Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-Winning Actress Known for Starring in ‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘Moonstruck’ Has Died

Olympia Dukakis attends Irish Repertory Theatre's YEATS: The Celebration at Town Hall on June 8, 2015 in New York City
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Cher, Paul Reiser and others pay tribute to the beloved star who, in addition to her film and television work, appeared in over 100 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Olympia Dukakis has passed away at the age of 89. According to TMZ, her brother Apollo shared the news about the beloved actress on Facebook. He wrote, “After many months of failing health, she is finally at peace and with her Louis." Actor Louis Zorich, her husband of 55 years, died in 2018. She is also related to Michael Dukakis, the former presidential candidate.

In “Moonstruck,” Dukakis played Cher’s wisecracking mother, and the role earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1988. She also starred in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Cloudburst,” “Working Girl,” “Mafia!,” and more.

She had many television roles, including “Touched By an Angel,” “The Simpsons,” “Law & Order,” “Switch,” and "Frasier.” She also starred in over 100 Broadway and off-Broadway shows.

Per HuffPost, after winning her Oscar, she once said, “My ambition wasn’t to win the Oscar. It was to play the great parts.”

Since her passing, several of her peers have gone to social media to honor her. Cher wrote, “Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing, Academy Award Winning Actress. Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck, & Even Though Her Part was That Of a Suffering Wife, We [cry laughing] ALL The Time. She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis, Her ”Handsome Talented, Husband.” I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One.”

Paul Reiser said, “So, so sad to hear of #OlmpiaDukaki’s passing. I had the great joy of playing her son — twice. Such a radiant, powerful and supremely talented woman. I feel blessed to have known her. RIP “Ma.” I will always smile at the thought of you and sweet Louis together.”

The Academy wrote, “Olympia Dukakis brought warmth, humor and wit to the stage and screen for almost 60 years, including a stellar run of unforgettable roles in "Steel Magnolias" "Tales of the City" and "Moonstruck," for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She will be missed.”

Olympia Dukakis is survived by her three children, Christina, Pete and Stefan. Her cause of death has not yet been released.

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