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Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-winning Moonstruck actress, has died

“After several months of failing health, she is finally at peace and with her Louis,” her brother Apollo Dukakis said on Facebook. Her agent, Allison Levy, also confirmed her death to CNN.

Dukakis died at her home with her daughter Christina Zorich “by her side,” the family said in a statement.

“His brother Apollo Dukakis, his sons Stefan and Peter Zorich and four grandchildren thank you for your love, prayers and fond memories during this difficult time,” the family said.

Although she had a performing career that spanned decades, Dukakis is best known for her portrayal of Rose Castorini, the curious but sensitive Italian mother in the 1987 film “Moonstruck”, stealing many scenes from Cher, who his daughter was playing.

At the 1988 Oscars, Dukakis won the Best Supporting Actress award while Cher won the Best Actress award for her performances in the film.

Later roles included Clairee Belcher in the 1989 film “Steel Magnolias,” in which she encourages a grieving M’Lynn Eatenton, played by Sally Field, to slap the character of Shirley MacLaine by saying, “Turn off her lights, M ‘ Lynn!

Throughout her rise to fame, the actress has appeared in over 130 off-Broadway productions, as well as in Broadway plays, including “The Aspern Papers”, “Abraham Cochrane” and his solo play “Rose” , according to IMDB.

Her television roles included transgender owner Anna Madrigal in the 1993 miniseries “Tales of the City”. She reprized the role in the sequels “More Tales of the City” in 1998 and “More Tales of the City”. in 2001, according to IMDB.

A fourth release, “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” premiered on Netflix in 2019. Dukakis again appeared in the miniseries, which was her last television role.

Dukakis died three years after the death of her husband, actor Louis Zorich. The couple married in 1962 and co-founded The Whole Theater Company in Montclair, New Jersey, running it from 1971 to 1990, according to IMDB.

Originally from Massachusetts and the daughter of Greek immigrants, Dukakis was the first cousin of former state governor Michael Dukakis, who became the Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, but ultimately lost to Vice President George HW Bush.

Dukakis introduced his cousin to the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta and was also a traveling delegate.


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