Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-winning ‘Moonstruck’ star, dies at 89

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – Olympia Dukakis, the veteran stage and screen actor whose flair for maternal roles aided her get an Oscar as Cher’s mom in the passionate comedy “Moonstruck,” has died. She was 89.

Dukakis died Saturday early morning in her residence in New York Metropolis, according to Allison Levy, her agent at Impressive Artists. A induce of death was not instantly unveiled, but her loved ones mentioned in a statement that she had been in failing health and fitness for months.

Dukakis received her Oscar via a astonishing chain of circumstances, commencing with writer Nora Ephron’s advice that she engage in Meryl Streep’s mom in the film variation of Ephron’s ebook “Heartburn.” Dukakis obtained the role, but her scenes were being reduce from the film. To make it up to her, director Mike Nichols forged her in his hit perform “Social Stability.” Director Norman Jewison saw her in that function and forged her in “Moonstruck.”

Dukakis received the Oscar for very best supporting actress and Cher took property the trophy for finest actress.


She referred to her 1988 acquire as “the yr of the Dukakii” for the reason that it was also the yr Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, her cousin, was the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. At the ceremony, she held her Oscar significant above her head and known as out: “OK, Michael, let us go!”

In 1989, her Oscar statuette was stolen from Dukakis’ New Jersey home.

“We’re not pretentious,” her partner, actor Louis Zorich, claimed at the time. “We saved the Oscar in the kitchen area.”

Dukakis, who was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, experienced yearned to be an actor from an early age and experienced hoped to review drama in faculty. Her Greek immigrant mother and father insisted she pursue a a lot more useful instruction, so she researched bodily therapy at Boston University on a scholarship from the Nationwide Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.




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