Dukakis, Olympia

Dukakis, Olympia, 1931-2021, American actress, b. Lowell, Ma., Boston Univ. (B.A., M.F.A.). Dukakis’s parents were Greek immigrants. After graduating from college with a degree in physical therapy, Dukakis worked for several years in that occupation before returning to school to study theater. She made her New York debut off-Broadway in 1959, and received an Obie award for her role in Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s a Man in 1963. She also landed a few television and film roles. In 1973, she founded the Whole Theater Company in Montclair, N.J., with her husband, actor Louis Zorich. She won a second Obie for her appearance in Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985), leading to her casting in the film Moonstruck. In this, her best-known role, she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for best supporting actress. Other film and television roles followed; over the course of her career, she appeared in over 130 stage productions, 60 films, and 50 television series.

See her autobiography (2003); Olympia (2020, doc. film).

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