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'Moonstruck' Star Olympia Dukakis Dead At 89

Olympia Dukakis rose to prominence for her roles in the Oscar-winning film <em>Moonstruck </em>and <em>Steel Magnolias</em>.
Carlo Allegri
Getty Images
Olympia Dukakis rose to prominence for her roles in the Oscar-winning film Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias.

Olympia Dukakis, best known for her Oscar-winning film Moonstruck, has died. She was 89.

Dukakis' brother Apollo broke the news of her death Saturday in a Facebook post.

"My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City. After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis," he wrote, referring to her late husband and Broadway veteran Louis Zorich.

Dukakis won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in Moonstruck. The 1987 romantic comedy followed a widow, played by Cher, who falls for her fiancé's brother. Dukakis played Cher's nitpicking mother.

The actress was born in Lowell, Mass., to Greek immigrant parents. Dukakis also rose to stardom with her role in Steel Magnolias, Mr. Holland's Opus and Look Who's Talking.

Beyond film, Dukakis was also a drama teacherat New York University for more than 15 years. She founded two regional theatres, in Boston and Montclair, N.J., with her husband Louis Zorich — a producer famous for his role on the TV show Mad About You. He passed in 2018 at the age of 93.

Dukakis and Zorich are survived by their children, Christina, Peter and Stefan.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jeannette Muhammad

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