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Hollywood and the theater community paid tribute to actress and Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, who died Saturday at the age of 89.
Her brother Apollo shared the news on Facebook, saying, “After many months of failing health she is finally at peace.” Dukakis, known for her role on Moonstruck, was also featured in three Look Who’s Talking films and was known for her role as Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias, which was honored through a widely shared video on social media Saturday after her death.
Dukakis taught drama at NYU for more than 15 years and was a founding member of The Charles Playhouse in Boston and the Whole Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. On stage, she appeared in The Aspen Papers, Abraham Cochrane, Who’s Who in Hell and in the one-woman show Rose.
Dukakis played the transgender landlady Anna Madrigal on Armistead Maupin’s four Tales of the City miniseries/series. She was the subject of the 2013 documentary Olympia Dukakis: Undefined and the 2018 doc, Olympia.
“The fun part is that people pass me on the street and yell lines from my movies,” she told Los Angeles Times in 1991. “For Moonstruck, they say, ‘Your life is going down the toilet!’ Or from Dad, they say, ‘How much are those pork chops?’ They say, ‘Do you know who you are?’ It’s real funny.”
Fellow actors and members of the theater community paid tribute to the late actress on Saturday.
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😂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 pic.twitter.com/RcCZaeKFmz
— Cher (@cher) May 1, 2021
What can I say but I loved her? Everyone loved her. She was a gift..unique and talented and one of a kind. Rest in peace my friend Olympia.
— Sally Field (@sally_field) May 2, 2021
I must be on Mars as I am only finding out now about my beloved friend Olympia Dukakis. What an immense talent she was. What a sweet friend she was. Goodnight sweet lady.
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) May 2, 2021
Brilliant, strong, hilarious soul. An actor’s actor. Rest In Peace Olympia Dukakis. https://t.co/4ZAwcBBd2O
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) May 1, 2021
One of our greats. I remember her visiting our scene study class at Michael Howard Studios and just hanging on every word of wisdom she shared. Prayers to her loved ones. https://t.co/GOrZOYyhMI
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) May 2, 2021
RIP to my old Montclair neighbor, beautiful artist and co-founder of the Whole Theater company, Olympia Dukakis. pic.twitter.com/YQOLCz4hj4
— Alex Winter (@Winter) May 1, 2021
Olympia Dukakis has departed our company. We were Moonstruck by her, as she told us great Tales of the City. A true Steel Magnolia within a more common forest. Ah, what a life force, her later years her best. Rest now among the heavens, Olympia.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 1, 2021
RIP Olympia Dukakis…the consummate actor. You made all around you step up their game. A joy to work with. Rest well. "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest".💛💛💛https://t.co/9uC2Ld4rTU
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 1, 2021
Olympia Dukakis was such an impressive talent and woman. She once told me, “l LOVE how strong women are today. They are achieving so much. But what the HELL is up with those shoes?!”
At the time, 5-inch heels were the rage.
— Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) May 1, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/TLuNTx32PI
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) May 1, 2021
Thank U for so many timeless movie moments Olympia Dukakis🎬💔
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) May 1, 2021
Olympia Dukakis was a great actress who loved the work and loved the theatre. She was the acting teacher who spoke to me (and many, many others) with clarity and humor and NO censor. 1/2
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) May 1, 2021
She would tell us: don't forget that the reason you wanted to do this was that it looked like fun. And it is. Amid the sweat and the angst, don't forget the fun. Rest in peace, Olympia. 2/2 https://t.co/8kMGEvgdGQ
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) May 1, 2021
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