Saturday, February 24, 2024

RIP Oscar Winner, Beloved Actress Olympia Dukakis, Starred in “Moonstuck,” “Steel Magnolias”


Sad news that the great Olympia Dukasis, a beloved actress who won an Oscar in 1987 for “Moonstruck,” has died. She was 89 and left indelible mark from that movie and many others including “Steel Magnolias.”

Dukakis, a cousin of Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis, a former presidential candidate, had a long marriage to another great theater and TV actor, Louis Zorich. She referred to her 1988 win as “the year of the Dukakii” because it was also the year Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, her cousin, was the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. At the ceremony, she held her Oscar high over her head and called out: “OK, Michael, let’s go!”

She appeared in five Broadway productions and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She was also nominated for three prime time Emmy Awards.

Dukakis died in New York City, where she was considered a quintessential “New York actor.”

She was also well known and admired for her work as the character Anna Madrigal in the TV series, “Tales of the City.”

She didn’t work much until the early 1980s, when she took work on the soap “Search for Tomorrow.” But it was in 1987 when she played Cher’s mother in “Moonstruck,” that Dukakis exploded as an overnight sensation. She was 45 years old. After that, she never stopped working.

What a great lady and fine actress. She will be missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News