Olympia Dukakis Celebrates Grandparents Day

Olympia Dukakis Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

Olympia Dukakis Headshot - P 2013

Jordin Sparks, Quvenzhane Wallis and TV host Holly Robinson Peete are supporting a Caring Across Generations campaign to recognize grandparents.

Hollywood stars are joining forces with Caring Across Generations to celebrate Grandparents Day. The campaign allows people to share #granecdotes – their favorite grandparent moments and send them a free postcard.

Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, who is backing the campaign, tells The Hollywood Reporter her relationship with her grandmother was one of the most important of her life.

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"She was a tall woman, and a sweet woman and very kind. She had a real sense of humor," Dukakis says.

Her grandmother, who was from the Greek Island of Lesbos ,  was also named Olympia and often took care of her during the Great Depression, when her parents were at work. Dukakis says as a girl, she once cut the hair of another little girl's hair, much to the dismay of the girl's parents.

The angry parents confronted Dukakis' grandmother, who didn’t speak much English. When the young Dukakis explained in Greek why they were angry, her grandmother didn't punish her, but instead laughed, delighted with the mischief.

"I felt that she loved me unconditionally. She took great pleasure in what I did," Dukakis says fondly.

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Dukakis, 82, says she takes the same pleasure in watching her own grandchildren, three girls and a boy.

Singer Jordin Sparks, Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis and TV host Holly Robinson Peete and her mother Dolores Robinson are also taking part in the Caring Across Generations campaign, which is seeking to change the way we talks about supporting and caring for the aging and elderly. More than 200 local and national partners will join in celebrating the role grandparents play in people's lives.

Grandparents Day, which dates back to 1978, is Sept. 8.