Olympia Dukakis

Actor, Theater administrator, Drama teacher
Having long established herself as a respected stage actress and veteran performer in dozens of film and television projects, Olympia Dukakis achieved overnight stardom at the tender age of 56 with her Oscar-winning ... Read more »
Born: 06/20/1931 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (102)

Emily & Tim 2016 (Movie)

Emily Hanratty (Actor)

The Infiltrator 2016 (Movie)

Aunt Vicky (Actor)

TripTank 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Voice

7 Chinese Brothers 2015 (Movie)

Grandma (Actor)

A Little Game 2014 (Movie)

Yaya (Actor)

Birds of a Feather 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Kiszko 2014 (Movie)

Charlotte Kiszko (Actor)

Mis-Adventures of the Dunderheads 2014 (Movie)

Grandmother Ira (Actor)

The Art of Love 2014 (Movie)

Rosemarie Carver (Actor)

The Christmas Spirit 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Whiskey School 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Promise of Tomorrow 1940-1960 2013 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Bored to Death 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cloudburst 2010 (Movie)

Stella (Actor)

Away From Her 2007 (Movie)

Marian (Actor)

In the Land of Women 2007 (Movie)

Phyllis (Actor)

3 Needles 2006 (Movie)

Hilde the Missionary Nun (Actor)

Numb3rs 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Great New Wonderful 2006 (Movie)

Judie Hillerman (Actor)

Center of the Universe 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Day on Fire 2005 (Movie)

Dr Mary Wade (Actor)

Jesus, Mary and Joey 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Thing About My Folks 2005 (Movie)

Muriel Kleinman (Actor)

The Intended 2004 (Movie)

Erina (Actor)

The Event 2003 (Movie)

Lila Shapiro (Actor)

Frasier 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Strange Relations 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Armenians: The Story of Survival 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Simpsons 2002 (Tv Show)

Voice

Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Borough of Kings 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Better Living 2000 (Movie)

Nora (Actor)

Crimes of Honor 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells 2000 (Movie)

Dinah (Actor)

Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Mafia! 1998 (Movie)

Sophia (Actor)

Climb Against the Odds 1997 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Jerusalem 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Gordon (Actor)

Never Too Late 1997 (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

Picture Perfect 1997 (Movie)

Rita (Actor)

Touched By an Angel 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Jeffrey 1995 (Movie)

Mrs Marcangelo (Actor)

Mighty Aphrodite 1995 (Movie)

Jocasta (Actor)

Milk and Money 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mr. Holland's Opus 1995 (Movie)

Principal Jacobs (Actor)

Young at Heart 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Cured! Secrets of Alternative Healing 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Dead Badge 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

I Love Trouble 1994 (Movie)

Jeannie (Actor)

Mother (Laloggia, 1996) 1994 (Movie)

Mrs. Jay (Actor)

Look Who's Talking Now 1993 (Movie)

Rosie (Actor)

The Cemetery Club 1993 (Movie)

Doris Silverman (Actor)

Digger 1992 (Movie)

Bea (Actor)

Over the Hill 1992 (Movie)

Alma Harris (Actor)

Lucky Day 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Act Is a Solo 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

In the Spirit 1990 (Movie)

Sue (Actor)

Look Who's Talking Too 1990 (Movie)

Rosie (Actor)

America Picks the All-Time Favorite Movies 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Dad 1989 (Movie)

Bette Tremont (Actor)

Look Who's Talking 1989 (Movie)

Rosie (Actor)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

Clairee Belcher (Actor)

The 15th Annual People's Choice Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Performer

Working Girl 1988 (Movie)

Personnel Director (Actor)

Moonstruck 1987 (Movie)

Rose Castorini (Actor)

Search For Tomorrow 1951 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Flanagan 1986 (Movie)

Mary Flanagan (Actor)

The Neighborhood 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

National Lampoon Goes to the Movies 1981 (Movie)

Helena Naxos (Actor)

Rich Kids 1979 (Movie)

Lawyer (Actor)

The Idolmaker 1979 (Movie)

Mrs Vacarri (Actor)

The Wanderers 1979 (Movie)

Joey's Man (Actor)

The Seagull 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Death Wish 1974 (Movie)

(Actor)

Made For Each Other 1971 (Movie)

Gig's Mother (Actor)

John and Mary 1969 (Movie)

John's Mother (Actor)

Lilith 1964 (Movie)

Patient (Actor)

Twice a Man 1962 (Movie)

Young Woman/Commentator (Actor)

A Match Made in Heaven (TV Show)

Actor

And Never Let Her Go (TV Show)

Actor

Big Driver (TV Show)

Actor

Fire in the Dark (TV Show)

Actor

Guilty Hearts (TV Show)

Actor

Joan of Arc (TV Show)

Actor

King of America (TV Show)

Actor

Ladies and the Champ (TV Show)

Actor

Mafia Doctor (TV Show)

Actor

Nicky's World (TV Show)

Actor

Poor Things (Movie)

(Actor)

Scattering Dad (TV Show)

Actor

Sinatra (TV Show)

Actor

The Greek Americans (TV Show)

Actor

The Neighborhood (Movie)

(Actor)

