Remembering the late great Olympia Dukakis

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The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will be presenting Remembering Olympia, a moving tribute and celebration of the life of the late great thespian Olympia Dukakis.

Created in loving memory of Olympia Dukakis by her brother Apollo Dukakis and her children Christina, Stefan, and Peter Zorich, Remembering Olympia celebrates the late actress’s life and career with a one-act play, written by her brother Apollo about his turbulent yet close relationship with his sister; a video montage salute to Olympia’s films, stage work, and family and friends; and a Q&A with special guests Stefan Zorich, Peter Zorich, and actor Paul Reiser.

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Olympia Dukakis died in May, 2021 at the age of 89 in her New York City home.

“My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City,” wrote her brother Apollo on Facebook. “After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her [husband] Louis [Zorich].”

Dukakis won an Oscar for her role alongside Cher in the 1987 romance Moonstruck. The role of Rose Castorini earned her an Academy Award for best supporting actress, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination.

Dukakis was also well known for her role as gossip-loving Clairee Belcher in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias, which also starred Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton and Daryl Hannah.

She received a Golden Globe nomination for 1992’s Sinatra, as well as Emmy Award nominations for 1991’s Lucky Day, 1998’s More Tales of the City and 1999’s Joan of Arc.

Dukakis was born to Greek immigrant parents in Massachusetts in 1931.

She arrived in New York in late 1959 but could only find parts playing ethnic roles, of which there were few.

“It would have been a hell of a lot easier to get acting jobs if my name were Day instead of Dukakis, but then I wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of seeing the family name — my parents’ name — displayed so visibly during that time,” she said.

She made her Broadway debut in The Aspern Papers in 1962.

She and her husband, actor/producer Louis Zorich, had three children.

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