Olympia Dukakis, the actress best known for her Oscar-winning supporting role in the 1987 romantic comedy Moonstruck, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. She died at her home in New York City after having been ill for months, but the cause of death is still unknown.
“My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City,” her brother Apollo confirmed on his Facebook. “After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her [husband] Louis [Zorich].”
The actress graduated fromBoston University with a degree in physical therapy and a master’s in performing arts. She began her career in New York City and made her acting debut in the 1962 production of The Aspern Papers. She married actor-producer Louis Zorich later that year, who later became famous for his hit NBC comedy Mad About You.
Dukakis is also known for her roles in films like Steel Magnolias, Away From Her, all three Look Who’s Talking films, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Over the Hill, I Love Trouble and Picture Perfect. She and her husband founded the Charles Playhouse in Boston and the Whole Theater in Montclair N.J. She also taught drama at New York University while teaching at the American Conservatory Theater and serving on its Board of Trustees.
Her breakout role in Moonstruck earned her an Academy Award, Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination. At the time she won her academy award, her cousin, former Gov. Michael Dukakis was the Democratic nominee for president. During her acceptance speech she shouted, “OK, Michael, let’s go!”