Saturday Night Social: Remembering Olympia Dukakis

Saturday Night Social: Remembering Olympia Dukakis
Photo:Theo Wargo (Getty Images)

Olympia Dukakis, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning star of Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias, has died. She was 89.

Dukakis’ brother, Apollo, announced her passing in a Facebook post on Saturday. “After many months of failing health, my beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning [at her home] in New York City,” he wrote, The Guardian reports.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1931, Dukakis wanted to be an actress from an early age, according to the Associated Press. After studying physical therapy at Boston University so that she might work towards a more practical vocation at the behest of her Greek immigrant parents, Dukakis decided to finally pursue her first passion.

After meeting her husband and future father of her three children, Louis Zorich, in a Boston regional production of Medea, Dukakis and her family moved to New York and then to Montclair, New Jersey, where she and Zorich helped found the Whole Theater Company in 1973, The New York Times reports.

Fifteen years later, Dukakis would take home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in director Norman Jewison’s 1987 romantic comedy, Moonstruck, the same film for which Cher also won her Oscar.

“My ambition wasn’t to win the Oscar,” she said after the win, per the AP. “It was to play the great parts.”

She kept doing exactly that in the decades that followed. Her final film, Not to Forget, is scheduled to open later this year.

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