Olympia Dukakis, the Academy Award-winning actress best known for her roles in Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias, has died. She was 89.
Dukakis’ death was confirmed by her brother, Apollo, who wrote on Facebook, “My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City. After many months of failing health, she is finally at peace and with her [husband] Louis.” (The Hollywood Reporter notes Dukakis’ husband, fellow actor Louis Zorich, died in January 2018. He was 93)
Dukakis’ breakthrough role came late in her career at age 55 when she played Rose Castorini in 1987’s Moonstruck alongside Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia and Danny Aiello. Dukakis would win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the film.
Dukakis had a knack for playing memorable maternal roles in a number of films including Steel Magnolias, Look Who’s Talking, Dad, Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now.
Dukakis famously portrayed the transwoman landlady Anna Madrigal in multiple TV mini-series adaptations of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City book series: 1993’s Tales of the City, 1998’s More Tales of the City, 2001’s Further Tales of the City and 2019’s Tales of the City, which was a Netflix original series.
Olympia Dukakis: Through the Years