Monday, July 15, 2024

RIP Michael Constantine, Legendary Character Actor, Great Star of “Room 222” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”


Michael Constantine is the legendary character actor who played the ultra sympathetic principal on “Room 222” back in the day. He won an Emmy Award for his work there in 1970. Thirty two years later he was a star again as the father in “My Great Big Greek Wedding.” He died yesterday at age 94.

Constantine whether young or old always made his characters seem wise and understanding. He was also very funny. He was Greek American but really he was all American, born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1927. But he always seemed like an old soul, and in touch with his roots. He was the kind of journeyman actor that makes Hollywood work. He was in every TV show, and you’d always say, That guy, I love that guy.

Constantine also had his own short lived series in 1977, called “Sirota’s Court.” Before “Room 222” he was in dozens of series in the 60s, too including “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” and both “Dr. Kildare” and “Ben Casey.”

Rita Wilson, who produced “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” posted a lovely tribute to Constantine on Instagram. I include it here.

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