The Pentagon Wars (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Having long established herself as a respected stage actress and veteran performer in dozens of film and television projects, Olympia Dukakis achieved overnight stardom at the tender age of 56 with her Oscar-winning portrayal in "Moonstruck" (1987). Originally intending to become a physical therapist, Dukakis turned to acting with work on and off-Broadway in productions such as "The Aspern Papers" and "A Man's a Man." Never the ingénue, Dukakis quickly found herself portraying young mothers in films that included "John and Mary" (1969) and "Made for Each Other" (1971). The pattern continued with features like "The Wanderers" (1979) and "The Idolmaker" (1980) until "Moonstruck" placed her at the top of the casting agent's wish list. A slew of roles in high-profile feature films followed, including turns in "Working Girl" (1988), "Look Who's Talking" (1989) and "Steel Magnolias" (1989). Occasional starring roles also presented themselves, as with the comedy-drama "The Cemetery Club" (1993). On television she essayed the character of Mrs. Madrigal in "Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City'" (PBS, 1993) and its two sequel miniseries, and achieved true pop culture status when she voiced Grandpa Simpson's love interest in a 2002 episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ). Living proof that one was never too old to reinvent oneself, the scene-stealing actress continued to delight audiences in a variety of mediums for over four decades.

Relationships

Stefan Zorich

Son

Constantine Dukakis

Father
Greek immigrant

Alexandra Dukakis

Mother
Greek immigrant

Apollo Dukakis

Brother

Michael Dukakis

Cousin
former governor of Massachusetts and former candidate for the US Presidency

Louis Zorich

Husband
married on December 5, 1962

Christina Zorich

Daughter

Peter Zorich

Son
co-founded a line of food products called "Famous Fixins"

EDUCATION

Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts 1957

Sargent College, Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts 1953

Milestones

2007

Co-starred with Adam Brody and Meg Ryan in Jonathan Kasdan's directorial debut "In the Land of Women"

2006

Co-starred in "3 Needles," one of three short stories about the global HIV pandemic, directed by Thom Fitzgerald

2005

Cast in "The Thing About My Folks" penned by and co-starring Paul Reiser

2004

Cast in the CBS comedy "Center of the Universe" opposite John Goodman and Ed Asner

2002

Co-starred with Janet McTeer and Brenda Fricker in "Innocence," directed by Kristian Levering

2001

Had leading role in Timberlake Wertenbaker's stage play "Credible Witness" in London

2001

Reprised Anna Madrigal in "Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City" (Showtime)

2000

Co-starred with Judi Dench in "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" (HBO), playing an alcoholic saxophone player

1999

Offered a potent cameo in the CBS miniseries "Joan of Arc"; netted third Emmy nomination

1999

Made London stage debut in one-person show "Rose", a drama about a Holocaust survivor written by Martin Sherman; opened on Broadway in spring 2000

1998

Undertook the role of Queen Lear in a distaff retelling of Shakespeare's classic in the stage production "The Lear Project"

1998

Reprised Anna Madrigal in the Showtime sequel "Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City"; received Emmy nomination

1997

Appeared as Jennifer Aniston's mother in "Picture Perfect"

1996

Returned to the NYC stages in the off-Broadway production of "The Hope Zone"

1995

Played the tough principal who mentors Richard Dreyfuss' music teacher in "Mr. Holland's Opus"

1995

Made cameo appearance as the mother of a transsexual in "Jeffrey"

1995

Appeared on stage as "Hecuba" in a translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker

1994

Portrayed Anna Madrigal, the landlady with a penchant for growing marijuana, in "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City" (PBS)

1993

Had rare lead as a Jewish widow in "The Cemetery Club"

1992

Cast as matriarch Dolly Sinatra in the CBS miniseries "Sinatra"

1991

Portrayed an aging actress desperate for a comeback in "The Last Act Is a Solo" (A&E)

1991

Received first Emmy nomination for her supporting performance as the alcoholic mother of a mentally-challenged woman who has won the lottery in "Luck Day" (ABC)

1989

First played Kirstie Alley's mother in "Look Who's Talking"; reprised part in two sequels

1989

Had featured role in the ensemble of "Steel Magnolias"

1987

Breakthrough film role, Rose Castorini, in Norman Jewison's "Moonstruck"

1974

TV-movie debut in "Nicky's World"

1964

Feature film debut in "Lilith"

1964

Appeared in Gregory Markopoulos's experimental film "Twice a Man"

1962

Broadway debut, "The Aspern Papers"

1961

Began affiliation with the Williamstown Theatre Festival

1960

Off-Broadway debut, "The Breaking Wall"

1957

Founding member of the Charles Street Playhouse, Boston, Massachusetts

Founding member and artistic director of The Whole Theater Company, Montclair, New Jersey

Returned to NYU to teach acting

Appeared regularly on the NBC daytime drama "Search for Tomorrow"

Taught acting at New York University

Bonus Trivia

.

In college, Dukakis was the New England fencing champion.

.

She received an honorary doctorate from Boston University in 2000.

.

On her role in "Moonstruck", Dukakis was quoted in TheaterWeek (January 1-7, 1996): "I had no idea what that role would end up meaning to me. All I knew was that it was a good part, good money, and good people to work with."

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