nnaX
— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) May 1, 2021
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