Oscar winning actress Olympia Dukakis has died aged 89 after months of failing health.
Dukakis, who starred in Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias, died at her home in New York City on Saturday morning.
Her cause of death has not been revealed.
‘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,’ her brother Apollo said in a statement.
Her husband of 56 years, Louis Zorich, died in 2018.
She is survived by her three children: Christina, Peter and Stefan.
Throughout her decorated career, Dukakis acted in more than 130 theater productions, 60 films and 50 TV series.
Oscar winning actress Olympia Dukakis has died aged 89 after months of failing health. She died on Saturday morning at her New York City home
Dukakis, who is pictured above with Cher in 1989, acted in more than 130 theater productions, 60 films and 50 TV series throughout her career
Dukakis won an Oscar for her role as Rose in the 1987 film Mooonstruck where she starred as Cher’s mother.
She was a Golden Globe nominee for the 1992 miniseries biopic Sinatra and also received Emmy Award nominations for Lucky Day, More Tales and the City and Joan of Arc.
Dukakis was also a decorated state actress having performed in more than 100 Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
She was given a Hollywood Walk of Fame star back in 2013.
Her cousin is former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who went up against George H.W. Bush as a the Democrat candidate in the 1988 presidential election.
She gave a shout out to Michael in her Oscars acceptance speech by screaming out: ‘Ok Michael, let’s go!’
She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on June 20, 1931.
Her had parents immigrated to the United States from southern Greece. She and her brother Apollo grew up in New England as first-generation Greek-Americans.
Dukakis attended Boston University where she graduated from with a degree in physical therapy and a master’s in performing arts.
‘I did not become an actor in order to become famous or rich. I became an actor so I could play the great parts,’ she once said.
Dukakis won an Oscar for her role as Rose in the 1987 film Mooonstruck (above) where she starred as Cher’s mother
Dukakis is pictured above with Dolly Parton in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias
Following Moonstruck, Dukakis went on to star alongside Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton and Darryl Hannah in Steel Magnolias
She moved to New York City in 1959 before making her Broadway debut in 1962 in The Aspern Papers.
She married her husband Louis, who was an actor and producer, that same year.
Dukakis spoken at length of initially struggling to only find parts playing ethnic roles given her Greek heritage and name.
‘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 wrote in her 2003 autobiography, Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress.
She was cast in Moonstruck when she was 56 years old.
Dukakis recalled taking the role for the money and regarded it as one of her lesser works – despite it being one of most well-known films.
‘All of the attention I was getting was lovely, of course, but I was more than a little confused about why it had come at this point, and with this role, which, to my mind, was not the greatest part I had ever played,’ she said.
Following Moonstruck, Dukakis went on to star alongside Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton and Darryl Hannah in Steel Magnolias.
She is pictured second from left in the 1993 miniseries Tales of the City with Chloe Webb, Laura Linney and Paul Gross
Dukakis starred alongside John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and George Segal in Look Who’s Talking